Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nacho-less No More

I love nachos. I lived on nachos while I was pregnant. When we moved to San Diego for a few years I was so excited thinking that there would be nachos everywhere. I was wrong. Apparently nachos are an American version of Mexican food, also known as Tex-Mex. There is a lot of really amazing Mexican food, but no nachos. Or at least they are very hard to find because I looked pretty hard. Almost every Mexican eatery would give you a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa while you waited for your meal, but I was deprived of my shredded cheese, salsa, and bean smothered, toasty piles of goodness.

For four long years I was deprived. So I had to learn to make them on my own. And now that I have gotten the hang of it, I really like being able to tailor my nachos to my cravings. Cheddar, mozzarella, fajita style chicken, taco seasoned beef, mild salsa, medium salsa, guacamole, caramelized onions, seared peppers or corn, black olives, black beans, refried beans… You get the idea. When you go out you have to eat the nachos the way the restaurant make them – and it generally varies depending on the cook that night. So, below is my basic nachos guide, vary it as you like. My amounts are just approximate and will feed 2-3 for a snack or 1 for a meal.

2 handfuls Tortilla chips (big handfuls if you have small hands)
½ cup shredded cheese
¼ cup salsa
¼ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp sour cream and/or guacamole for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On an oven safe plate or in a baking dish spread out half of the tortilla chips. Sprinkle with half of the toppings (not the sour cream or guacamole), layer with the rest of the tortilla chips and layer with the rest of the toppings (again, not the sour cream or guac). Cook for 5-8 minutes until the edges of the outside chips start to brown and the cheese is melted. Be careful, they burn quickly! Top with sour cream and/or guacamole.

Below is a picture of my latest nachos, made as directed above but with no sour cream or guacamole. I forgot that part, go figure.

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