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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.
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.