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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 mstark@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17 on Twitter.

From the food editor: Nachos nurture at an unsettled time 01/18/16 [Last modified: Monday, January 18, 2016 11:11am]
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