Kick it up a nach

Dinner:  July 14, 2008

I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for bar food. Rings, wings, Buffalo-style anything, if it’s deep-fried, salty, gooey and generally bad for you, it’s probably something I love. I indulge on occasion, but more often, I think of ways to make those treats at home, preparing them in a way that is more in line with our typical way of eating.

Generally, when I roll out an interpretation of this type of food, it’s for one of our cocktail parties, or for a small gathering of friends – I generally don’t think to make a meal out of it. But I wanted to do something a little different for our meatless Monday dinner, and when I thought of the things we had around – the extra ears of grilled corn from Sunday night, the corn tortillas, radishes, cabbage and salsa from the farmers’ market, some leftover cooked rice, the beans we’ve always got on hand, and of course cheese – my general direction was clear, but none of my usual preparations were sending me. But then I thought: nachos.

Deep-fried, salty, gooey nachos. Oh, yes. Cutting the tortillas into wedges and frying them would be simple, and we had an abundance of good stuff to top them with, but I didn’t want to turn on the oven to melt the cheese, so I decided to make a cheese sauce, instead – a little butter, a little flour, a little milk and a variety of odds and ends of cheese which were lingering in the fridge, spiked with cumin and Tabasco. It would be pourable, dribbling into all of those nooks and crannies and layers of toppings, so much nicer than plain old melted cheese, and a lot more flavorful than that microwave-in-a-jar cheese “product”.

The nachos were built on a base of homemade chips, with layers of black rice and beans reheated with a bit of salsa, then the grilled corn, cut off the cob and tossed with diced roasted red pepper and some of my pickled chiles, the cheese sauce, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, and a little salsa and creme fraiche on top.

Now tell me you don’t want a bite of that.

14 thoughts on “Kick it up a nach

  1. not only do I absolutely want a bite (at 7:30am) but the photo of the frying tortillas made my mouth water!

    we have a local artisan who makes excellent local tortillas and chips, but the downside is we never make our own chips anymore…. I need to remember how good they are.

  2. what oil do you use for deep frying and how do you measure the temperature? i keep thinking of getting a dedicated deep fryer but maybe i just need a thermometer. or a better eye …

  3. Those nachos are making me drool. The cheese sauce is a great idea in this heat! They look so good.
    I am inspired to fry my own chips now.

  4. Hee hee! Yeah, the nachos look very good, but I am stuck on the title. I am so going to say that next time I have nachos, aw yeah.

  5. Jennifer Hess says:

    Anita – RG, I assume? 😉 But yeah, the smell of frying tortillas takes me right back to my childhood. It’s bliss.

    Chris – True confession: I didn’t take the temperature of the oil. In fact, I completely forgot that we have one of those thermometers that clip to the side of the pan now for just this sort of thing (probably for Mike’s fried chicken and such). I just kept an eye on the oil, with one tortilla wedge which was my tester (I stuck a corner in to see how the oil reacted), and when I thought it was ready I started frying in batches. I just used plain old canola oil for this.

    Steph – now I just need to figure out what to do with all of the leftover sauce! I ended up with way more than we needed. 🙂

    Melissa – Ha ha! Coming up with titles is challenging, and I always go for the dorky. I need an editor or something. 😉

  6. oy i shoulda known you’d be able to eyeball your oil! i have been able to do it on occasion but i have no faith in my intincts 🙂

  7. I wold tell you that I don’t want a bite of it, but it would be a lie. A bold faced lie.

    That is ALL I want now. Rats! And I have everything on hand to make eggplant with garlic sauce……..

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