I think the activity that matters to me the most in my life is LEARNING. I call it an activity because I don’t let things just come up and teach me lessons, I mean I really go for “it”, for just anything actually, as long as I end up learning something, injecting something new into my brain, pumping an information out in the world. Well, give it the name you want, filling my mind with something I hear or read or see or do for the first time is absolutely essential to my mental balance. I just couldn’t go “blank” with my life and discover nothing at all. Learning is my fuel, my energy.
That’s one of the many reasons why I really enjoy blogging. Learning always is a lot more fun when sharing with others, exchanging ideas and opinions, and for that matter a blog is the perfect place for it. But to me, learning also is more interesting when it comes directly from someone or some place. The richness of what I learn is emphasized by the experience of the other person because I don’t only swallow facts, but I hear or more likely listen carefully about a subjective experience. The richness of what I learn is enlarged by the background of the other person who live in a different country than mine. What’s interesting always comes down to the People, their history, their culture and their direct environment.
Traveling is an amazing way to learn. I love travels more than anything else in the world. I always get to meet amazing people living in incredibly different places. But recently, since I had to slow down on traveling because of too much workload, I’ve discovered another field that made me enter a whole new world: COOKING.
Five years ago, I was able to cook, well, nothing at all besides students’ survival food. After I got married to a hungry man who loved his mama’s good food, I kinda had “no choice” but to learn how to cook yummy dishes (although he never asked me to…). I surprisingly found out that I was interested by cooking on the day I’ve decided to travel on my plate. Translation: since I could not travel abroad too often anymore, I would get the feeling of a trip through a dish. However, going after discovering world food is not always an easy task as cooking techniques and habits can vary from a country to another. But the learning part is MASSIVE (yayyyy! good for me!).
Thanks to reading blogs, I’ve learnt so much about cooking already! Also, as English isn’t my native language, I’ve learnt lots of technical terms that I had no clue about. As weird as it can sound, I even think that through vocabulary I’ve discovered cooking techniques that are not used in my own country. In example, I had never heard of “pulled chicken” before. I am not saying there’s no “pulled chicken” eating habit and cooking technique in France, but… I think there’s no “pulled chicken” eating habit and cooking technique in France. We just don’t eat or cook chicken this way. We do cut chicken thighs when needed, but we don’t boil them so that we can pull them afterwards. We usually like whole pieces, whole chicken breasts. I say “we” but actually that doesn’t include me, I almost consider myself as a Chinese since I’ve been an expat in China for a long time and integrated myself pretty well there, and so I eat my chicken in small pieces, China-style. I also discovered that in many countries one can eat dips and nachos as a real meal. Never happening in France! That can only be seen as an appetizer, no more. Say lunch? A table, a meal, a plate, a fork and a knife. Say dinner? A table, a meal, a plate, a fork and a knife.
Well, enough with the talking. Let’s get to the kitchen!
I just mentioned pulled chicken and nachos although I had not planned to do so. And now I have to talk to you about a recipe that can use pulled chicken. And nachos! Since I had it for dinner tonight (oh! what a coincidence, Sophie!), it’s gonna be easy. I’ve made a 3 Layer Dip for Nachos. Before we get started, I have to say I’ve cooked a similar recipe last month with beef instead of chicken, and that was a 4 Layer Dip for Nachos. The taste was much better with ground beef and the dip was easier to combine on top of nacho chips than it was with the pulled chicken (in my opinion). I’ll give you directions for both recipes then.
4 LAYER NACHO DIP
INGREDIENTS (for 2 portions)
- Ground beef (about 200 grams)
- 1/2 small onion, thinly minced
- 150g of cream cheese with a bit of milk or Greek yogurt
- hot salsa mexicana
- homemade Guacamole (spicy)
- salt and pepper
- Cook the ground beef in a pan with the onion
- Put a generous layer of the mixture in individual bowls or glass ramekins
- Mix the cream cheese with milk or yogurt, and spread over the meat
- Spread a layer of hot salsa
- Top with the last layer of Guacamole
- Dip you nachos to the bottom and enjoy your MEAL! (see, I’ve learnt something!)
3 LAYER DIP NACHOS
- Cook the chicken in a saucepan filled with boiling water
- Take the chicken out when it’s cooked through, and pull it into pieces by using two forks and pulllllllllling!
- Combine the chicken with hot salsa mexicana and put a layer of the mixture in a glass dish
- Spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture
- Top it all with a layer of your greatest homemade spicy guacamole!
Before you go, you’re just a click away from my Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen.
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.