March 8, 2011

Satisfying a Craving

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to make nachos. My easygoing fiance is perfectly willing to microwave shredded cheese over chips and call it a day. I, on the other hand, am a little bit more picky when it comes to this dish. The best nachos ever, believe it or not, come from the little mexican place in my college food court. I used to have to limit myself to eating this amazingness only once a week, knowing that otherwise I would be tempted to eat so many meals worth that I'd start to resemble Violet Beauregarde. I'm only a little bit ashamed to say that this is one of the things I miss the most about school (coming in right after my friends and being able to walk everywhere in nice weather). Recently, though, I started to seriously crave these nachos again, so I set out to recreate them in the comfort of my own kitchen.
Some things were pretty obvious: basic chips, diced onions, lettuce, black beans, sour cream. There are, however, a few key components that proved a little tougher to figure out: the heavenly cheese sauce and the "salsa ranch" that always topped off all of this deliciousness. As suspicious as I am about the texture of Velveeta cheese, I always hear that it's one of the best (and the easiest) to melt. I knew I wasn't going to have a ton of time on my hands this week to perfect the recipe, so I decided to start here. I was actually pleasantly surprised -- it certainly wasn't the best and it turned out to be a lot thicker than I was hoping, but it wasn't as awful as I expected. I didn't make a whole lot, so the rest of the yummy stuff I loaded on also sort of overpowered it. Not a bad start, but definitely something to keep working on.
I really wasn't sure where to start for the salsa until I remembered the hidden valley ranch mix that I had in the pantry. I mixed that with some sour cream and then stirred a little bit of mild salsa in. Again, it wasn't exactly the right consistency, but considering it took me about 2 minutes to make, I was pretty impressed. Once everything got mixed together, my little imitation actually turned out to be a darn good little meal:
Terrible picture quality but yummy dinner!
I'm going to keep working on this one, but for a first attempt I'd say it went pretty well. Now if only I could start to recreate some of the other things I've been craving... 



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