It’s my birthday later this week, so it’s time to reminisce again? The new year was not long ago, the blog had its birthday in February: it’s deja vu all over again. If I had to pick a high and a low, a best and a worst, I think it would be getting engaged and the new president/administration. (In that order. OBVIOUSLY.) It’s weird to go to work and strategize almost every day about ways to celebrate diversity and promote cross-cultural communication and then see the opposite of that when I look at the news and the latest executive orders.
I love Bon Appétit magazine a lot and look forward to the new issue each month; writing of cultural diversity and innovative food in this month’s issue of the magazine, editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport puts it better than I could:
We editors couldn’t help but notice that so many of the restaurants we’re most excited about right now—like D.C.’s Bad Saint, the Filipino eatery we named our No. 2 Best New Restaurant in America in 2016, or Wes Avila’s Guerrilla Tacos, which slings genre-bending tacos in L.A.—are being run by the children of immigrants. They’re taking the traditional cuisines they grew up eating and turbo-charging them for a food-obsessed public looking to try something new every night.
But isn’t this what has always made America great? That we are a country of immigrants, constantly inventing and reinventing?
[read the whole article here]
Being able to eat a steak and chorizo torta for lunch one day while having stuffed cabbage rolls the next and cooking a Vietnamese chicken and rice soup the day after that certainly makes my life great. And gives me so much more room to experiment in the kitchen, making my life also more fun, and delicious! This blue potato nacho recipe was the tasty result of this kind of experimentation, plus an attempt at using as many colorful vegetables as possible in one dish. I hope you enjoy the recipe and try your own experiments with ingredients and variations. Me, I’ll be dining out celebrating my birthday (and doing a tasting with a potential wedding caterer—wish us luck!) for most of the week (but back to cooking soon enough)!
Blue Potato Nachos
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs blue potatoes (or a mix of blue and white, yellow, or red), cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (divided) neutral-flavored high-smoke-point oil, like avocado or sunflower
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 3/4 cup finely chopped scallions
- 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 14.5 oz. can black beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups shredded jack or cheddar cheese
- optional: sour cream, pickled jalapeño slices, hot sauce (I like Tapatío), guacamole or diced avocado, lime wedges, extra scallions and cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine potato slices and two tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle lightly with salt. On a large baking sheet, spread potatoes in a single layer; bake until crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the chicken. Over medium heat, heat the remaining two teaspoons of oil in a medium saute pan. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cumin, cayenne, and black beans and cook until beans are heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When potatoes are ready, remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425°. On a clean baking sheet, spread half of the potatoes in a layer. Layer on top of them half of the bell pepper, grape tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, chicken-bean mixture, and cheese. Add one more layer of everything, starting with the potatoes and ending with the cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add your toppings of choice and serve!