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Hearty Nachos

Hearty Nachos



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Ingredients

For the "cheese" sauce

  • 1/2 Cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 jarred or fresh roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 Cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari, Bragg's liquid aminos, or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 Cup water

For the bean dip

  • One 16-ounce can oil-free refried or pinto beans
  • 1 Cup salsa, plus 1/2 cup for serving
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Cup cilantro, parsley, or lettuce, chopped finely
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced, for serving (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup diced tomatoes, for serving (optional)
  • Baked unsalted tortilla chips, for serving

Servings6

Calories Per Serving221

Folate equivalent (total)30µg8%


The Original Nachos Were Crunchy, Cheesy and Truly Mexican

Ballpark and Tex-Mex nachos are both ubiquitous in the United States. But the original version is deeply rooted in the borderlands and Mexican home cooking.

The biggest claim to fame for the border city of Piedras Negras, in Coahuila, Mexico, is that it was the birthplace of nachos, one of America’s most popular snacks. Yet that fact is not widely known beyond the region, something that has long frustrated the people of Piedras, as locals call their hometown. They’re so proud of their invention that they started the International Nacho Festival there in 1995.

“The nacho origin story is the one your mother tells you since the day you are born,” said Enrique Perret, a friend of mine who hails from that city of about 165,000 people. “After I moved from Piedras to Mexico City and kept boasting about it, I realized people were either not impressed or had an intense disbelief of nachos being from Piedras, let alone from anywhere in Mexico.”

Until recently, you could count me as one of the nonbelievers. I’m a native of Mexico City, and my first time eating nachos was also the first time I went to a movie theater in the United States, when my parents took our family to visit in the 1980s.

I experienced mixed feelings: Excitement as we waited in line surrounded by flashy blockbuster movie banners, and ordered the nachos. Suspicion as the basket was filled with chips from the orange-lit heated glass box, and the ultrayellow sauce flowed hesitantly from a gigantic pump. Perplexity as I tasted the oversize salty chips covered in the creamy sauce and too few pickled jalapeños.

I finished them, but not before asking for more jalapeños, to have enough for each bite.

Years later, after moving to the United States and becoming a mother to three boys, I found nachos again in stadium concession stands, and ate them along with hot dogs every single time. In my eyes, nachos equaled American entertainment. Just like other Mexicans who aren’t from Piedras, I was puzzled when anyone called them Mexican.

Now that I’ve lived in the United States for more than two decades, I’ve begun to grasp why they defy categorization. Mexican? American? Tex-Mex? Nachos are the epitome of comida fronteriza, food from the borderlands. It’s a place where foods seem caught in a constantly evolving in-between: not from here, not from there, strongly rooted but hard to pin down.

“Not Tex-Mex, Pati,” said Adán Medrano, a chef and an authority on the food of Southern Texas and Northeast Mexico, which he refers to as Texas Mexican food. “The original nachos are Mexican through and through, and have little to do with those. I mean, enough with the cheese!”

All those nachos I’d been eating, including the superlayered ones from Tex-Mex restaurants in San Antonio, were neither the only kinds nor the originals.

Nachos were born in 1940 when, as the story goes, a group of women walked into the Victory Club in Piedras outside business hours. But Ignacio Anaya, the maître d’hôtel, had no cooks in the kitchen. Mr. Anaya was known as Nacho, the traditional nickname for anyone named Ignacio in Spanish-speaking countries.

The wives of Americans stationed at a military base in Eagle Pass, Texas, the women had crossed the Rio Grande to shop and were looking for a drink and a bite. Aiming to please, Mr. Anaya ran to the kitchen and made a quick appetizer with ingredients he found. He topped totopos, fried corn tortilla chips, with Colby cheese and slices of pickled jalapeños, and threw them in the oven.

The women loved it so much they asked for seconds, and jokingly ended up calling them Nacho’s special. The dish became an essential part of the Victory Club menu, and a fixture on others in the region. Eventually, Mr. Anaya moved to Eagle Pass and opened a restaurant called Nacho’s.

“Nachos were created in a restaurant of mainly comida casera, the foods that Mexican-American families were eating at the time,” Mr. Medrano said. They are essentially open-faced quesadillas — a very quick meal that’s whipped up in Mexican homes — but made crunchy and bite-size, with Colby cheese.

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    Colby was widely used in the region during World War II, when nachos were created, said Dr. Adalberto Peña de los Santos, the director of the International Nacho Festival, which is usually held in October on the banks of the Rio Grande. It was a time of hardship on both sides of the border.

    “In Piedras, we used to call Colby ‘queso relief,’” he said. “It was one of the ingredients provided by the U.S. government.” People who received the cheese on the American side of the border would share, sell or barter with relatives on the Mexican side.

    Dr. Peña de los Santos said it was fitting that the signature dish from the region includes an American cheese and was first eaten by Americans: It shows how fluid the food and culture of the region are, routinely blurring the border.

    “When the geopolitical border came, it divided the community and the families, but not in every way,” Mr. Medrano said. “We have been living and eating this shared and coherent culinary reality for thousands of years.”

    Just as American ingredients were making their way into Texas Mexican foods, Texas Mexican foods were being adapted and served as Tex-Mex — “by Anglos to please Anglos,” he said.

    Tex-Mex restaurants made nachos an essential part of the menu, baptizing the chips with all of the fixings their customers had come to expect: cooked ground meat, sour cream, table salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole and pickled jalapeños. With more versions came more layers, as carne asada, black olives, shredded Cheddar cheese, beans and corn were added to the dish.

    It was Frank Liberto, a businessman from Texas, who took nachos to the masses in the 1970s. Two inventions made this possible: an emulsified cheese sauce that requires no refrigeration, has an extended shelf life and stays melted without heat, and a pump for the cheese so the nachos could be assembled as fast as people could order them.

    Mr. Liberto introduced ballpark nachos in 1976 at a Texas Rangers baseball game, then in 1977 at a Dallas Cowboys football game. From there, they appeared at stadiums and movie theaters throughout the United States, and then one country after another.

    You can find all sorts of nachos at the International Nacho Festival, Dr. Peña de los Santos said, styles that reflect trends throughout America and the borderlands, from the original recipe to nachos topped with carne asada, or pulled pork, or bulgogi. There are some with just one cheese, others with many cheeses. Many stick to pickled jalapeños.

    According to festival guidelines, there are three things nachos must have: tortilla chips, copious amounts of melted cheese and some kind of chile. I would add that nachos need to be messy, saucy and provoke that “I can’t have just one” feeling when you take a bite.

    You can be charmed with the honesty, simplicity and irresistible clash of flavors in the original nacho recipe: the barely salted tortilla chips, the nutty cheese with a slight bitter bite and the briny taste of the punchy jalapeños. Or you can have your fill of outrageous and over-the-top Tex-Mex versions, or top the chips with anything else you crave.

    And even someone from Piedras like Mr. Perret, whose family has been there since the mid-1800s, loves a good ballpark nacho. The last time he made nachos for friends, for a Super Bowl party in February, he mixed Velveeta with milk to make something that resembled that ballpark nacho cheese, then topped the tortilla chips with chilorio — the adobo-seasoned pulled pork dish from Sinaloa — and pickled jalapeños.

    “I couldn’t watch the game in peace,” he said. “My friends couldn’t get enough, and had me making batch after batch.”


    Recipe Summary

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 (1 1/2-pound) skirt steak or flap steak
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
    • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 ½ cups water or chicken broth, plus more as needed
    • 1 (14 ounce) bag corn tortilla chips
    • 12 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
    • 12 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
    • ½ cup chopped white onion, or to taste
    • 2 ripe tomato, chopped, or more to taste
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
    • ½ cup sour cream, for topping
    • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Season both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steak, turning occasionally, to medium doneness, about 6 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 135 to 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Transfer meat to a bowl to let it rest.

    Pour a splash of water into the skillet stir to scrape up browned bits and deglaze the pan. Pour this liquid over meat. Allow meat to cool completely.

    When meat is completely cool slice thickly (about 1/2 inch) with the grain, then cut into thinner strips. Dice by cutting into pieces against the grain. Transfer chopped steak back to the bowl toss with the pan drippings.

    Melt bacon fat over medium heat in a pot. Add onions and a pinch of the salt cook and stir until softened, 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in oregano. Add pinto beans and water. Bring back to a simmer and cook until onions are soft and sweet, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

    Mash the beans with a potato masher to your desired consistency. Add additional liquid, if necessary, to achieve your preferred texture. Add the remaining salt to taste. Remove from heat.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

    Place tortilla chips about 2 or 3 deep in a heat proof pan. (You may need more than one pan.) Top chips with spoonfuls of beans and a generous handful of steak pieces. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

    Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted and edges start to brown, about 10 minutes.

    Scatter diced ripe avocado, diced onions, diced tomatoes, and diced jalapenos over the top. Drizzle nachos with sour cream and garnish with chopped cilantro.


    Microwave Nachos Recipe

    If the kids want to make nachos themselves, but they aren't quite old enough to use the oven, teach them how to make microwave nachos. This recipe is super quick and easy. Try topping these nachos with homemade guacamole.


    So, are mushrooms the ultimate nachos topping?

    YES. These nachos were banging! The mushrooms were super savory and made the perfect meat alternative — in fact, I think I liked them better than traditional ground beef. The crispy shallots added a nice crunch and were super easy to make. My only issue is that the seasoning on the mushrooms was a bit intense. The heat level was aggressive and made me want to cough, but they still tasted good. Overall this was a great, unexpected nachos recipe.


    Healthy Nachos Recipe

    Want a nacho that can hold you over as a meal? Then I&rsquove got just the trick for you in this post! This Healthy Nachos Recipe is the perfect way to serve up a hearty quick fix dinner or a simple snack to please a crowd. They&rsquore high in protein and lower in saturated fat than you traditional nacho recipe too!

    Can you really make a healthy nachos?

    I could eat nachos morning, noon and night. Anyone else with me on this one?

    There&rsquos something so satisfying about the crunchy texture from those chips, the creaminess of avocado, and the oh so yummy cheesy goodness&hellip it&rsquos like a match made in heaven!

    The downfall is if I picked up the delicious nachos from my local Mexican restaurant everyday I&rsquod probably weigh 900 pounds. Sure, they&rsquore the perfect treat to splurge on every now and then, but everyday, no way.

    Just for reference, most loaded nachos rack in over 30 grams of saturated fat per container!

    That&rsquos why I decided to come up with these Loaded Lean Nachos!

    Not only can you dress these up to suit your particular craving, but they&rsquore also ready in no time flat, making them a convenient option to make last minute as an appetizer, meal or snack.

    What you need to make this recipe:

    Fire up that oven to 425 degrees F and cut whole grain tortillas into small squares and triangles. Not only do you get a hearty dose of fiber (6 grams!), but one serving (20 chips) has over 7 grams of protein depending on the tortilla you choose!

    Stealth health maneuver right here! To amp up the protein and add a little kick, I mixed 2% fat cottage cheese with hot sauce and dolloped over melted sharp cheddar cheese. It gave these nachos a super creamy flavor while also decreasing the amount of shredded cheese I needed to add lowering the total saturated fat of the dish.

    Store bought pico can be backed with sodium and truly doesn&rsquot carry the same fresh feel. Take one tomato, a 1/4 onion and some cilantro, chop it up and add a little garlic powder and dash of salt for taste. #winning

    Last but certainly not least, avocado is the icing on the nacho cake! Providing a hearty dose of heart healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, and protein, the green goddess polishes these off with just the right touch!

    Tips on how to make this recipe:

    • Use your oven or air fryer to bring these babies to life. The secret is making sure you flip them to get the even browning.
    • If you don&rsquot have black beans, use pinto or white beans! You can also mash the black beans to create a more &ldquorefried&rdquo consistency too!
    • If you really don&rsquot like cottage cheese, sub plain 2% Greek yogurt to keep the protein up and saturated fat down in place of sour cream.
    • Use a store-bought whole grain chip to save time.

    Other Ways to Spice Up This Recipe

    If you&rsquore looking for other options to try, I&rsquove got a few other ideas up my sleeve for you too! Enjoy!

    • Mediterranean Nachos: Top with hummus, feta cheese and tomatoes!
    • Breakfast Nachos: Top with a scrambled or over medium egg, pico de gallo and Hatch Chile Verde Salsa!
    • Dessert Nachos: Sprinkle with cinnamon before baking, top with melted nut butter, fresh banana slices and a dollop of vanilla infused Greek yogurt!

    And don&rsquot forget, you should definitely pair any of these with that Spicy Skinny Margarita Recipe too!


    Heat oil in a large pan and sauté the onions till soft. Then add the beef and sauté till cooked through.

    When the beef is browned, add the tomato paste, beans, chili powder, taco seasoning, and salt to taste. Sauté this till the oil separates from the meat. Drain off the oil.

    Arrange corn chips on a large dish. Top with the ground beef and sprinkle cheese on top.

    Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until the and then sprinkle the toppings on top of the melted cheese. Serve hot


    Beef Nachos recipe

    The key to these nachos is to give the beef real flavor before you add all the fixings then everything else just becomes a bonus because the combo of spicy ground beef, melted cheese, and warm tortilla chips is already off the charts.

    The chipotle seasoning for our Ground Beef Tacos has superhero qualities of its own so we are using a variation of that here today. Chipotles give the ground beef incredible flavor and will instantly have you thinking of other ways you can use it.

    Start by finely chopping 1/2 an onion and saute over medium heat for a few minutes. Add 1 lb. ground beef and cook until browned. Once browned you can drain off some fat if you want to, I usually do. Add 2 minced cloves of garlic to the beef and saute briefly.

    Meanwhile, scrape the seeds out of two chipotles in adobo and mince them up.

    Add to the ground beef along with 1 Tablespoon of adobo sauce from the can of chipotles.

    I also add 2 Tablespoons of crushed New Mexican chile.

    It’s a bit chunky so 1-2 Tablespoons of traditional chili powder is a good equivalent.

    Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 cup of water. Mix well and let simmer for a few minutes. It’s best to keep the beef moist because it will dry out a little bit in the oven, so feel free to add a few more tablespoons of water if necessary.

    Give a taste for seasoning. If you can’t stop eating it you are already there! I added an additional pinch of salt to this batch along with another dash of cumin.

    These nachos seem to work best when built as a single layer. Yes, you’ll have enough beef for two layers and can easily create a double layer masterpiece, but I find that those behemoths get soggy too quickly. So we’ll create a dense, single layer of chips and cover it with half of the beef and plenty of shredded cheese.

    This gets baked in the oven at 400F for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is thoroughly melted.

    A little pre-planning goes a long way with the fixings because you want them ready the exact moment the nachos come out of the oven. I’m using a double batch of our Pico de Gallo as a topping.

    And as mentioned, the ideal love interest for your beefy superhero is a fresh, cool Avocado Salsa Verde .

    Dipping a warm, cheesy chip into this delightful green sauce can work wonders on people so consider yourself warned. I’ll put instructions for both of these fixings in the recipe box below.

    Feel free to get creative with additional garnishes like jalapeno slices, cilantro, and a drizzle of Mexican Crema if you think you deserve it.

    Nachos have a minuscule half-life so you have full permission to eat them voraciously. But don’t fret if they go quick, you’ve got enough for another single layer batch.


    The Pioneer Woman's Best Recipes for a Crowd

    Feed all the ranchers — or friends and family — in your life with Ree Drummond's top big-batch dishes with at least eight servings.

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    How to Make the Perfect Ground Beef Nacho Recipe

    The big game never tasted so good! Learn how to make the perfect beef nachos with ground beef recipe from Del Monte®!

    Party snack or quick meal, these hearty nachos with corn, black beans and melted cheese are sure to please. Don’t forget the toppings and the napkins!

    Serves 8

    Prep time 10 min.

    Cook time 20 min.

    Ingredients

    12 oz extra lean ground beef

    1 cup reduced-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained

    2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese [or Pepper Jack cheese]

    Optional Toppings:

    Directions

    Brown beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat drain. Stir in tomatoes, corn, beans and cumin cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.

    Arrange chips in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet or oven-proof platter. Spoon beef mixture over chips. Top with cheese.

    Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with green onions, cilantro and sour cream, as desired.


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