THE JOY THAT IS A DISH OF NACHOS

 I’m not sure when Nachos, in all their various incarnations, became the ‘go-to’ choice on nearly every pub menu but boy have they taken off. As the dish is almost a licence to print money, delicious as most of them are, I’ve taken to making my own. Occasionally for friends but usually simply as a cheap and cheerful supper dish to enjoy with a decent beer.  

 

Now clearly as I’ve said there are numerous variations available, probably none bearing any resemblance to the original recipe invented by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Anaya in Texas in the 1940’s that seems to have been a bid to pander to American palates, however I think it’s fair to say if the dish has ‘nachos’ as its base then we can call it ‘Nachos’.

 

Originally made using stale tortilla pieces, fried to restore the crispness, now almost always made using shop bought tortilla chips. These are so ubiquitous in shops and supermarkets in any price-range you want that it really makes no sense going to the trouble of making your own but feel free to do so if you fancy.

  

 

This is one of my versions, the recipe changes depending on what I have in the cupboard/fridge as ever, but clearly you only need to use this as a guide. You know the rules by now!

 

Serves 2 people as a reasonable supper dish or 4/6 people as pre-dinner nibbles.

 

Ingredients:

1 large bag of tortilla chips-I used plain lightly salted

Refried beans-use ready made from a can or see below

Guacamole-see below

Soured cream-or a vegan alternative (many recipes out there made from cashews or almond milk) or omit altogether.

Sliced jalapeno peppers (from a jar)

2/3 handfuls of rocket or salad greens

Grated cheese. Monterey Jack is ideal but good old mature Cheddar or a Red Leicester would work. If you want to avoid the dairy then use a Vegan cheese or omit altogether.

 

Recipe for re-fried beans:

Crush a couple of cloves of garlic and finely chop a small onion, sweat both off in a little oil until soft. Add the drained canned beans (I used red kidney beans but borlotti beans are better as they’re softer) and heat through, using a potato masher crush the beans and mix well with onion & garlic. Add a few finely chopped jalapenos, season to taste adding a little more oil to slacken slightly if required. Set aside.

 

Recipe for guacamole:

So easy to make you’ll never buy it ready-made again.

Halve a ripe Hass avocado, remove stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash thoroughly adding a spoonful of yoghurt (or non-dairy alternative), a finely chopped tomato and a few finely chopped jalapenos (or a splash of hot pepper sauce) and a few grains of sea salt. Stir in a few drops of lime juice, cover and set aside. Don’t leave it too long as it will discolour and not look very pleasant.

 

Method:

The assembly is simple and can barely be called a recipe at all but here’s how I bring it together.

Pre-heat the grill.

Empty the tortilla chips into a shallow dish that’s suitable to put under a grill.

Spoon the re-fried beans over the chips and sprinkle the grated cheese across the top. Place under the hot grill until the cheese is melting, if you’re not using cheese you can ignore the grilling part of the process. While it’s still hot spoon over the guacamole, sour cream (or alternative), the chopped jalapenos and the rocket. Remember this is my version but maybe you would prefer more jalapenos or some sliced tomatoes. Use your imagination but whatever you decide it will be a perfect dig-in dish for sharing.

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