Nachos

One day as we were driving back home from London, cruising along on the M4, Fiona out of the blue said “I want nachos”. I said fine, we’ll pull over at the next services and buy a packet. But she didn’t just want the tortilla chips, she wanted the whole dish. So this is what I made when we got home:

Since then, nachos have become a staple part of our diet, and they are delicious. So much better than they have any right to be. Here’s how I do it:

So this is pretty simple: it’s a bag of cheap tortilla chips mixed in with guacamole, salsa, grated cheese, and sliced pickled jalapeños, then baked. Most of the work is in making the two sauces. Then it’s just a matter of assembly and baking.

Guacamole

  • Scoop all the flesh out of half a large, ripe avocado, taking care to go all the way out to the inner edge of the skin so you get the deepest green bits. Mash it roughly with a fork in a bowl.
  • Very finely chop one eighth of a white onion, and add to the bowl.
  • Grate the zest of half a lime into the bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the bowl.
  • Drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix.

Salsa

  • Drain a tin of chopped tomatoes, keeping the juice for other purposes. Put them in a second bowl.
  • Very finely chop half a red onion, and add to the bowl.
  • Sprinkle with chili powder.
  • Chop a handful of fresh coriander and add to the bowl.
  • Mix it all together, adding back as much of the tomato juice as you need to get it to a nice consistency.

Assembly and baking

  • Lay out one third of a pack of tortilla chips on a large plate.
  • Dab blobs of guacamole and salsa randomly across the chips, using about one third of each.
  • Sprinkle a few pickled jalapeno slices across.
  • Grate cheese across.
  • Repeat these steps twice more, so that all the chips, guacamole and salsa are used up, and the whole thing is topped with grated cheese.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for about ten minutes or until the cheese is melted but not burned.

Is this an authentic guacamole? Probably not, but it’s delicious. And more importantly, it works perfectly as part of this dish.

Yes, it’s traditional to grill nachos instead of baking them, but I find baking is better because the heat penetrates the whole of the dish, making every mouthful a delightful warm mixture of crispy and squidgy.

 

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