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Nachos Two Ways - Beginner & Expert

Nachos Two Ways - Beginner & Expert

More tex-mex than authentic Mexican food, nachos are one of my all time favorite foods. What could be better than crunchy chips, melted cheese, and creamy toppings? Seriously just thinking about nachos gets me all excited! There are endless varieties and ways to make them, but whatever way you do it, every home cook must master nachos. If you are short on time and skill, pop open a few cans (refried beans, salsa, jalapenos, etc.), pour the contents over a bag of chips, zap it in the microwave and within minutes you have a heavenly, gooey treat. If you have tons of time and lots of culinary experience, fry up some tortilla chips, mix up some guac, salsa, and an oozing cheese sauce in order to create a gourmet version of this stadium standby. Check out both recipes to decide which one suits your needs, just


Beginner Nachos
From Young & Hungry by Dave Lieberman

One 16-ounce can refried beans
1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular sour cream
3/4 cup bottled salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican Blend cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
A few big handfuls of yellow corn tortilla chips

  1. With a large spoon spread out the beans in a ring on a large microwave-safe dinner plate, leaving clear about 4 inches in the center of the plate. That's where you're going to pile the chips.
  2. Smear the sour cream and then the salsa over the beans.
  3. Sprinkle about half of the cheese and then the cilantro over everything. As you build up the layers, be sure to leave the space in the center of the plate empty.
  4. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove the plate from the microwave, pile the chips in the center of the plate, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the chips.
  5. Return the plate to the microwave and nuke again on high for 1 minute, until the cheese has melted.
  6. Use a pot holder to take the plate out of the oven; it will be hot. Dash with a couple pinches of chopped cilantro. Serve hot.

Makes 1 large platter.


Expert Nachos
Modified from Bobby Flay & Scott Leibfried

For the smoked chicken:
1 whole chicken
2 pounds wood chips (flavor of choice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Flour Tortilla Chips:
1 gallon vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons your favorite dry rub (recommended: Hog Wild Special Dry Sauce)
24 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Nacho Cheese/Queso Sauce:
1 pound pasteurized cheese (recommended: Velveeta)
8 ounces shredded Cheddar
8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies (recommended: Ro-tel)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ancho or chipotle (or other) ground chile pepper
Kosher salt
For the assembly:
2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
4 jalapenos, sliced very thin
2 cups sour cream
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup chopped chives

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill and split the chicken in 1/2 from head to tail. Soak the wood chips in water for about 10 minutes. This will prevent the wood chips from burning as soon as they come in contact with the fire. Place the wood chips in the bottom of a grill below the grates. Set the flame on 1 side of the grill to medium and the other side to medium high.
  2. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the medium side of the grill. Cover and allow the chicken to smoke and grill at the same time. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool completely before shredding the meat off the bones. Reserve for the assembling of the nachos.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tortilla chips: place oil in a deep fryer or in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Heat oil to 325 degrees F.
  4. Combine salt and dry rub in a small bowl. Cut tortillas into chip-sized triangles.
  5. When oil is 325 degrees F, carefully add cut tortillas and deep fry for about 3 minutes, turning at least once until a light golden brown.
  6. Remove chips from oil and dust with salt-dry rub mixture.
  7. Make the nacho cheese sauce: combine all ingredients in a double boiler and stir until melted. Season with salt, to taste.
  8. Form an assembly line with all of the ingredients. Start with the serving dish, then the chips, chicken, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro and chives.

Serves 8-10.

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Join The Conversation
dcmurray1970 dcmurray1970 8 years
My son loves my nachos. Everytime I fix them he almost the whole pan himself. They are beef nachos, I tried chicken one time and it was not good. 2 lbs of hamburger meat-brown and the season with 2 pkgs of burrito mix and let simmer Chop 1 large onion, 2 large tomatoes, and 2 cans of large black olives. After the meat is ready: place a layer of tortilla chips in a metal baking dish, top with some of the meat, onions and some monterey jack shredded cheese. Continue layers; chips, meat, onions, and cheese, until you run out of meat. Place in oven at 200 degrees just until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and top with tomatoes, black olives and sour cream. I usually just fill bowls of picante sauce and set them on the table. We eat it out of the pan at the table and watch a movie or talk. Its a great time for both of us!!!
kendallina kendallina 8 years
Yum! I'm craving nachos now!
Random2 Random2 8 years
Nachos and a movie!
shafiii shafiii 8 years
these nachos sound amazing! yummmy
msshellokitty msshellokitty 8 years
I love nachos.I want to make those.
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 8 years
Did someone say NACHOS?????? :DROOL: :PEPINO: :PEPINO: :PEPINO:
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 8 years
The expert looks yummy, but LONG! Too much work for nachos, I'll stick with the easy one :P
ALSW ALSW 8 years
See, for whatever reason, I have an incredible dislike of Velveeta - right up there with Cheese Whiz in my mind. :) So I'd rather just mix up some other cheeses!
Curious-Alice Curious-Alice 8 years
I absolutely love nachos, perfect for get togethers, to be served with margaritas of course!
SweetE SweetE 8 years
The Velveeta is surprising, but it is what makes the nacho cheesy nacho-y (definitely not a real word!)
orangeflower orangeflower 8 years
OMG i love, love nachos! I had THE BEST ones at Bugaboo Creek steakhouse, they're BBQ chicken...tastiest things ever. My hubby and I made a vow to go there just for the nachos again (they were so filling I didn't even eat 4 bites of my steak and potatoes!!)
ALSW ALSW 8 years
I love Nachos, but I agree with verily - I don't use Velveeta and I'm surprised that an expert recipe would use it either.
lala_style lala_style 8 years
I love nachos! mexican/ tex mex is def my favorite type of food!
goofynewf goofynewf 8 years
I love Nachos. I might have to make them for dinner. I love guac and beans! Yummy!!!
redsugar redsugar 8 years
The best nachos are with refried beans, cheese and jalapenos. Everything else is fluff.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
ooo how fun and easy would this be for an appetizer/snack thing at a get-together? i'm thinking nachos, games, good times!
3Sweeties 3Sweeties 8 years
This weekend, my hubby graduated from Collee and I threw him a huge party. Being from Colorado, the theme was mexican food, our fave. Maybe I'll make nachos from the leftovers!
Sasha520 Sasha520 8 years
Yum....that pics is to die for. I went to a bar in L.A. with some girlfriends this weekend and we shared a plate just like that.
Pokemyhontas Pokemyhontas 8 years
Nachos, hamburgers and pizza are the world's most perfect foods. the end. :D
susanec susanec 8 years
Using a recipe for nachos makes me laugh. I use a bunch of things too, no cheese sauce though (or velveeta), just stuff I like. And no refried beans (whole black beans). Broiled or baked with cheese is fine, I often mix them a couple times so everything is cheesy or add more cheese in layers. If you're having chips and nachos, you might as well have cheese!
verily verily 8 years
The expert nachos lost me when they called for pasteurized cheese like velveeta. Not that I don't use velveeta in my usual queso (I add chicken broth to help thin it out and add flavor), but an expert queso ought to use good, real melty cheese.
mizlynz mizlynz 8 years
That's making me want nachos from Chili's.
Chica8a Chica8a 8 years
growl , craving 4 sure
rebecalevy rebecalevy 8 years
OMG, that look so good.... Im going to make that tomorrow for my friends party
craving_vintage craving_vintage 8 years
I lurve nachos. I'm making some Friday. :) Thanks for the recipes.
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