The nacho cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peeled, cubed white potato (about 1 small potato) (we used russet potato)
  • ½ cup peeled, diced carrot (about 1 carrot)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup nondairy milk or water (we used plain soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 pickled jalapeño slices or to taste (we used 6 pickled jalapeño slices), plus 3 tablespoons brine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Directions

  1. Take a pot (we used a large saucepan) of water and bring it to a boil. Add the potato and carrot to the water, letting it cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork-tender*. Drain the carrots and potatoes and add them to a high-powered blender right afterwards.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients to the blender and put the lid on afterwards, mixing on high speed just until smooth. If the cheese has cooled down too much, you can reheat this in a saucepan for a few minutes over low heat until it’s bubbling or just microwave the cheese (we chose to reheat this in a saucepan). If you think the cheese has lost its smooth consistency during reheating, try adding in a small amount of water or nondairy milk.

*You don’t want to cook the potatoes too long or else they can get starchy and therefore prevent you from getting a nice smooth cheese.

Yields around 1 ½ cups.

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This recipe really makes you feel like you’re eating actual nacho cheese ! Having it on chips with extra pickled jalapeño slices took us right back to times spent going out to see a movie and munching on some nachos ! The cheese does have a bit of tanginess to it (thanks to the brine and lemon juice) but it doesn’t overwhelm the cheesy flavor. Between it’s creaminess and flavor, we’d love to try making a macaroni and cheese using this nacho cheese !

This recipe came from “Vegan Comfort Classics” by Lauren Toyota.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote the cookbook or Lauren Toyota.

Take care everybody !

Southwestern Nachos Potato Skins

We came across a 2010 issue of Food Network magazine where they made a themed potato skin for every team in the NFL and their toppings for the Arizona Cardinals themed potato skins was just too scrumptious to pass up without trying !

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes (we used 5*)
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • Salsa (mommy used Pace Picante medium chunky salsa, I used La Victoria Thick’N Chunky Salsa Verde Medium that was pureed**)
  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • Chopped scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional) (we used Kraft Mexican Four Cheese)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Stick the potatoes in the oven, directly onto the oven rack and let them cook for one hour or until the potatoes are tender. Pull them out and let them cool (we let them cool for 15 minutes and found they were still hot so we cut them in half lengthwise and found that after an additional 15 minutes, they cooled down enough). Set the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Once the potatoes are cool, cut each potato into 4 pieces lengthwise and scoop out enough flesh until it’s only a ¼-inch thick shell. Take melted butter and brush both sides*** of the potato skin with it, seasoning the skins afterwards with salt and pepper. Stick the potato skins back in the oven, skin-side up, until the skin feels crisp, around 15 minutes or so should do the trick. If you want cheesy skins, flip the potato skins over, sprinkle the cheese over them and stick them back in the oven**** for an additional 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients into the potato skins and enjoy !

*Some of our potato skins fell apart so it really is a good idea to bake an extra potato just in case something goes wrong with one of the other potatoes.

**The picante salsa is red so it really pops better against the other toppings. Mommy like the flavor of the picante salsa with the other toppings and I enjoyed the salsa verde more even though it didn’t stand out color wise since it’s green.

***We brushed both sides of the potato with the butter when we stuck it in the oven and it dripped down to the bottom of the oven and created so much smoke ! We had to turn on the fan over the oven and lower the window so the smoke could go somewhere. It really freaked our cat Ghost out (he even hissed at the stove at one point) so we turned the heat off after 5 minutes and just left them in there for the remaining 10 minutes.

****After the butter fiasco, we decided to take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil. We put the potato skins on the lined baking sheet, skin-side up, and spread the cheese over them afterwards. We put the baking sheet in the oven for the 5 minutes (oven still turned off but had plenty of residual heat) and it came out with the cheese melted and no mess to clean up like we would have, had we put the skins directly on the oven rack.

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This is such a great game day snack even with the problems we ran into ! The skins might have been crispier had we left the oven on but otherwise it was still delicious. You can pick it up with your hands to eat and the skin’s firm enough that the toppings don’t go spilling everywhere. You get some heat and acidity from the salsa and pickled jalapeño slices, a freshness to the dish from the scallions and cilantro, the sour cream adds a tanginess as well as tempers the heat from the salsa and jalapeño slices, and it’s nice having that cheese flavor come through as well in the dish.  You can really change up the flavor of this simply by changing the salsa ! If we make this again in the future, we’ll probably skip spreading the melted butter over the flesh side of the potato skin.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Food Network, La Victoria, Pace salsa or Kraft.

Take care everybody !