Friday, May 25, 2018
Cooking

From the food editor: Nachos nurture at an unsettled time

There are few things in life more annoying than moving. Even once the back-breaking work of physically moving all of your stuff into a new place is finished, the giant task of unpacking begins.

And in the interim, you don't know where the heck anything is.

Can you tell I have some firsthand experience with the topic? After moving into a new place about a week ago, my kitchen is still in disarray, with cleaning to be done before the bulk of the unloading even begins.

Sick of eating out for the past week, I decided the other night to try to cook something for dinner. It quickly turned into a challenging game of creating something out of nothing. MacGyver would be proud.

Aside from working appliances (that means an oven and microwave were fair game), I had easy access to a large skillet, a couple of baking sheets, a set of knives and some utensils. In my fridge: a bag of corn tortillas, chicken breasts, ground turkey, cheese, assorted fruits and yogurt. The common denominator recipe seemed immediately clear: nachos.

I knew the corn tortillas would crisp up nicely in the oven — no frying needed — and then I could pile them high with meat, cheese and a can of black beans I found in a box next to some Pyrex and a lamp. A crunchy, cheesy comforting dish.

Chicken seemed like the best option, cubed and cooked in the skillet then set aside while I prepared other toppings. If you have lived in your place of residence for more than a week and know where all of your things are, I'd recommend cooking the chicken low and slow in either a slow cooker or a large pot until it becomes pull-apart tender. If you're a vegetarian, leave the meat out. (The recipe is just as addicting.)

Tomatoes and pan-fried jalapeno (a new obsession) on top of the nacho stack rounded things out, and extra cheese was definitely in order, not merely for flavor but to nurture my harried, partially-moved-in soul.

Now if I could just figure out where I put the dishwasher detergent.

Contact Michelle Stark at [email protected] or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17 on Twitter.

Comments
Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Once upon a time, way back in the annals of home cooking, there was an era before sheet-pan suppers.In that dark age, even well-equipped kitchens did not have so much as a single professional sheet pan, let alone the two or three deemed indispensable...
Published: 05/23/18
Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

You could head to your neighborhood juice shop and order a $7 or $8 smoothie. Blending your own, however, is not only easier on your wallet, but you can customize to your heartís content and make several batches at a time.Whether youíre making a nutr...
Published: 05/23/18
Vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a bakerís best friend

Vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a bakerís best friend

By Kim OdeSomewhere along the line, vanilla became synonymous with bland or ordinary.Which is just plain wrong.Blame it on a world of Chubby Hubby ice cream and Candy Cane Oreos, where "more" sounds like "better," where fake flavors bolster profits.I...
Published: 05/23/18
I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

One of my 2018 cooking resolutions was to cook at least 10 things this year that I never have before. Somewhere near the top of my list was short ribs. You can hardly eat at a restaurant now without seeing short rib in some form on the menu: braised,...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Lavender is almost as pretty to smell as it is to look at, but as far as taste goes, the results arenít always as appealing. A little like cilantro, lavender can taste soapy to some people, making it a tricky plant to use properly. But, when used the...
Published: 05/22/18
Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

My addiction to sugar began as a child. I loved sugary breakfast cereals as a morning meal or an evening snack, the sweeter the better. We used to joke in my house that I even added table sugar to Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. Thankfu...
Published: 05/21/18
Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

When the clock strikes midnight, I reach for the cookie jar. Okay, maybe itís not an actual jar ó maybe Iím even lazier, and I reach for the cardboard box of chocolate chip cookies I bought from the store. The point is, my late-night snack habits are...
Published: 05/16/18
Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

The year was 2011. It was the night before Prince Williamís wedding to Kate Middleton, and I stood in my kitchen making chocolate chip scones. I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m., with plans to sit in the spare bedroom of the townhome and watch Britainís ro...
Published: 05/15/18
Taste test: pineapple juice

Taste test: pineapple juice

Having always loved a fresh pineapple stick in my brewed iced tea, I wondered recently if a splash of pineapple juice would give it the same sweet kick. While few of us drink pure pineapple juice, our panelists definitely enjoy an occasional watered-...
Published: 05/14/18
Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Asparagus is by far the favorite vegetable of my family. I can serve nearly 3 pounds of asparagus a couple of times a week to my family of six, and my girls will still argue over who gets the last stalk. I say this not to impress you with the adventu...
Published: 05/11/18