This week, we decided to pick up all of the items we would need to make some great nachos for our Super Bowl viewing. In the US, the Super Bowl is on at a reasonable evening time and it is perfect for having all kinds of football viewing appropriate foods, like nachos or wings or pizza or all of the above. However, here in the UK, the Super Bowl wasn’t actually starting until 11.30 pm! Yes, that is almost the middle of the night . So, eating seems kind of wrong at that time of night but we have nachos every year when we watch the Super Bowl, so we had to brave the midnight eating. The game didn’t get over until something like 3.30 am on Monday morning, so we were actually quite pleased we had our late night snack of nachos to keep us going.
Kirkland Signature Tortilla Chips – We really love the giant bag of Kirkland Signature Tortilla Chips and pretty much always have some in the house. The chips have a pretty light texture, which is probably down to the blend of the white and yellow corn, I imagine. The flavour is also quite nice with a nice light, toasted corn flavour as well as enough salt to make them flavourful without seeming like a salt lick. The ingredients list is quite short, and simple, like the chips: masa flour, vegetable oil, and sea salt. And if you’re going to eat chips, you could choose something far less healthy than tortilla chips. They have a decent amount of protein and fibre, and aren’t too horrible fat-wise. I like these so much I can even eat them plain, which is something I really don’t like to do with tortilla chips usually. But they’re also great with salsa or hummus. Or, as we did this time, they are perfect for nachos because they are nice big triangular chips. Plus, they are sturdy enough to take all of the nacho toppings without breaking and leaving you with a big mess in your lap. These are one of the Kirkland Signature items that I seem to find at all of the different Costco locations around the world too. Obviously, these are the base for our nachos. So, we lay down a thick layer of them on our baking sheet and then commence with loading them up with all of the other toppings. 1.1 kg for £4.49 (US: $7.34). Item #: 0475096.
Orexis Fresh Salsa – This is the first time we have tried this salsa that they have at here in the refrigerated section. This is a fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, diced red and green peppers, and chilli, as well as garlic and corriander. The salsa has a good fresh taste to it but it does seem a bit sweet to me. I think the sweetness comes from the use of ketchup, which does not impress me at all. I would have much preferred that they skipped the ketchup and added more fresh tomatoes. Aside from the added sweetness, the salsa was good. Since we were using it in nachos with lots of other ingredients and toppings, the sweetness was just a subtle note, but if you were just looking for something to dip your tortilla chips in, I’m not sure that this would be a great choice. Well, unless you like sweet salsa, that is. I also had hoped it would be a little more spicy but it is what I would call mild and in no way beyond medium on the spicy scale. If I were using this again, I think I would add my own chilli powder or some of my crushed jalapenos, or chipotle paste to dress up the flavour and tailor it to our tastes a bit more. And really, I don’t mind adding to something a bit because it is still tasty and it is great that it has such nice big chunks of tomato and peppers that you can actually see. It does make me miss the very wide selection of salsa choices that we had in Austin. Of course, if I were lazy, I could make my own fresh salsa, huh? In any case, for our nachos we put this on after a layer of cheese over the tortilla chips. Since I could tell it was a little sweet for us, I also sprinkled on some additional cayenne chilli powder to give it a bit more kick. After we added all of this, we pop it all in the oven and let it get melty and warm and lovely. 700 grams for £2.19 (US: $3.58). Item #: 0041294.
Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken – Just like in the US, the Costco rotisserie chicken rocks! There is nothing better than sitting down to lunch with one of these after putting in some shopping time at Costco. The chickens are good sized, and certainly bigger than you would find in the other supermarkets. These chickens are so juicy and delicious. Dave and I just absolutely love them. We get one pretty much every time we go to Costco, and I know my mom does that as well. How can you not really? You can eat them just as they are and they are wonderful. However, you can also use them to make your own chicken salad, or add some to pasta, or make a killer sandwich, or throw some in with a salad. I’ll be honest and admit that ours rarely makes it to leftover status. But if yours does, they do nicely tell you how to handle reheating it with either the microwave or oven. I want to know how they manage to keep them so juicy? I’ve had rotisserie chickens from other places that were nowhere near as juicy, some of them were flat out dry and had no flavour at all. Whatever it is, I’m glad that they know the special secret to making them. And really, where else can you get such a great deal on an entire chicken of a good size? I’ve never been to any other supermarket where they can come anywhere near Costco prices for a rotisserie chicken, not to mention the supermarket chickens usually taste lousy and are small in size and look more like a cornish hen. That’s a bad combination. Everyone I know is a big fan of the Costco rotisserie chickens. The only bad thing is that occasionally you will get one that is overly salty and that really takes away from it, obviously. We decided to get one this week to make add a bit of protein to our Super Bowl nachos. If you are going to do something like this, or use the meat in any dish really, I suggest pulling it off of the chicken when it is still hot because it is much, much easier to remove at that point. Once we did that, we just did a little bit of shredding of the meat using a couple of forks. However, you could also just chop it up and get much the same style. For adding to nachos, we found it best to put a layer of cheese and salsa on top of the chips and then let that get some what melty in the oven, then add the chicken and another layer of cheese. You know, I like the cheese, so I would have to have that double layer. This also means that your chicken won’t dry out in the oven and will still be moist and delicious. 1.5 kg for £2.99 (£3.99 – £1.00 coupon) (US: $4.89). Item #: 0010533. In the US the rotisserie chicken is $4.99 and in Australia it is A$8.99.
Minstrel Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese – We bought this just so that we could make our Super Bowl nachos and have plenty of cheese to do so properly. The cheese is a mild cheddar that is shredded with a big grate so that it still has good melting qualities without being too fine and powdery. If we were in the US, we probably would have gone with a Monterey Jack cheese instead, but that’s less of an option here. At least, we weren’t finding that at Costco and it certainly wouldn’t have been shredded like this anyway. And I will be honest, the extra cost for buying a pre-shredded cheese is worth it to me, at least for something like this. The amount of cheese you need to make something like nachos is not something I was to grate by hand. The mild cheddar actually turned out to be quite nice for the nachos though because it has a nice flavour that isn’t too powerful. And of course, it melts beautifully. That meltiness is what makes it work so well for something like nachos too. It is a big bag of cheese though, there’s no getting around that. You can freeze a portion of this if you want and it will be fine, depending on what you are using it for you might not even need to defrost it before you add it to your dish. Of course, this much grated cheese will never go to waste in our house because it is also perfect for making grilled cheese sandwiches. Since the cheese is grated it melts much quicker than slices, so by the time your bread is nicely golden brown and delicious the cheese is creamy and yummy too. 1.5 kg for £6.79 (US: $11.09). Item #: 0000731.
Orexis Sour Cream with Chives – Sour cream is an essential topping to me, when making nachos. And this is even better because it has the chopped chives already added to it to give a little more flavour to your sour cream. This is actually not just straight sour cream, but is mixed with a bit of mayonnaise. You really can’t taste the mayo in it at all, so I was pretty surprised to see that it is 29% of the ingredients. Of course, the bulk of this, 68%, is sour cream. The texture is the one place where I felt like it wasn’t just straight sour cream, but honestly I wouldn’t have guessed it would have been mayo because the texture is really kind of fluffy. It is still very creamy and thick, but has a bit of fluffiness to it that I didn’t expect. The good thing is that the texture allows it to work really well as a topping for something like nachos since it doesn’t just melt and get runny when you add it to something hot. I’ll bet this would be spectacular as a jacket/baked potato too. Or, even as a ingredient in mashed potatoes because it would give them a very light texture with an additional nice bit of flavour too. They do tell you to use it right away once you open it, like within two days I think. However, I have found that much like any other sour cream, it will last much longer if you remember to smooth the top of it with the back of a spoon before you put it back into the fridge. That’s a little tip that I picked up reading the website for the dairy people in the US. And since I’ve been doing that, I’ve never had a problem again with my sour cream getting that weepy, sour liquid on top, or going bad too quickly. Of course, you still have to consume it within a reasonable amount of time but it will help stretch that out a bit. 700 grams for £3.19 (US: $5.21). Item #: 0071135.
Calavo Guacamole – If you like guacamole, but don’t want to play avocado roulette, this is a great alternative. In the box at Costco, you get four packets of really nice guacamole made from 100% fresh ingredients. The guacamole is hand prepared and only made with natural ingredients – no preservatives, no gluten, and no trans fats. Seriously, the ingredients list is very short and consists of ten Haas avocados, onion, salt, fresh coriander, and garlic. Aside from missing out on the jalapeños that is just like what I would use if I were making it at home. Since this doesn’t have the jalapeños in it, clearly it isn’t spicy at all. But I’ve found that it is easy to spice it up by adding my own diced chilies to it, or in a pinch, powdered jalapeño even. No matter how spicy you want it though, it is great for adding to quesadillas or burritos, to salads, or just using it as a great dip for tortilla chips. We use it mostly for a burrito topping. The 227 gram pouches are a good size for the two of us for a dinner of burritos. Of course, we really like our guacamole. You could possibly stretch it out for a few more people if you weren’t as overly generous as I usually am when I put it on. The nice thing about the pack at Costco is that you get four individual pouches so you shouldn’t have to waste any of it. The other benefit of the individual pouches is that you can freeze the ones you aren’t going to use right away. They come out of the freezer just as good and tasty as when they went it, plus they thaw out pretty quickly too. It is also nice to know that you have some on hand without needing to worry about it going bad. I have found that you need to kind of knead the package with your hands a bit before putting it out because sometimes the ingredients settle out a bit and the natural oils in the avocado need to be redistributed or else it looks a bit oily. This was the perfect for topping our nachos though. If you just cut the corner off of the plastic pouch, you can use it a like a pastry bag to really control how much guacamole you are putting where. 4, 227 gram pouches for £4.99 (US: $8.15). Item #: 0078376.