I really love salsa. Like, a lot. A few years ago I made a huge bowl of fresh salsa and ate it all in one sitting. (Using a spoon when I ran out of chips. I know, I’m shameless.) This resulted in me having the most puffy, inflamed lips as a result of all the acid and salt I had consumed in one sitting. It was …. weird, and if you eat salsa, you should probably do so in moderation.
But my love of salsa has not wained since that horrible incident, and I continue to basically drink the stuff. I wasn’t surprised when I saw Guy Fieri’s brand of jarred salsa in my local supermarket, but I was surprised I could eat something with Guy Fieri’s name on it. Does he know salsa is vegan?
According to the label, “DA $PICE IS RIGHT,” and I guess when you use a dollar sign in place of a S, no one can really argue with you. I personally hate jarred salsa, (By hate I mean I’ll still eat an entire jar of it, I just enjoy it less than fresh salsa) but I couldn’t say no to Fieri’s smiling face, so the chipotle salsa came home with me.
It was … fine. There was a distinct chipotle flavor and it was better than a lot of jarred salsas I’ve had, but it wasn’t out of this world. It wasn’t incredibly spicy (probably a medium heat), either. If you’re curious to try it yourself, there’s currently a sale on the Food Network website where you can buy 2 jars for $10.
Did you know Guy Fieri is pals with Sammy Hagar? Are you at all surprised? I wasn’t. I’m betting he’s also buds with Kid Rock, too (Update: he is).
Sammy Hagar, in addition to being a musician and looking like “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski, is also a tequila entrepreneur, and his Cabo Wabo tequila is sold in most U.S. liquor stores. Unfortunately I didn’t want to shell out $30 for a bottle of Cabo Wabo, like Fieri recommends in his recipe, but I did still want to be an asshole about my tequila. So I downgraded a bit and went with a $20 bottle of Ed Hardy tequila, which actually isn’t that bad.
I’m a big fan of anything with lime and cilantro, but was a little apprehensive about marinating vegan chik’n. I went with Gardein chick’n scallopini “breasts” for this and imagined that if I marinated them for 8+ hours they would just disintegrate into a pulpy soy mess. So I limited my marinating time to 3 hours and upped the amount of tequila and lime (because why not?).
This sandwich was overall pretty tasty, although a little overwhelming. The mayo + fried pepper combo was quite rich, so if you want to lighten this up you can skip the mayo. I, however, added extra mayo and housed almost the entire sandwich in one sitting.
May I suggest you enjoy your sandwich while watching this.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t all too excited about this recipe. I didn’t really know what irish nachos were and I’ve never had actual corned beef before, so I wasn’t really sure how it would taste or what to expect. I didn’t want to go through the trouble of making corned seitan only to eat around it (“Dear god I hope this doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie” floated through my head after I saw the spice combo). I combined this recipe from Vegan Dad and this recipe from Inspired Vegan Eats to make my corned seitan, mainly because I had no prior experience with corned beef and wanted to make sure this was done right.
In Guy Fieri’s recipe, he melts shredded cheddar cheese on top of his corned beef-topped waffle fries, but I didn’t want to do this with vegan cheese. My vegan cheese of choice is almost always Daiya (shout-outs to Follow Your Heart’s “Mozzarella” and Nacho-flavored Teese), and I knew I’d be using it in this recipe. But I’ve always thought making nachos with melted shredded cheese was kind of a cop-out. It’s bro food. It’s what you make if you’re stuck in a college dorm with a microwave and a mini fridge, and folks, I’m a little past my prime for that. While searching for photos of Fieri’s Irish Nachos, I found this recipe for Rachael Ray’s Irish Nachos (Does everyone at Food Network make Irish Nachos? Is this a thing?), and she made a beer cheese sauce for hers.
Guys, I made vegan beer cheese sauce. And it was so amazing.
Ultimately, these nachos were really, really good. As in, go to the store after you read this and make them for your next meal. I don’t care if it’s breakfast. The sauce was perfect, the seitan was flavorful and tender and all of the toppings rounded everything out. I suggest making the seitan ahead of time to save your sanity.
Here’s the recipe: