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A Brief History of My Beloved Nachos

Get ready to celebrate, today is National Nachos Day! Like many other delicious dishes, nachos were invented accidentally; chef Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya threw together a dish using leftover ingredients he had on hand. In 1943, Anaya was the head cook at the Victory Club in the Mexican city of Coahuila. One day after the restaurant had closed, several American wives from the nearby US military base came in for dinner. Thinking quickly, Anaya cut a few tortillas into triangles and fried them. He then topped these with cheese and jalapenos. Voila! Nachos were born.

Today, there are many variations of nachos, including the ballpark processed cheese one. While concession stand nachos are tasty in a pinch, they don't do National Nachos Day justice.

On a day like today, go all out and make a delicious homemade version with fresh grated cheese and diced jalapeno. You know you want the recipe, just

From Family Oven

1 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups cooked pinto beans
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Large, restaurant style corn tortilla chips
1 1/2 cups grated pepper jack
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 small white onion, sliced into thin rings
5 large jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and chopped, or to taste
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

  1. In a large skillet, cook the chorizo, garlic, and cumin, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sausage is browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  2. To the fat in the pan, add the pinto beans, chili powder, salt, and 1 to 1 1/2 cups water (depending on the moisture in the beans). Cook over medium heat until warmed through, smashing with the back of a heavy wooden spoon or potato masher until chunky/smooth. Remove from the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. On a large, oval ovenproof platter or in a large baking dish, spread 1 layer of chips. Top with a layer of 1/2 of the beans, then 1/2 of the sausage, cheeses, onion rings, and chopped jalapenos.
  5. Repeat with another layer of chips, beans, sausage, cheese, onions and jalapenos. Bake until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is hot, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and lime juice, with a pinch of salt. Drizzle over the nachos, garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.

Serves 8-10.


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