Proper Texas Nachos

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Is there such a thing as a person who doesn’t love nachos?  I highly doubt it.  And I’m guessing that if someone did volunteer such a blasphemous statement, 1) they’d be taken out back and slapped, and 2) they’re probably lying, and are in fact a closeted nacho lover.

Most nachos you find are rather sloppy nachos.  I say that with affection.  It’s basically throwing some chips on a platter or baking sheet, then sprinkling and spreading the lovely toppings all around, finishing with either shredded cheese that gets melted in the oven or maybe a melty cheese sauce.  It can be extremely yummy.  But Texans do nachos differently.

Texans pay careful attention to each and every chip.  Each chip is carefully placed on the baking sheet with little to no overlap.  Then beans are spread on each individual chip.  Then a pinch of shredded cheddar is lovingly placed atop the beans, followed by a single pickled jalapeno.  I’ll concede that it’s time-consuming and a pain in the butt.  But it is totally and completely worth it!  They’re so delicious!!  And this method guarantees that each and every chip has topping, a promise sloppy nachos cannot make.

Sometimes I wonder if I would care about this oh-so-important issue of nacho treatment had I not grown up with Texas nachos.  But then I eat them again and I don’t care.  Matt, my lovely and adoring husband, did not grow up in Texas, and when I first told him how we do nachos, he thought that was a little insane.  But one bite and he was converted. Try them, you will be too.

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook, by Lisa Fain

6 corn tortillas*
Canola oil, for frying
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup refried beans
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
24 pickled jalapeno chile slices

*You might want a couple extra tortillas, in case you are like me and occasionally mess up your first batch of frying. And then if you don’t screw them up, you have some extra chips to snack on!

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Cut the tortillas into quarters. Heat 1/2 an inch of oil in a large skillet until it reaches 350 F. In batches, fry the quartered tortillas for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown, and then remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Once the chips are made, use a butter knife to spread 1-2 teaspoons of beans on each chip. Lay them out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Top each chip individually with 1 tablespoon of the cheddar cheese. Then top the cheese with 1 pickled jalapeno each. Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately or you risk sogginess.

8 responses to “Proper Texas Nachos

  1. Looks scrumptious. 🙂

  2. Texan New Yorker

    Thank you, they definitely were! 🙂

  3. I’ve never been to Texas but I too love nachos where each chip is paid attention to. I have been to restaurants that do that and I get so happy. I love that you made your own chips. I will have to try this.

  4. Texan New Yorker

    Hi Andrea, thanks so much! I love making my own chips – they always taste so much better than bagged store-bought. Love your blog, btw! I can’t wait to give it a closer look so I can pin some recipes to try. 🙂

  5. Nice top photo and thanks for the ‘making one’s own chips’ suggestion–simple and should have been an obvious good thing to do…but I haven’t up ’til now.

    • Texan New Yorker

      Thanks! I love making my own chips, it is so worth the extra effort (and mess). The downside is that once you taste homemade and see how superior they are to store-bought chips, you can’t really go back. 🙂

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