Southwest Nachos

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Hot Sauce Scaredy Cat

Ive reached food enlightenment. In my past travels <a title="Loveland Cafe" href="http://thegreatzambini.com/2013/04/23/loveland-cafe/">to Colorado</a>, I discovered a culture centered on hot sauce. And <a title="Benson Sculpture Park" href="http://thegreatzambini.com/2013/03/14/benson-sculpture-park/">statues</a> and <a title="Fantastic Fritter" href="http://thegreatzambini.com/2013/03/23/fantastic-fritter/">fritters</a> and <a title="Denver Aquarium" href="http://thegreatzambini.com/2013/03/16/denver-aquarium/">aquariums</a> and <a title="Loveland Cafe" href="http://thegreatzambini.com/2013/04/23/loveland-cafe/">gluten free brownies</a> in a cafe. My family there had shelves with a collection of fifty or more bottles, and many of their neighbors were worse! There are people that collect them, for the range of flavors (but mainly for the cheeky labels- one variety that stood out to me was the <a href="http://www.gourmetmikes.com/celhotsauc.html">celebrity mockers</a>) and the bragging rights involved with an extensive collection. Maybe it is the Western style of wine collecting. Except in California they literally do wine collecting, so I guess it's something that can't be explained- that pretty much sums up Colorado for me after several visits throughout the years.
There are competitions for making and tasting hot sauces, rather like the South has barbeque competitions, though not as wildly and fanatically followed as far as I can tell. I have yet to hear of a hot sauce fight, unlike some quarrels that have come about due to regional variations in Bar-B-Q. (I'll just put it out there: I prefer Carolina style!)
More importantly than all of that, though, is food. Normal food, like scrambled eggs, suddenly become amazing works of art when you add in some hot sauce (I like sri racha, though there is really nothing American about it) and perhaps spicy sausage (spicy andouille from New Orleans or Mexican style Chorizo).
But what happens when you use extraordinary food as your base, and add the hot sauce to that?
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<div><strong>Servings:</strong> 4</div>
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<h2><span style="color:#ba4561;">Ingredients</span></h2>
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<div>1 large bag <a href="http://www.wildharvestorganic.com/servlets/productDetails?productId=242&amp;categoryId=22">blue corn tortilla chips</a></div>
<div>two yucca tubers</div>
<div>2 red bell peppers, diced</div>
<div>1 jalapeno, sliced rounds</div>
<div>3 cups roasted corn kernels</div>
<div>1 cup gherkin pickles, diced</div>
<div>1/2 cup smoked gouda, shredded</div>
<div>1/2 cup smoked cheddar, shredded</div>
<div>3 teaspoons <a href="http://www.thehotsaucestop.com/Daves-Ginger-Peach-Hot-Sauce/">peach hot sauce</a>, or another variety</div>
<div>2 tablespoons <a href="http://www.thecraftyblogstalker.com/2013/09/smaller-portion-best-homemade-ranch.html">home made ranch</a> for a dipping sauce (or store bought, to save time)</div>
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<h2 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#cf2f56;">Lot
s of Weird Stuff in There. Why?

Cheese

The smoked gouda and cheddar are optional. You could choose mozzarella, or unsmoked gouda or cheddar. I prefer smoked cheese as I feel like it has more flavor without the icky (to me) sourness normally strong cheeses, such as blue and limburgber, posess. I love smoked mild cheeses. If you don`t, or can`t buy any, normal cheeses will work fine. Except American. As far as I`m concerned, that is thinly veiled plastic, not cheese, so I personally refuse to eat the junk. You are allowed to if you like the rubbery texture and are willing to ignore the health detriment. Hey, we all have our guilty, and sometimes gross, pleasures, right? I didn`t include them because I felt they were extra healthy. It was purely a matter of taste.

Yuck! Yucca?

Yucca may be one of the awkwardest veggie I’ve seen in a while, though all root vegetables tend to be kind of gnarly. Yucca is probably going to be named the next superfood. Have you noticed that every whole food seems to gain that label, as they are always finding that unadulterated foods have more health factors than a few vitamins and minerals? #Rabbithole tangents. Anyways, yucca helps regulate blood sugar and eases diabetic symptoms. (A natural way to stop blood sugar comas, combined with the mini meal system and staying relatively low carb, as well as super low sugar.) It also helps with sun damage, which makes sense considering it grows in a very sunny region. (Few trees= endless sun exposure). Its almost like someone planned out this nature thing! The San Fransisco Chronicle wrote a more in depth <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/yucca-root-health-benefits-4529.html">article</a> on the subject.
<h3><span style="color:#ff6600;">Some Diet Variety</span></h3>
I know I harp about this a lot, but it really is pretty important to include a lot of variety in your diet. Did you know that much of the Western population (of the world, not just of the country) is actually malnourished? That
s because they eat plenty of food, but almost none of it is nutritionally dense. So, in an effort to prevent such a fate in at least my own life (the world weary career people that look older than my grandma at a mere forty- unhealthy living and stress lead to early wrinkles!) I try to rotate which foods I use to accomplish a flavor and texture task inside of each dish.

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Directions:

  1. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs.
  3. Slice and fry yucca in a little olive oil using a cast iron skillet. (This is not deep frying, and uses a healthy natural fat, so is mainly good for you.)
  4. On a microwave safe plate, lay the yucca flat on the bottom.
  5. Top the layered tortilla chips and yucca with bell peppers, jalapenos, corn and pickles.
  6. Place the nachos under a broiler for about 2-3 minutes until the top is bubbly, then serve hot with your favorite St. Patrick’s day beer.

Adaptations

  • Put all the fixings on the side, and put the cheeses and hot sauce in a fondue pot. Let guests dip their chips and personalize on their plates!
  • Add some chicken or fried tofu for protein, to help this level up from mere snack food to a meal! You can also dump the whole thing on a stone pizza dish and bake it in the oven for a presentation that says entree instead of nuked. (made in the microwave.) Put some chopped spring onion on top and the pickles on the side, and have celery and ranch for a fun and healthy salad. Use a celery vase, if you have one. They are cheap at antique stores and flea markets, and a fun addition to every meal!
  • To shake things up a bit, replace the yucca with Yukon potatoes and add some corned beef to make Irish Nachos! For good measure, replace the pickles with sliced carrots, the hot sauce with 1 tspn honey, and just completely omit the jalapeno.
  • Replace the corn, cheeses, and hot sauce with sri racha, water chestnuts, and some chopped almonds. Add some leftover bulgogi for some fun Asian themed nachos!

I adapted this recipe from food republic, to make sure it is gluten free and to make things a little more interesting. I don`t think the final recipe bears any resemblance to the original, so feel free to look it up for an Irish nachos recipe. Feel free to adapt my recipe as you like!

This recipe was also slightly based on an Irish nachos dish I got at an Irish pub in the city next to Loveland. I don’t remember the pub’s name or the city’s name, though. All I remember is sticky seats and surprisingly amazing cheesy tater tots with ranch dipping sauce. Sorry for not remembering more, but I pulled this one out of the data banks from a year ago, so I guess it’s pretty reasonable I don’t remember non-food related details. (I don’t remember much of anything that happened longer than a week ago these days. I blame college!)

What variations would you make to this recipe, or have you done with nachos in general?

Hiya pal, please share your thoughts! :)