Okay…this is my newest test kitchen adventure! I have been wanting to try to make salsa, guacamole, and queso from scratch, which is what I did yesterday…
I started with the salsa…it is very simple to make and I have tried before but until yesterday I had been unsuccessful in getting it right.
The funny thing is that when I smelled the finished salsa, it actually smelled like salsa! Go figure…my 8-year old was looking at me like I had lost my mind because I was laughing and giddy from the smell of success! The best part is the fresh cilantro, so tasty!
My next task was to make the guacamole. After all the things that I have prepared from scratch, I had never bought an avocado before! I don’t know why but I think I felt intimidated by that vegetable, or is it a fruit? See…I don’t even know what it is!
I have watched TV chefs cut up and prepare avocados over and over and I knew exactly what to do. My memory, only when it comes to food, is like a sponge…I soak up techniques and ingredients and retain them in the section of my brain dedicated to food. On a daily basis I misplace my phone, keys, wallet, shoes, pens…my short term memory doesn’t work very well.
My next test kitchen dish was to make queso dip. I love hot cheese to dip things in. I love to eat queso dip from Tijuana Flats but it is very far from my house and I don’t go there very often. Store bought queso is out for me because of my allergy to soybean oil and soy lecithin. I’ve tried to make cheese dip many times and just never quite got it right, and this time was no exception, lol. This is by far the best I’ve made yet but I think next time I will omit the cream cheese and use American cheese instead.
I used Monteray Pepper Jack cheese, which is very tasty! Cream cheese and sharp cheddar cheese I threw into the mix because I forgot to buy American cheese. The ingredient that brought it all together was the fresh cilantro! I didn’t make it spicy because my kids don’t like spicy but I did use green and red bell peppers, onions, and garlic for the veggies. I must have read 20 different recipes for queso dip, some start with a roux, some use a slurry, and some didn’t use either. I decided not to use either as well and the consistency was more exactly like queso dip than any other dip I had done. I used roux and slurries before and this time the result was much better! Very interesting! I just didn’t care for the sweetness of the cream cheese though, but it is still tasty!
I have been making my taco meat from scratch for some time now. I used to eat those boxed taco dinners from Taco Bell and Old El Paso ALL the time! When I had to cut MSG out of my diet and all things soy I found that making tacos from scratch was really easy and tastes so much better than that processed crap. I’m so anal about eating nachos though, each bite has to have a little of each component. It takes a little more time to prepare this way than just to dump everything on top like restaurants do.
I told myself I was doing it this way for the picture, but in truth, this is the way I prepare my nachos even when no one is looking! It makes for a very pretty plate though! I am very excited about eating leftovers for lunch today!