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Friends! Romans! Connoisseurs! Lend me your ears!
Jokes about my little ears aside, I have an announcement: potato-based nachos are a thing and they’re probably the most delicious pub-style food you will eat in 2019.
Let me share with you a story. My girlfriend’s roommate is a pretty good cook. Not a chef by any means but from what I’ve seen (and tasted) she definitely has a knack for what tastes good — a certain intuitive flair, if you will. Recently, she posited to me as to whether or not I’ve had tater-tot nachos, or totchos, if you will.
As you could imagine, I allowed those words to sink in for a moment and as they did, a wide grin spread across my face. I was definitely down to try them and apparently Griffin was already familiar with them enough to express excitement at the idea. Naturally, as she prepared them, my cook brain made several attempts to try to figure out what she was doing. I imagined that they would be similar to regular nachos with the standard toppings of perhaps ground beef or chicken, sour cream, melted cheese, salsa, peppers, onions and all the rest, but with tater tots in lieu of corn tortilla chips.
As my excitement reached its zenith, the smell hit me from the kitchen. It was a very familiar and altogether mouth-watering aroma that once again provoked an involuntary grin of excitement. “Bacon!” I exclaimed with childish glee. The others laughed at my exuberance. Whether it was the change to a better antidepressant, the third bowl of dank Black Tuna, being in love again, or the fact that I was characteristically famished, I was happy as a Texas barbecue at the thought of eating those bleeping totchos.
When Kayla finally came from the kitchen bearing her massive armload of plates containing what was basically manna from heaven in the form of post-modern fusion food, we received her with cheers and woops. We gorged ourselves on totchos with the kind of glee seen only in viral videos about birds and golf balls.
When we finished, you can bet that I asked her for the recipe in order to tweak it into a version of my own. What resulted from my augmentation experiments is as follows:
1 bag frozen tater tots
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup whole cream
2 tbsp flour
package thick cut bacon, diced
2 medium onions, diced
2 green bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lbs ground beef
4 green onions, finely chopped
Salsa and sour cream to taste on the side
Follow directions on the bag in order to prepare your tater tots, being sure to use parchment paper on the baking pan. Set aside completed tater tots. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef together with bacon on medium high heat making sure to break it into small bits as it cooks; set aside. In a small saucepan on medium-low heat, melt cheddar cheese together with cream and gradually whisk in flour while stirring to create a cheese sauce and reduce heat to absolute minimum. Prepare mise en place (each ingredient in bowls, prepared and ready) and preheat oven to 375 F. Atop tater tots, assemble in the following order: half the Monterey Jack cheese, ground beef, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, black beans, bacon, remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes; add cheese sauce, sour cream, green onions and salsa as final toppings.
Needless to say, I fully urge any readers to try this recipe at home the next time a weekend craving hits and you’re not sure what you want to eat. It’s satisfying on so many wondrous levels that I highly doubt it would do anything other than kick the butt of any food craving that might strike.
Until next time, Food Dudians.
Dear Food Dude,
I read your column and where you indicated you lost 100 pounds, wondering how frequently you ate the soup each day? Did you eat other foods at other meals. Did you eat fruit as well?
–Kevin, unknown location
My meals were essentially a normal breakfast and a soup of some kind for lunch and dinner. I rarely ate any snacks but when I did it was something light, without sugar. A few times I ate out at parties and skipped my soup routine to do so but for the most part, that was my main weapon.
Dear Food Dude,
Please do an article about camping or campground food! The season is still in full swing. Make this happen!
Miranda P., Dildo, N.L.
You got it. That’s actually a pretty cool idea. I’ll make it my next work.
Terry Bursey, otherwise known as the Food Dude, is a Newfoundland chef transplanted to Ontario who enjoys putting his mark on traditional recipes and inventing new tasty treats with unexpected ingredients. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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