Racing … To the Crock Pot

For whatever reason, each time Chef Gordo sees a NASCAR race, he hears “Push It To the Limit”. Walk along the razor’s edge, don’t look back just keep your head, LIMIT!!!!! Seasoned googlers or major 80s music fans will know that that’s not actually a totally correct lyric. Doesn’t matter, it’s just what’s playing in DJ Gordo’s brain while he watches speed-fiends drive at breakneck speeds on the NASCAR track.

 

Bah bah buh bah LIMITTTTTTTTTT … I’ve got it stuck in my head now. Darn it, I came here to talk about cheese dip! The 60th Daytona 500 was yesterday and Austin Dillon won, driving the same car that Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove 20 years ago when he won his one, and only, Daytona 500 race. I heard this news and thought, “Good God – is NASCAR really 60 years old?”

 

Chef Gordo is a NASCAR diehard! I love it so much that we even sponsor our very own racer, Lexi Gay! NASCAR is amazing! It’s loud and the cars go real, real fast and the idea of having to drive one of those speedsters gives me seems like a thrill!  But I’m an Atlanta guy though, so the most racing I do is racing to bring home my cheese dip before gridlock traffic starts.

 

In honor of Austin Dillon, the late great Dale Earnhardt Sr., and the noble sport of going the absolute fastest you can in a very large, fast car, I’ve recreated some NASCAR stadium food favorites. I think you’ll find that … I’ve really revved them up.

 

NASCAR Nachos

You know what your problem is with nachos? At some point, you get down to just plain chips, no toppings. Or they’re so overloaded, your chips get soaked through and you have no hope of those chips staying intact when you raise them to your mouth. Yes, nachos done well are an art form. And Chef Gordo will tell you the secret to getting them right: layering. Well, that and Gordo’s Cheese Dip.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

  • Tortilla chips (get thick ones, we’re gonna load ‘em up)
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Fresh or pickled jalapenos, depending on your preference
  • 1 container Gordo’s Cheese Dip, any flavor
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 pound pork shoulder
  • 1 to 2 packages taco seasoning
  • 1 can Rotel
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon dry red pepper flakes

HOW TO PREPARE:

We’re going to start by slow roasting the pork shoulder in a crock pot. Take your pork shoulder out of the fridge and let it get to room temperature, then season it on both sides with the taco seasoning. Be liberal in your seasoning. Next, sear the pork shoulder in a skillet, ideally cast iron, or in the oven under a broiler for 5 minutes a side. The goal is to get a good brown sear on the meat as fast as possible. This will lock in moisture (and thus, flavor!) while the meat slow roasts in the crock pot.

 

Pour the can of Rotel into the crock pot, then place the browned shoulder on top of it. Add ¾ cup water, then start the roast. Either cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. If you want a spicier result, throw in the tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Chef Gordo likes it hot, but YMMV.

 

When your pork is finished, you’re ready to use it on your NASCAR Nachos. Like I said above, layering is key. Be the pit crew of these nachos, paying attention to the details and not letting these suckers go off the track. My basic rule of nacho layering is: chips-Gordo’s cheese dip-meat-jalapenos-red onions-salsa-sour cream. The goal is to get a good amount of toppings on each layer of chips, without massively overloading them. Finish your last layer with the chopped green onion and some well placed sour cream dollops.

 

Danica Patrick was racing in the Daytona 500 but was involved in a crash and didn’t get to complete the race. You know who else apparently had a crash, according to Twitter? Fergie, whose version of the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star game, Chef Gordo is sad to report, is actually really painful on the ears. If you can stand it:

 

 

 

Ah, failure. I know it well. What, you thought all these great cheese dips and my salsa were just perfect on the first try? Nah. Cheese dip is an art, y’all. A very tasty art, except when you get it wrong. (Don’t worry – all my food failures are safely buried in the backyard, next to WOW chips and the blue ketchup Heinz tried to make happen.)

 

I get where Fergie was coming from with … whatever that was. It’s the National Anthem! We hear it a lot and you wanna try something new. And why not? Can’t make great big discoveries and amazing art if we don’t venture out on the limb every once in a while. Blue ketchup is too far. Siracha ketchup, though? Just right.

 

Whatever, people fail! We all fail from time to time and I’m not mad about it. Failures keep this master of cheese dip humble. So here you go: a recipe you can bust out when you’ve failed and you’re sulking. It’s food therapy, Fergie.

 

Also, I am fairly certain the Frito Pie was invented when the concession parent at a Texas football game failed to bring bowls for chili and just said, “Cut the bags of Fritos open and we’ll spoon it in! Why not? Why not!? Yes, it makes sense. Darn it, Gene, are you going to be difficult or are you going to hand me the scissors?” Voila.

 

Failure Frito Pie!

 INGREDIENTS:

HOW TO PREPARE:

Frito Pie is very simple. Which is great, because if you’ve just failed at something, doing this right will absolutely boost your confidence. Get out a bowl and put some Fritos at the bottom. Spoon in some Gordo’s goodness and let sit on the Fritos for about a minute. (This will let the Fritos soak in some of the cheesy goodness, turning them into even more delectable bites.) Next, add your chili. Top with diced green chilis. Depending on how bad your failure was and the time of day, you may want to serve this with a beer.

 

 

 

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