When my husband and I go out to eat, we always talk about ordering nachos but we never do. The idea of nachos is usually better than the actual product that comes to the table. There are loads of stuff to think about before placing that nacho order.
Chip coverage is very important for nachos. There should only be a few naked chips left on a plate. Just like with a fresh batch of popped popcorn, you only wanna see a few kernels on the bottom of the bowl. These few bare edible plates are left for scooping up the shrapnel that has fallen off the chips that where piled high with savory enhancements.
Speaking of enhancements, these are another essential piece of nacho construction. Chicken or beef? If you go chicken, do you shred or chunk? Melted shredded cheese or cheese sauce? Olives or not? Sour cream or Guacamole or both? Diced tomatoes or pico de gallo? The variations are endless.
What about the type of chip used for nachos? Are you a corn tortilla or flour tortilla nacho fan? This small decision can transform the flavor and texture profile for the entire plate of nachos.
I only know of one place that sells nachos using fried flour tortillas, Red Hot and Blue. Hands down, these are my favorite nachos and the only place I seek out when I want to order nachos.
For me, the following blend of ingredients make for the most delectable nacho experience. WAIT! I can’t forget to add a tall glass of ice cold beer. Yes, nachos and beer are perfect for dinner!
FLOUR TORTILLA CHIPS: (Sure, you can use corn tortillas if you really, really want to.) I use 2-10 inch flour tortillas cut into 8 equal triangles per person. If you are serving other dishes, think 1 tortilla per person.
Heat canola or vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Fry a few pieces of tortilla at a time. Flip after about a minute. Once the tortillas are golden brown, tranfer them to a plate covered with a paper towel.
My perfect nachos require the following toppings:
Shredded Hot Habanero Cheddar Cheese
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Pico de Gallo (see below)
Grilled Seasoned Shredded Chicken (see below)
Sour Cream or Cilantro Lime Creme (see Football Sunday, It’s Game Time Post)
Cilantro for Garnish
Preheat your broiler to low and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay your tortilla chips in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Top the chips with shredded habanaro cheddar, sharp cheddar and shredded chicken.
Place the baking sheet under the broiler until the cheese is all melty delicious. Then top with the pico de gallo, sour cream or chipotle lime creme, queso fresco, scallions, and cilantro.
PICO DE GALLO: (2 -3 Servings of Nachos)
2 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
SEASONED GRILLED SHREDDED CHICKEN: (2-3 Servings)
2 Chicken Breasts
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Season the raw chicken and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Grill the chicken to an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees and shred with a fork.
No grill, no problem! Bake your chicken for about 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 160-165 degrees and proceed with shredding.
You can fry your tortilla chips 1 to 2 days in advance. Store in a plastic bag.
Pico de Gallo is always best eaten fresh but you can prepare this the night before and refrigerate.
The chicken can be grilled or baked up to three days in advance. Shred it and store in the refrigerator.
Save time on nacho night and shred your cheese several days in advance.
The cilantro lime creme can be made up to three days in advance.
With all your preparation complete, nacho night will surely be a breeze.