RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Cheesy Nachos

Nachos are a great canvas on which to paint your culinary masterpiece.
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Claire Lower
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Nachos are a great canvas on which to paint your culinary masterpiece.

Hi, everybody! And welcome back to another crunchy episode of Recipe of the Week. Last week, I had some stuff going down, but Dan was kind enough to step in and steer USS ROTW in my stead.

But before we get to the nutty discussion that ensued, I'd like to take a minute to acknowledge kittenfluff, who had the most up-voted comment from the mac 'n' cheese extravaganza. (No shade to Dan's pick, though — that recipe is also very legit.)

Sadly, I didn't have time to make two recipes this week, but I'll definitely be incorporating Havarti and smoked Gouda into my next batch of mac, and kittenfluff is of course getting a trophy, which is "Stoned and Starving" by Parquet Courts, because what would be better than a hot, bubbling casserole dish of creamy, bacon-y macaroni and cheese if one was, in fact, stoned and starving?

Back to the nuts. 

The most popular comment that contained a nut-centric recipe was this little beauty from splendorofmorgan:

I don't usually drink alternative milks but was intrigued by this because I am always looking for a way to eat more cashews. "Cashew milk" may seem like it takes some sort of alchemy to produce, but this is actually one of the easiest things I've ever made on ROTW. The first step (throwing cashews into water) was such a cinch, I did it while drunk at about 1:30 a.m.

Swim, my babies!

Swim, my babies!

By the next morning, the cashews had softened up nicely and were ready to be blitzed into milk. I didn't have any dates, but I did have some Grade B maple syrup on hand, so I blended everything up with my stick blender, adding maple, vanilla, and cinnamon to taste.

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I then poured this surprisingly creamy, sweet, and nutty beverage into my favorite mug, sprinkled it with turmeric, and sipped it in a very smug fashion. (Something about drinking comforting cashew milk with turmeric makes me feel very smug. I don't know why.)

Oh, and as if splendorofmorgan hadn't done enough already, she also made kittenfluff's super-cheesy, ultra-luxe macaroni. Way to go, team!

Splendorofmorgan gets a splendid trophy, and that trophy is "King Harvest" by The Band, because that cashew milk felt very autumnal, and so does this song.

Moving right along. 

It's officially fall, which means (in some parts of the country) the leaves are changing and (in all parts of the country) football is back. Whether you watch football or not, there is no denying the majesty of sports bar–inspired food, such as nachos, wings, and all sorts of fried things.

I would like to focus on nachos this week.

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One of the great things about nachos (besides the cheese and the chips) is how riffable they are. Nachos are a great canvas on which to paint your culinary masterpiece, and I encourage you to get very creative.

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Beyond toppings, don't be afraid to swap out the chips for something a little "out there" like tots (totchos are bomb) or perhaps pork rinds. (I'm really into pork rinds right now.)