Nachos

Nachos

Is there a more perfect bar food than nachos? An addictive
combination of crispy tortilla chips smothered in melted cheese,
salsa and a range of toppings, they’re perfect for sharing.

Origins
Ignacio Anaya, called ‘Nacho’ by his friends, was the maître d’ of a restaurant in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras, which was popular with the wives of American military officers stationed in nearby Eagle Pass, Texas, during World War II. One day, when the cook was away, quick-thinking Nacho served the ladies a plate of tortilla chips covered in melted cheese with pickled jalapeños. He called it ‘Nacho’s special’, and the beloved snack was born.

You’ll need
500g (1lb) tortilla chips
230g (8oz) Cheddar cheese,
grated
100g (3½oz) pickled jalapeños
Sour cream, salsa and Mexican
hot sauce to serve

Cooking Method
1 Cover a baking tray with tortilla chips and sprinkle liberally with the grated cheese.
2 Top with pickled jalapeños.
3 Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 10–15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
4 Serve with sour cream, salsa and Mexican hot sauce (such as Valentina).

Tasting notes
Though invented in Mexico, it’s the USA that is up to its ears in nachos – every mid-range chain in the country has its own ‘fully-loaded’ version creaking under the weight of beef mince and sour cream, and every ballpark serves buckets of tortilla chips drowned in a hot, creamy, slightly spicy neon-orange cheese product called ‘nacho cheese’. These are definitely good, but for our money, the best kind of nacho is the pared-down dish found at classier Tex-Mex joints: fresh hot tortilla chips smothered with real Cheddar cheese, a thin layer of refried beans, a handful of pickled jalapeños and a healthy dollop of guacamole and house-made pico de gallo salsa.

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