Friday, August 6, 2010

Nachos & Banana Split

Gee, I really experiment a lot, don't I? Part of it is that my mum doesn't enjoy cooking, but also my little sis encourages me. She's always up for more food and takes a special interest in vegetarian/piscitarian meals (we don't have much variety in them otherwise). Also, I like to try and get healthier food into her diet, like vegetables or fibre.

You'd think someone who's mainly vegetarian would be eating lots of veggies, but you'd be wrong. My sis eats lots of pasta salad and frozen pierogies. On the slightly-veggied up side, she also has pizza and nachos. She actually really likes the kind of giant salads you get at A&P, though.

In order to get more veggies in her diet, I raided CostCo for some solutions earlier this year. They have 1-pound tubs of bruschetta, around CAD 8, and tubs of fresh salsa that are almost 1-litre (ain't Canadian measuring great...ly inconsistent!), around CAD 9.

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Another thing I incorporated into our household was pinto beans, though no one was a fan outside of my sis & I. I cooked them from dry in the slow cooker, no pre-soaking or anything, then froze them. One $2 bag of beans filled three 500g (~1 lb) tubs. I'm so keeping up with my beans in college.

And this is where the nachos come in. I also get the huge bags (these ones I measure in kilograms!) of Kirkland Organic Tortilla Chips. I like that they're organic, although the ultimate factor in choosing which tortilla chips to get was price/volume, I'll be honest. But they seem less salty and more robust than Tostitos, and I like them. My sister must too, because we always run out sooner than I expect. They're really big bags.

So we microwaved nachos last night. You know how I talk about things best done in the microwave? This is not one of them. But I didn't feel like getting out the toaster oven. We'll do it that way next time.

We laid out 2 layers of chips, pinto beans, salsa (1T), chilli powder (1t), and cheese (indiscriminate amounts). Then, we zapped it until the cheese melted. The beans were still a little frozen, so we just stuck it back in for another minute.

The next bout we tried had more salsa and wasn't as good because of that. For one, this one's too spicy for my sister (that's why there was only 1T the first time). Also, this isn't our regular kind. This was Peggy's Pico de Gallo, and we usually get Jack's Fresh Salsa. Or something. I like to imagine Costco trying to push starcrossed lovers Peggy & Jack into divorce over the bitter stress of the salsa biz.

The problem with this one is that it's hotter and a lot more sour/vinegary. Last time I added it to pasta, I had to add a spoonful of sugar to make the salsa go down. It's due to the jalapeño, I'm pretty sure. Whenever burrito places (at least in Canada) serve pico de gallo, they neglect that certain apparently-important ingredient. I have a love-hate relationship with jalapeños, and you can guess what side of the divide this falls on for me. My boyfriend loves jalapeños, though, so I think the lion's share of this batch of salsa will fall to him.

Since the nachos were so hot - and also because we bought 2 things of ice cream yesterday - I made a simple banana split for after. I didn't feel like going down to the deep freeze for the strawberry ice cream (our family's buying habits are such that when it rains, it pours), so I stuck with french vanilla.

Weird thing I find with me and dairy is that they taste better when they're in glass. Is that just me?

Anyway, I pulled apart the banana with my hands and lay each half at the bottom of the dessert dish, then I spooned the ice cream on top and squirted caramel syrup over it. Quickest assembly ever. No idea why places charge an arm & a leg for this.

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