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Nachos 101

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"Secrets to Cooking TexMex"

Nachos 101

There are no doubt several versions of nachos ranging from those round discs

and yellow goo served at football games to the Belle Grande type

served at the Bell arches. These are authentic San Antonio style TexMex using

the whole corn tortilla, either red, white, or yellow. They can be

served as appetizers, or pile lot’s of goodies on them for a complete meal.



whole corn tortillas, either red, white or yellow hot vegetable oil (350°)

for frying

16 oz. of refried beans (fresh or canned)

1/2 cup cheddar cheese for each nacho sliced jalapeno’s Guacamole (optional)


The first step is to fry the tortillas, one at a time in the hot oil. I

recommend about 2 per person being served.

Gently put one corn tortilla in the hot oil. With a pair of tongs, turn the

tortilla over after about 10 seconds. Let it fry in the oil for about 2


then turn again. It is right if one side has a slight curve.

Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Heat your refried beans in a small pot. If using fresh, then mash until very

smooth and creamy. If using canned, add salt, pepper, chili powder,

garlic powder, and picante sauce to taste. Add 1/2 cup water and simmer on

low for 20 minutes, stirring often. Turn off heat so beans will thicken.

Grate the cheese using a fine or medium size blade.

Now we’re ready to assemble.

While your broiler is heating up, spread a thin layer (less than 1/4 inch) of

refried beans on each tortilla shell being careful not to break the shell.

I find a rubber spatula the ideal utensil for this job while holding the

shell flat in my other hand.

Next, take a small handful (1/2 cup per shell) of the cheese and gently lay

it in the middle of the fried shell on top of the beans. Spread the cheese

out toward the edges of the shell, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. You

can also choose to mix cheddar and Monterey jack for a really

unique taste. Most stores now sell blocks of this combination ready to grate.

Lay the shells, now with beans and cheese on top, on a flat cookie sheet. A

non-stick sheet pan makes cleanup easier, but also spraying a light coat of

vegetable oil (i.e. Pam) before putting the shells on a regular sheet pan also

works great.

The broiler should be red hot by this time, so gently slide your tray under

the broiler element for about 1-2 minutes.

Check and remove when cheese is hot and bubbly.

Remove one nacho at a time with a spatula and put on a cutting board. At this

time, add any of your optional toppings.

Optional popular toppings are ground beef (seasoned), sour cream, olives,

guacamole, pico de gallo, and diced tomato’s.

With a pizza rolling cutter, roll the cutter over the shell halfway across.

Now rotate the shell and do this one more time.

With the spatula, take 1/2 of the nacho at a time and place on a plate or

platter. If plain nachos are the goal, then put 1 piece

of sliced jalapeno on each quarter and serve immediately.

This is a fun patio party appetizer using a small ‘toaster oven’ to melt the

cheese. Put the optional condiments in individual bowls

and let your guests build their own personalized nachos.



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