Posts Tagged ‘chili’

Nachos Nachos Nachos!

It’s a Saturday night and I’ve a bunch of homework to do (I know, I know, most college students go out on Saturday nights … I’d prefer a movie or a nice book at home. Call me granny if you want to.), and of course I’m looking for every possible method of procrastination. I might call up my friend Karen to see if she wants to go to Sunset. Where we would get beer, but more importantly, nachos. Now, nachos could really mean any manner of things, but the nachos I’d get here are a vast improvement from the nachos I used to eat at Target when I was 6 years old.

Case in point:

1. Nachos at Target – Tasteless tortilla chips doused with heated queso. I’d get jalapeños on these nachos just because otherwise those nachos were boring…

2. South of the Border Fiesta Nachos at Sunset Grill & Tap / Sunset Cantina – Here’s the description, straight from the menu: Hot nachos topped with choice of chili (Vegetarian, Taco Beef Black Beans) , jalapenos, scallions, tomatoes, black olives, jack and cheddar cheeses, shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.  You can get the guac, sour cream, and salsa on the side, and you can substitute BBQ pulled pork, or add in BBQ/Cajun/Buffalo chicken. Or something. Choose a meat if you don’t want vegetarian chili, basically. But if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably looking to keep the veggie.

While rooting around the interwebs, I found a blog titled El Tour Del Nacho, written by several students in Boston who made it their mission to try and rank nachos all around Boston.  While I’m appalled that they’d rank it as such – they give Sunset the Bronze Medal for most delicious Nachos. They hold fast to The Pour House as the Gold Medal Champion. However, they give you a comprehensive analysis on the nachos. If this seems excessive, you must be new to the area. Or not from the South.

3. Repeat mention: The OTHERSIDE Nachos – I’ve professed my love for these nachos before, on this blog, but here it is again: This plate of delicious starts with a bed of tortilla chips topped with melted cheddar, jalapeños, their homemade vegetarian chili and salsa.

If you’re at home and you’re strapped for ingredients, try this twist:

Simple Nachos

  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Scallions/Jalapeños
  • Tortilla Chips – Choose a brand that ISN’T Tostitos and you’re golden
  1. Sprinkle the cheese and scallions/jalapeños on the chips to your heart’s content.
  2. Microwave 30 seconds (or less if you’ve got a really powerful microwave. The cheese should not start bubbling.)
  3. Eat!
  • What are your thoughts?
  • Do you make nachos at home?
  • If so, what do you put on them?

My Mom’s Homemade Vegetarian Chili

I’ve been blathering on about the delicious vegetarian chili at The OTHERSIDE Cafe on Newbury St., Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston, and randomly, if you’re in the area, or in the mood for a 3-4 hour drive from Boston – Crow’s Corner (Cafe/Bakery near Cavendish, VT).

Now I’ve finally gotten around to it: the source of my love for chili.  When I was little, we’d go to Sweet Tomatoes, which is an all-you-can-eat restaurant in Tampa, Florida.  I’m not sure if they have any locations outside of Florida, but if you’re ever in Tampa – go there! In the soup section of Sweet Tomatoes’ giant buffet, was a vegetarian chili dish.  It easily became my favorite in that section, but one day, they stopped making it vegetarian with, go figure, the addition of …you guessed it – chicken broth.

One day, my mom surprised me by making that dish I could no longer find while dining out – vegetarian chili.  Her recipe, which deviated from the Sweet Tomatoes recipe quite deliberately, was phenomenal.  I loved it even more than the chili I’d eat at Sweet Tomatoes, and since then it remains my favorite recipe and has quickly risen to the top of my list of comfort foods.

Here’s the secret:

Uma’s Vegetarian Chili

  • 1 large Potato
  • 1-2 Carrots
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 large can whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • French cut green beans
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 inch Ginger Root, finely chopped
  • Serrano Peppers, finely chopped (if you can handle the spice)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Tomato paste
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Red chili powder
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Corn chips – Fritos scoops are my favorite.
  • Sour Cream (If you like it – I’ve met many people in New England who don’t… boggles my mind.)
  1. Make paste with garlic, 1/4 of the onions, tomato paste, 1/2 cup water in a blender.
  2. Put the paste along with the rest of the onions in a large sauce pan and cook for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add all but the canned vegetables and 1 cup water/enough water to cover all of the vegetables and cook until all vegetables (especially carrots/potatoes – those are tough veggies) are al dente.
  4. Add canned vegetables and let simmer for 10-15 minutes
  5. Add 1 tbsp (or more, depends on taste) of each cumin and chili powders.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  The chili should be spicy/tangy, but make sure the spice doesn’t overpower the flavor of the vegetables.
  6. Garnish with chopped, fresh cilantro.
  7. Serve in large bowls with corn chips and sour cream.
  8. Enjoy!
  • Do you have your own chili recipe? How is it different?
  • My sister adds corn to her chili. What other vegetables do you think make a good chili?
  • Any questions about the flavor or consistency?
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