Friday, November 18, 2016


Hi people.
In case you haven't guessed, this is a post about nachos.
And why I think I make them better than you.
Okay, maybe not better.
But perhaps different.
I think I know a thing or two about your everyday, non-Mexican restaurant nachos.
This is because I'm picky about them.
The best nachos I remember consuming came from a very special place.
Yeah, the amusement park known for ripping people off with $7/strip chicken strips.
When I was a kid I saved up my pennies and bought my very own Season pass to Lagoon for a handful of years.
My mom would drop me off in front of the little baby white roller coaster at the top of the park and I would take the long walk to the entrance of the park wearing my close-toed shoes (back then they were required if you wanted to ride the Swings - my favorite ride at the time) and lime green purple heart mini-backpack full of sunscreen, a zip-lock bag, chap stick & lotion, about a dollar in quarters, and a $5 bill.
The sunscreen was for my pale complexion.
The zip-lock was to put all the other contents in when I went on Rattlesnake Rapids (DO NOT TOUCH THE MIDDLE HANDLEBAR! IT SMELLS LIKE THE MOST VILE OF ALL VOMITS!).
The chap stick and lotion was for my weird obsession with not being a dry and pale cracker.
The dollar in quarters was for $.25 water cups - I could get free refills on the cups and I'd usually need about 4 to get me through the day.
And, what you've all been waiting for...the $5 bill would get me one ginormous, heaping plate of the best nachos this side of the border.
These things were piled at least 6 inches high with all the things that one could possibly want in a nacho. Except guacamole. I let my friends eat the weird green goop and all the chips that touched it.
Beef, beans, cheese, sour cream, heaven.
For $5.25 I could get the most delectable item the park had to offer and an ice cold water to wash it down with.
Those Lagoon nachos taught me about life. They taught me that what people need is layers. Oh sweet, sweet layers.

There is nothing worse then diving into a plate of nachos only to discover that they aren't what they seem. The first 5-7 bites are great, and then you find the deception. Below those tasty 7 bites lies a lie. A sad, dry, toppingless lie. One that takes more than one ice cold $.25 water to wash down. A lie that, if told, will leave lips and mouths dry and salty and bitter with disappointment. And no one deserves to be told that lie. No one. Except maybe those people who steal other peoples coats when they are left on campus. Those people deserve a life of being told the Pathetic Nacho lie.

But that's not you. And so today, I'm going to help you. I'm going to teach you how to stop lying to people, and most importantly, to yourself.

How to Make Nachos That Aren't a Pathetic Lie

Step 1: Start with a thin layer.
Like I mentioned, Lagoon nachos taught me that nachos need layers. So you start by laying down a single layer of tortilla chips on a cookie sheet, or whatever oven-safe pan you're using. Spray it down with cooking spray too, unless you want to be scraping cheese off of your pan for the next several years.

What you're seeing on layer one: one single layer of tortilla chips, a layer of grated cheddar cheese, dollops of re-fried black beans, cilantro lime brown rice, and a smattering of taco seasoning.
I realized after this layer that I'd forgotten corn. Add whatever you'd like to this layer.

What I add to my nachos is greatly dependent on what I've got for leftovers. Last night we had tacos that I beefed up with black beans and brown rice. The beef was fully consumed last night and I was left with the beans and rice. I wasn't feeling a beefless taco. Hence this post.

Step 2: Add another thin layer

Rinse and repeat. But with corn this time.

A note about the cheese grating. I like to use the littlest side of my grater. It's not the zester thingamabob. It's just a tiny grater. I don't like thick, un-melted blocks of cheese on my nachos. I like thoroughly melted, slightly crispy cheese on my nachos. Personal preference. Skinnier cheese melts faster. Fact.

Step 3: Give it some heat
Pop the bad boy into the oven, or if you're making this massive helping for one like I am, the toaster oven.

Let's all agree not to talk about how disgusting my toaster oven is, mmkay? Mmkay.
Let it cook at 400 degrees until the cheese on the bottom layer is melty and the beans and corn are warmed through.

Hello nachoooooos.

Step 4: Prep the good stuff

This is a game changer. This is what makes our nachos what nachos should be made of. The 3 Musketeers of the nacho world.

You need salsa for obvious reasons. I mean, chips and salsa? It's what these things were made for.
But oh Sour Cream. Me and sour cream. We're very close. Well, only me and real sour cream. None of that fat free garbage. Blech.
Okay. Lime juice. Let's talk about lime juice. Lime juice and Mexican food are the best of amigos. My husband and I discovered just now much lime juice can take tacos to a whole new level when I was pregnant with my first babe. We haven't turned back, and we've made a place for lime juice in almost every Mexican dish we've made since.

Throw your sour cream and salsa into zip locks and snip the tips off.

Step 5: Reconstruct the Layers

Now's the time to Layer the good stuff into the other good stuff. Like a-so:

New Layer Numero Uno^^

And a splash of that lime juice all over each layer.

There ain't nothing worse than running out of sour cream with half of your nachos left. #firstworldproblems
Now that will never happen to you again. You're welcome.

Step 6: Enjoy some lie-free nachos

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