Vacation Bonus Food (& Beer) Pics: Salem Beer Works

Hey look, I happened upon a few more photos from vacation that I forgot to post. One day while in Massachusetts we went to the city my wife and I got married in back in 2006, Salem, MA. After walking around and seeing the familiar sites we stopped in at the Salem Beer Works for a couple appetizers and beers. The inlaws, wife, baby and I split a big plate of nachos and fried pickles while enjoying our own beverages of choice. I started off with one of their IPAs, can’t quite remember which one, but it was good and bitter, just the way I like it. I followed that up with the Pumpkin Works Ale which is one of the best pumpkin beers I’ve ever had and is also accompanied by some sugar and cinnamon on the rim of the glass. I’m a big fan of pumpkin flavor and like it when the beers supposedly sporting that flavor do it with gusto and that’s what the Beer Works does. Kudos to them for that, as well as producing some pretty great nachos and fried pickles. Definitely hit them up if you’re anywhere near the Salem area.

Wife Lessons: Nachos

I’ve loved nachos for a while now, but my wife is the real ninja when it comes to making them. I used to just throw shredded cheese on top of nacho chips, put them in the microwave and be done with it. But, she’s taught me how to really knock nachos out of the park. These particular nachos included beef cooked in taco seasoning and salsa, chopped up tomato, scallions, cheddar cheese I shredded and sour cream. I’ve also added chopped up banana peppers which are delightful, but I was looking for a simple nacho that day.

So, if you’re unfamiliar with the process, here’s what I do. I take the same approach for cooking the beef that I would for making tacos: cook it up in a cast iron pan until brown, drain,  then add salsa and taco seasoning. I went with Pace Salsa Verde salsa and Ortega 40% Less Sodium seasoning. I let that cook until the liquid comes off a bit and then let it cool.

Next, I laid the chips out on a pan, it’s important not to have your chips overlap too too much because then you wind up with a lot of cheese-less chips and who wants that? I also shredded the cheese and got to layering. I put the meat down first, then the cheese and chopped up some scallions. Those went into the oven on broil for a few minutes. I don’t really time it, but I keep an eye on the cheese to make sure it doesn’t get too brown. Once they looked done, I popped them out, added some sour cream and we were good to go.

What I like about nachos is that they’re so versatile. You can really put anything on them. We stick with Mexican themed ingredients, but there’s no reason you couldn’t make Italian, Chinese or any other kind of nachos. We need to start a nacho revolution!