Nachos Our Way

These are not restaurant nachos, these are fill your belly nachos. Sneak some veggies into your kids nachos. Put the toppings you like onto your nachos. Probably too much sodium so I don’t look too close nachos.

We have made nachos many, many, many ways. I’ve had them made with Velveeta, which just doesn’t work for me – the texture of the cheese weirds me out. I’ve had them all spread out on a baking sheet, with all the toppings loaded on top, shredded cheese on that and broiled until the cheese melts. I’ve had gloppy cheese sauces, I’ve had cheese sauces made with a roux (which work just fine). There’s been the Queso sauce from the store in the big jar, which also works fine, but up here, that jar is at least $6 and often times, we need 2. Add in the beef, vegetables, salsa and such and that cheese sauce makes for some pretty expensive nachos, not to mention more planning than I usually manage or a trip to the store for that one ingredient.

We have sort of settled into a method of making our nachos that works for us and it seems to be consistent, so I thought I’d share.

Basically, cook your protein – we usually use ground beef. Spice it up. Chop some vegetables of choice. Grab some salsa, some sour cream and make some kind of cheese sauce or just melt the shredded cheese on top.

Protein Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 tsp (or more) of cumin
  • 1 tsp (or more) of chili powder
  • 1 tsp (or more) of paprika
  • 1 tsp (or more) of black pepper
  • 1 tsp (or more) of minced garlic
  • could also add onions or onion powder, I just didn’t think of it at the time

Brown the beef in a frying pan. Add the spices. Taste for flavour. If you are unsure of spice flavouring, try adding a quarter teaspoon of each at a time rather than going full on. Mix very well. Set aside.

Cheese Sauce Ingredients (I found this on RecipeTinEats.com and thought I’d try it):

  • 2-1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 TB cornstarch
  • ½ TB butter
  • 1 TB garlic, minced
  • ¼ small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 small tomato, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
  • 4 oz can chopped green chile
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Grate the cheese into a bowl and add the cornstarch tossing to coat the cheese.

Melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic & cook until fragrant. Add tomato, including any juice and cook until the tomato is slightly softened.

Add milk and cheese. Stir and then add chiles and spices.

Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is silky.

Add the cilantro and stir through.

If needed you can add a tablespoon or so of milk to thin the sauce a bit if too thick. If you think it’s too thin, let it cool a bit, as it thickens as it cools.

Toppings:

  • bell peppers, diced
  • jalapenos, jarred or fresh, sliced
  • salsa, homemade or bought (I use Pace)
  • sour cream or yogurt (Greek yogurt is a little thicker, but I personally don’t like it, so I would use Balkan style)
  • green onion
  • tomatoes
  • chiles
  • olives
  • banana peppers
  • beans (when we use beans, we use black beans)
  • shredded lettuce
  • cilantro

And whatever your preferred delivery system is – the chips you would like to use. We just used restaurant style (big triangle style) white corn chips by Tostitos.

The assembly:

I lay down a thin layer of tortilla chips, then some meat, some vegetables, some cheese sauce then salsa and banana peppers and then a few more tortilla chips around the outside of my creation for stray topping escapes.

That cheese sauce is trying to make a break for it!

My son does a thick layer of chips, meat, vegetables, salsa and cheese over the top. If the salsa is spicy, he’ll add sour cream.

The top of mine…..look at those banana peppers. I canned those in 2019. Still taste amazing….I’ve been carefully doling them out so I don’t run out.

If we decide to not bother with a cheese sauce, we’ll just grate cheddar and sprinkle it over the top of our nacho pile, then put into the microwave for 15 seconds or so to melt it over the top.

We stopped doing the baking tray of nachos because the chips would get soggy too quickly and there was too much falling toppings, not enough nachos in the mouth & belly.

Our day today….spring in Calgary. Good times!

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