The Twins home-opener was last week. With the absence of sports due to COVID, we were pretty excited to watch a baseball game. Feeling pumped for the game, we wanted to create the ‘baseball stadium feel’ at home with some tasty nachos and cold beer! We have made nachos in the past that were ‘okay,’ but we wanted some LEGIT nachos. So I went on the hunt to find the ‘best’ nacho recipes. In looking up different recipes, I found a handful of ‘tips and tricks’ that really brought our nachos to the next level. Tips and tricks, such as:
- Don’t use shredded cheese. Shredded cheese has an anti-caking material on it and does not give your nachos ‘optimal melt.’
- The best cheeses to use are: Pepper Jack, Monterey, and Cotija.
- Use a firm chip
- Use shredded lettuce
- Use refried beans
- Don’t bake the ‘cool’ ingredients like shredded lettuce, guac, peppers, etc.,
The last two were a tough one for us. We usually ‘nuke’ the jalapenos and peppers, but we decided not to, and it worked! Not cooking the vegetables gave the nachos a nice, fresh taste and crunch. Refried beans. Yikes – what else can I say?! They look untrustworthy. Usually I use canned black and/or kidney beans, but I gave the refried guys a try — well worth it!
So here are the ingredients we used.
- Firm chips
- 1 lbs carne asada
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 batch of guacamole
- 1 batch of Pico de gallo
- 1 tub of sour cream
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1/2 purple onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 pepper
- Tostitos Queso Blanco Cheese
- Pepper Jack cheese
- Shredded lettuce
First step is first: season the meat. The morning of, I marinated the carne asada with 3 limes and the following seasonings: garlic, salt, pepper, Cajun, red pepper flakes, and paprika. I slice and juice the limes and pour the juice over the meat (this helps ‘tenderize’ the meat). Then I rub on all of the seasonings and allow it to sit all day.
Second step is food prep: shred the cheese, chop the cilantro, chop or dice the pepper and jalapeno. In a small pan, heat the refried beans in a pot and add water as applicable to make the beans edible and not as disgusting looking.
Next step is to spread chips out on a baking sheet, ensuring the chips are in a single layer so EVERY chip gets some nacho-topping love! Pour on the refried beans, add the shredded cheese, and put in the oven to bake at 350 degrees. It does not take long for cheese to melt. So while the cheese is melting, we grilled the carne asada – as both only need about 5 minutes. Cut the meat.
Last step, add the toppings! Add the meat to the chips, beans, and cheese. Then scoop up all the ‘cold’ ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the chips. We put the guac, pico, sour cream, and queso blanco cheese on last in big globs.
It was delicious with great flavors and textures, a good blend of healthy and unhealthy ingredients. You can add more or less of any ingredient you like/dislike. Make it your own!