Pork carnitas ribs

Pork carnitas ribs are slowly cooked in a citrus and garlic glaze until the meat is savory, tangy, and rich, much like its Tex-Mex namesake.
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Pork carnitas ribs are slowly cooked in a citrus and garlic glaze until the meat is savory, tangy, and rich, much like its Tex-Mex namesake.

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Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos!)

Impress everyone with this totchos recipe! Tater tot nachos are endless fun, crispy and loaded with all the best toppings.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Impress everyone with this totchos recipe! Tater tot nachos are endless fun, crispy and loaded with all the best toppings.

Totchos

Looking for fun party food, or a tasty appetizer dinner? One word for you: Totchos! Just as you’d imagine, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside tots are just the thing for loading with nachos toppings. This Totchos recipe is our favorite way to make them: topped with black beans, corn, pico, guacamole, sour cream and lots of cheese. Here are the tricks to making your own pan of tater tot nachos!

What are totchos?

Tater tot nachos, aka totchos, are nachos where tater tots stand in for the tortilla chips. Mix up the toppings while the tots bake and you’ve got a hearty appetizer or even dinner. It’s unclear who invented tachos, but they’ve captured popular imagination and you can now find them on restaurant and bar menus.

We first tasted Totchos years ago at a restaurant in Montana, of all places! Around a table with my family and mugs of microbrew, we experienced the magic of totchos: crispy fried potatoes topped with black beans, avocado mash, and a white queso sauce. Between the “Mmmm’s”, Alex and I caught each others’ eyes. We’ve got to try this at home.

Totchos

Ingredients in tater tot nachos

This Totchos recipe is an idea template: like with standard nachos, you can load them up with just about anything you like. This list of toppings is the combination of ingredients that we love. One thing to remember: you’ll want a good contrast of dry and gooey ingredients. In our opinion, the guacamole steals the show and is absolutely required here. Here’s what you’ll need for tater tot nachos:

  • Frozen tater tots: look for a high quality brand with natural ingredients if possible! Our favorite is Alexia (or try homemade tater tots if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • Black beans
  • Spices: Garlic powder, chili powder, cumin
  • Cilantro
  • Red onion and green onion
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Mexican-style blend shredded cheese
  • Pico de gallo
  • Corn
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream (or Vegan Nacho Cheese or Cashew Cream)
Totchos recipe

Tips for serving this totchos recipe

Totchos is a very simple concept, but there are a few things to note about this recipe.

  • Use either 1 pound or 1 ½ pounds. The topping amount should work for up to 1 ½ pounds tots, so use more if you’re expecting hearty appetites.
  • Prep the toppings while the tots bake. You’ll want to serve the tots right away when they’re hot, so use this time to chop and assemble everything.
  • When getting creative with toppings, make sure to balance gooey with dry textures. The tots and melted cheese are dry on their own, so be generous with the dollops of guacamole and sour cream to carry the dish. Or, use a queso sauce! See below.

More topping ideas

This totchos recipe is a template for you to get creative! There are lots of other ways to top your tater tot nachos. Here are some additional ideas to get your wheels turning:

Totchos recipe

Notes on vegan tater tot nachos

Tater tots are naturally vegan, so it’s easy to make this recipe into a dairy-free or vegan recipe! Here’s what to do:

  • Omit the cheese
  • Use Cashew Cream or Vegan Nacho Cheese in place of the sour cream. We highly recommend the nacho cheese, as it helps to add back the savory, cheesy flavor. If you don’t have to time to make homemade, Siete Foods also sells a great vegan queso.

More nacho recipes

Are you a nachos fan like we are? Try these spins on the classic:

This totchos recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, see the notes above.

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Totchos

Totchos


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6

Description

Impress everyone with this Tochos recipe! Tater tot nachos are endless fun, crispy and loaded with all the best toppings.


Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds frozen tater tots
  • ¾ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon each garlic powder and chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon each cumin and kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup Mexican-style blend shredded cheese (omit for vegan)
  • ½ cup pico de gallo, drained (or finely diced tomato and red onion)
  • ¼ cup canned corn, drained
  • ½ cup guacamole
  • Sour cream (or Vegan Nacho Cheese or Cashew Cream)

Instructions

  1. Bake the tater tots according to the bag instructions (place on a parchment-paper lined sheet pan and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes until crispy). 
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the black beans with olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and kosher salt. Chop the cilantro, red onion, green onions, and jalapeño pepper (if using). 
  3. When the tater tots are baked, sprinkle them with the cheese and place them back in the oven until it is melted, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Remove the tray from the oven. Top with the beans, cilantro, red and green onion, drained pico de gallo and corn, sliced jalapeno peppers (if using), and dollops of sour cream and guacamole. 
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Totchos, totchos recipe, tater tot nachos

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Smoky Chipotle Layered Taco Dip.

Here’s a spin on the classic taco dip! I make a smoky chipotle beef, layer it with beans and sour cream and salsa verde and load it up with toppings for the perfect layered taco dip. It’s so delicious! Raise your hand if you’d like to eat layered taco dip for dinner! Or let’s be […]

The post Smoky Chipotle Layered Taco Dip. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here’s a spin on the classic taco dip! I make a smoky chipotle beef, layer it with beans and sour cream and salsa verde and load it up with toppings for the perfect layered taco dip. It’s so delicious!

Raise your hand if you’d like to eat layered taco dip for dinner!

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

Or let’s be real – just about every single meal. It is the best.

Sign me up for bottomless chips, margaritas and a plate of this deliciousness. I am a happy girl! 

seasoned taco ground beef

This is my slightly elevated version of the layered taco dip that we all grew up eating and loved so much.

You know – beans, sour cream, guac, olives, tomatoes? That one?

I do like that one, but I make one that we like a little more. Especially Eddie, considering the guac and olives are a no go for him. 

This version is a bit more satisfying, a little fancier and kind of even reminds me of my turkey taco nacho skillet

refried beans + sour cream + salsa verde

I can’t even express how good this is! It is SO flavorful, the perfect party plate and something you’ll want to make over and over. Game day, BBQ, dinner party – the works! Make it for all the things. 

This dip has lots of texture, tons of flavor and looks super pretty on a plate too. I like to serve it on a platter where you can actually see some of the layers and colors, but you could throw it in a baking dish too! 

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

This is how we layer!

I start with the classic refried beans layer. I LOVE refried beans. They make the best base layer, especially because they are heavier than everything else. 

Next, I do a layer of sour cream and salsa verde, combined. YES. This is so super delicious. I simply stir together some salsa verde and sour cream and spread it on top of the refried beans.

The next layer is our smoky chipotle ground beef. You could do ground turkey, chicken or even a plant based version. I sprinkle it all over the sour cream. This is amazing for the texture and of course, flavor. 

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

Cheese! Sharp cheddar is my go-to, but you can choose your favorite here. What do you love on a taco? Grate it and sprinkle it all over the beef layer. 

Then it’s time to load on the toppings. I like to do tomatoes, then shredded lettuce, some cilantro and green onions. I kind of toss it all together and throw it on.

Finally, pickled onions for the win! You know I can’t live without these. Pretty pink color and a wonderful tangy bite. They are one of my most favorite ingredients of all time. 

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

Because I make this for get-togethers, I usually skip an avocado layer. I KNOW! I know that sounds crazy. There are a few reasons for that. First, I just don’t love store-bought guac. I can’t ever get into it. And that’s what people usually use for the guac layer.

And second, I like to prep this ahead of time or let it sit for a bit and the avocado browning just brings down the vibe. I like to keep it vibrant and pretty!

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

When I add avocado, I just cube it and sprinkle it on top with the lettuce and scallions and tomatoes right before serving. 

And the other option I love is to serve a bowl of guac on the side so you have the best of both worlds. Layered taco dip AND guac. No need to play favorites here. 

Serve this with lots of chips, an icy beer or a margarita on the rocks. HEAVEN.  (more…)

The post Smoky Chipotle Layered Taco Dip. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Sincronizadas

Many cuisines around the world feature a ham and cheese sandwich. For instance, in France, there is a ham and cheese baguette. In…
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Many cuisines around the world feature a ham and cheese sandwich. For instance, in France, there is a ham and cheese baguette. In…

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simple chicken tortilla soup

Many Sundays, I share on my Instagram feed a little rundown of what we ate for dinner the week before. I call these Real Life Menus, as there’s nothing aspirational about them. There’s takeout; there’s burnout; there have bee…

Many Sundays, I share on my Instagram feed a little rundown of what we ate for dinner the week before. I call these Real Life Menus, as there’s nothing aspirational about them. There’s takeout; there’s burnout; there have been quick bean quesadillas almost once a week recently simply because they’re low-effort and they work. There’s there’s jetlag, flops and frozen pelmeni, and there are some ambitious meals I bring to the table while telling my family how grateful they should be for me (they laugh, which is deserved).

These round-ups have also led me realize that there are a lot of recipes I make fairly often for dinner and never mention here, such as this soup. My gut feeling was that there are many very authentic recipes out there for sopa azteca or sopa de tortilla and this is absolutely not even close, or trying to be. What’s a girl to do? Well, not clutter the internet with another pale imitation of a great dish, I suppose. But comments on these menus are causing me to rethink this a bit. Maybe this is the one that will work for you at the near-to-last minute on a Tuesday night, as it always does for us, providing a meal that feels balanced, delicious, but also highly doable. Maybe this, too, is a worthwhile space to take up.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Sheet Pan Fajitas.

These sheet pan cauliflower fajitas are one of our favorite meals. Super simple and delicious, cauliflower, peppers, onions and black beans are roasted and served with warm tortillas, avocado and cotija cheese. So delicious Monday meals are my favorite!! Mondays in general may not be my favorite, but my Monday meals are absolutely the best. […]

The post Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Sheet Pan Fajitas. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These sheet pan cauliflower fajitas are one of our favorite meals. Super simple and delicious, cauliflower, peppers, onions and black beans are roasted and served with warm tortillas, avocado and cotija cheese. So delicious

Monday meals are my favorite!!

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

Mondays in general may not be my favorite, but my Monday meals are absolutely the best. They are always flavorful, mostly simple and super crowd pleasing. The fajitas are exactly that. Caramely roasted vegetables, warm tortillas, creamy avocado, tangy cotjia cheese. I dream about flavors like this! 

peppers, onions, cauliflower

We are biiiiig sheet pan fajita fans over here.

I don’t always love sheet pan meals, but I find that fajitas are a recipe that turns out great – nearly identical to the smoky, searing hot skillet that they are made in. 

Plus, if you’re trying to feed a family, throwing everything on the sheet pan makes it even easier.

cauliflower and peppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lime loaded shrimp sheet pan fajitas are one of the most popular recipes here on the blog! We love them and they are super simple.

I also have a sheet pan chicken fajita recipe, which is also fantastic. Seriously close in flavor to grilled fajitas, which is my #1 preferred way of making them. 

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

With most of my sheet pan recipes, I get around the whole sheet pan method by doing the vegetables first and then adding on the protein. Since ingredients need different cook times, this usually works great.

With this recipe, I do the vegetables and cauliflower at once. After they roast and get lots of nice flavor, I throw the black beans on the sheet pan and let them get warm in the oven. Sometimes they pop open a bit and the exterior gets crisp while the inside stays creamy. 

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

You can mix everything together but I prep to keep them separate, that way everyone can grab as much of what they like the most. For instance, I go heavy on the cauliflower and light on the black beans. Eddie is the opposite. The kids would go lighter on the peppers and onions. So this method keeps it easy for us to serve.

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

My other must have sheet pan fajita ingredients:

  • Warm tortillas! Corn or flour work. Whichever you love, whichever you have on hand.
  • Avocado! Especially for this one. I like using sliced avocado on this over guacamole. Of course guac works too. 
  • Fresh cilantro and green onions. For a pop of color but also some refreshing flavor.
  • Lime wedges for spritzing! They add brightness and pop. 
  • Cotija cheese for sprinkling. I love this and it’s always in my fridge. A little sprinkle adds so much

(more…)

The post Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Sheet Pan Fajitas. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce

These salmon tacos are bursting with flavor, pairing blackened fish with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. Dinnertime…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These salmon tacos are bursting with flavor, pairing blackened fish with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. Dinnertime win!

Salmon Tacos

If there’s one dinner that always goes over well in this house, it’s tacos. The Tex Mex or American spin on the Mexican classic has infinite riffs. So here’s a new favorite: these Salmon Tacos with creamy green avocado sauce! These tacos are bursting with fresh, zingy flavor, pairing blackened salmon with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. It’s an easy healthy dinner that tastes restaurant-style, but you can whip it up in about 30 minutes. Dinnertime win!

Elements in these salmon tacos

Salmon tacos can be made in a myriad of ways. Modern fish tacos came about in the 1950s in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula: both the cities of Ensenada and San Felipe claim to have invented the fish taco. The craze then quickly spread across the border to San Diego, where they became popular in the 1980’s (much in part to Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill).

These salmon tacos are a spin on the idea of a fish taco, but the fish is blackened instead of battered. The star? A quick avocado sauce that is the epitome of bright, creamy flavor. Here are the elements you’ll need:

  • Salmon
  • Spices: Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder
  • Olive oil, butter and lime juice
  • Pineapple (optional)
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado sauce: Avocado, Greek yogurt, lime, and cilantro
  • Tortillas
  • Red onion (for garnish)
Salmon Tacos

Tips for pan seared blackened salmon

The fish in this salmon tacos recipe is pan seared in a skillet, which makes the best exterior blackened crust of spices! It does require a few special things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips for blackened salmon:

  • A cast iron or stainless steel skillet makes the best sear. The best way to get the blackened look to the outside of the fish is with cast iron or stainless, which cause the best maillard reaction (caramelization). Don’t worry if all you have is a non-stick skillet: it will still taste great! You just won’t get that lovely char.
  • Bring the salmon to room temperature first. This sounds like a skippable step for impatient cooks (like me!), but don’t be tempted! If you sear it right from the refrigerator, the inside will be cold while the outside of the fish will be cooked. You can save it, though (keep reading).
  • A food thermometer is helpful. It’s easiest to cook the salmon perfectly by checking the internal temperature in this process.
  • If the fish is not up to temp, finish in the oven. If it’s not quite to temp but the outsides are cooked, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and finish it in the oven until the temperature is reached.
Blackened salmon

For the avocado sauce

This easy avocado sauce is the crown jewel of this salmon tacos recipe! It’s quick and easy to make, and even better: it stays green in the fridge! Here are a few notes on this killer sauce recipe:

  • It’s only 4 ingredients! All you need are avocado, Greek yogurt, lime, and cilantro. (And salt, which we don’t count as an ingredient!) Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream makes it taste light and fresh, and cuts a few calories too.
  • Use a food processor or small blender. It’s not enough for a large blender — but you could try a double recipe in a standard-sized blender.
  • It stays green without special storage needs! That’s right: you don’t have to worry about it turning brown like guacamole. The acidity in the lime juice naturally makes the avocado stay green.
Salmon Tacos

Toppings for salmon tacos

The avocado sauce for these salmon tacos is required, in our opinion! The zingy flavor is just the right contrast to the spiced blackened fish. Otherwise, you can get creative with your toppings! We’ll share a few ideas of what we did, and some alternative options:

  • Pineapple pico: Make a quick pineapple pico by chopping up fresh pineapple rings and combining them with purchased pico de gallo (aka fresh salsa). The result is a burst of tropical flavor without too much extra effort! We love pineapple salsa, but it takes quite a while to chop.
  • Pico de gallo: If you’re feeling rushed, just use purchased pico de gallo (fresh salsa) from the refrigerated section of your local grocery.
  • Mango salsa or pineapple salsa: Got more time? Make homemade Mango Salsa or Pineapple Salsa, or grab it at the store.
  • Slaw: Salmon tacos are also great with Fish Taco Slaw or Mexican Coleslaw.

Tips on warming tortillas

The last thing about salmon tacos: make sure to warm the tortillas! You just can’t make a good taco with a cold, leathery tortilla. Here’s how to warm tortillas like a pro:

  • Place them over the flame of a gas burner. Place each tortilla directly on a gas burner for a few seconds per side, turning with tongs. This lightly chars the edges and warms the tortillas. Then throw them into a tortilla warmer!
  • Warm them in the oven. Go to How to Warm Tortillas. You can also char them with a kitchen torch, if you’re a stickler for a charred tortilla like we are.

More taco recipes

Got tacos on the brain? Here are a few of our favorite taco recipes:

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Salmon Tacos

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos (4 servings)
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These salmon tacos are bursting with flavor, pairing blackened fish with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. Dinnertime win!


Ingredients

For the salmon

  • 1 pound wild caught salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus one drizzle
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or more olive oil for dairy free)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the tacos

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup pico de gallo (aka fresh salsa, available in the grocery refrigerated section)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple rings, optional (see Step 6)
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • Red onion, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring the salmon to room temperature. (This is important so that it sears properly; otherwise the inside will be cold when the exterior is cooked. You can also do this by brining it, which helps to ensure there is no “white stuff” or albumin. In a large shallow dish, whisk together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until dissolved. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes.)
  2. Mix the cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder in a bowl. Pat the salmon dry with a clean towel. Rub it with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle it with the ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided between the filets, then the mix of seasoning.
  3. Heat a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet (not non-stick*) over medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the salmon skin side up and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked about halfway to the center of the thick part of the salmon.
  4. Flip the salmon (a fish spatula makes easy work of it). Tilt the pan down slightly and quickly spoon the pan juices over the top of the fish a few times. Drizzle with the lime juice and spoon the pan juices a few times again. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 Fahrenheit in the center when removed)**. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then flake the salmon into large pieces with a fork. Taste and add additional pinches of salt if necessary. 
  5. Make the Easy Avocado Sauce: Cut the avocado in half, pit it, and scoop both halves into a food processor (or small blender). Add the Greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, and kosher salt, and blend until smooth. Store in a covered jar for up to 5 days refrigerated: it stays green for the entire storage!
  6. Make the pineapple pico (optional): Finely chop 1 cup pineapple rings. Then mix it with ½ cup pico de gallo, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Or, just use 1 cup pico de gallo to keep it simple! 
  7. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  8. Serve: Layer the tacos with salmon, salsa and avocado sauce. Top with minced red onion and chopped cilantro and serve. 

Notes

*You’ll get the best sear from a stainless steel or cast iron skillet.

**If the salmon is not up to temperature by the time the outside is cooked, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and finish it in the oven until the temperature is reached.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Salmon tacos, salmon tacos recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.