Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Around here we take our nachos very seriously.  Very, very seriously.

What this means is that we really do love nachos, and both Mr. D. and I agree we like them loaded with as much stuff as I can get my hands on.

When making nachos, it’s a little like building a house.  First you start with a good foundation (tortilla chips), then you build up the structure, a tower of multi layers of  seasoned beef, beans, crisp waffle fries, and cheeses.  Then you top it all off with some pico de gallo, that you made yourself; savory, colorful, and so delish.

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When you look at the ingredient list for these nachos, it looks like a lot, but really it isn’t.  It all comes together when you experience that first perfect bite that contains a little bit of everything.  Yes, indeed!

I made these for New Year’s Eve.  They served as our supper, but you can serve them as an appetizer, or a snack.  (Think Super Bowl coming up.)  Once you start on them it’s hard to stop so take my advice and make a lot.

LOADED NACHOS

Yield:  Servings:  4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 lb.  ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) pinto beans, chili beans, or ranch style beans
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • tortilla chips
  • frozen waffle potato fries
  • 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup Mexican Blend, Taco blend or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 – 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 whole jalapeño, finely diced (optional)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (or use parsley)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • sour cream, (optional)

Directions:

Start by cooking the waffle fries.  Follow package directions for oven temperature and length of time needed to get them  crispy on the edges.  Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside. If you prefer you may omit the waffle fries and use all tortilla chips throughout.  I prefer the fries because I like the texture contrasts in the finished nachos.

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Next, dice up half the onion….

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Heat up a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil….

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and add in the chopped onion.

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Cook the onions for a minute or two, then add in the ground beef.

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Break it up and let it cook until the meat is browned.  Drain off any fat that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan.

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Open the beans and add them to the pan along with the seasonings.    Stir it around to mix in the spices and blend the flavors.

Pour in the hot water to make it a little more saucy.  Reduce the heat to Low and let it simmer while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.

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Next, chop up the rest of the onion, making a fine dice.

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Next up,   chop up those tomatoes.  This is how I do it:  cut off the tops, then cut them into slices, then cut the slices into strips.  Now cross-cut the strips to dice them.  If you are using a jalapeño, use the same technique to dice it.

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Peel and seed the avocado, cut into strips, then crosscut into cubes.

Now, throw the onions, tomatoes, avocado and jalapeño into a bowl.  Tell them to get acquainted, you’ll be right back.

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Tear the leaves off half a bunch of cilantro (or parsley) and chop roughly.   Throw that into the bowl.

Cut a lime in half, and squeeze in the juice.  Add a little salt and pepper.

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And  stir it all together.  That’s your Pico de Gallo!!

We like it a little chunky, but if your family likes it more finely chopped, that’s great.  It will all taste the same.

Finely, the cheese 🙂  I grated a yellow cheddar and used a package of Taco Blend.  I did not mix them together.  You’ll see why in a minute.

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To assemble the nachos, make a single layer of chips on a platter or large plate.

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Scoop up a big ole spoonful of the beef/bean mixture and sprinkle it all over the chips.  Messy is good, so let it be!

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Sprinkle on a layer of cheddar,

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This is where the goodness-level jumps up a notch:  Put on a layer of waffle fries….

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And another layer of beef and beans…

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Then a nice layer of Taco blend, and another layer of waffle fries.

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Now use up the remainder of the beef/bean mixture to top it all,  and a final layer of Taco blend or cheddar (your choice).

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I put mine back into the still warm oven (turned off), and let the cheese melt.  Alternately, you could nuke the whole shebang for about 45  seconds until the cheese is perfectly melted.

AND THEN….

Spoon the Pico de Gallo on top of it all.   Why?   Because this is the roof on the house, or the flowers in the garden.   It’s the finishing touch that keeps you going back for more.   And it looks so pretty!

AND, because it’s all the veggies that makes this platter of nachos healthy.  I know for sure it’s what makes them so delicious!

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I hope you enjoy my approach to making nachos.  Try them real soon, and of course, you can add whatever extras you like:  sour cream, chopped black olives, chopped green onions–anything.  My favorite part are the chips on the bottom that start to soften under all the gooey ingredients, while the waffle fries stay crisp.  Divine!

SOURCE:   Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

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Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

Sometimes on a Friday evening a group of us from the dance studio go out for a bite to eat after a practice session.  Nearby is a pub that serves Irish Nachos that we all love.  We usually order two platters of them and we can devour them in very short  order.  The platter of these nachos comes with a mixture of  waffle fries piled high with seasoned ground beef, onions, peppers, jalepeños and melted cheese. Sour cream, salsa and guacamole are served on the side.  Everyone just digs in and they disappear in no time flat!!

Well, I got the idea that I would like to make a similar dish at home.  First of all, if you’re not familiar with Irish Nachos, you use potato in place of corn chips, but otherwise they are pretty much like regular nachos but so much better, because you can pile on all the ingredients that you like.  They are totally delicious and a great crowd pleaser, not to mention extremely budget friendly.

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

You start with a big pan of thinly sliced roasted potatoes. Waffle cut french fries work well, too.

Roast sliced potatoes in a heavy oven-ready pan.

Roast sliced potatoes in a heavy oven-ready pan.

Next you pile on some sautéed vegetables….

Pile on sautéed peppers and onions.

Pile on sautéed peppers and onions, diced tomatoes and scallions.

Then, layer on some seasoned cooked meat.  Ground beef or ground turkey are both really good, but you could also use shredded beef or shredded pork….whatever!!   It’s all going to be so delicious.  The version I made here was meatless. Along with this I served turkey burgers minus the bun.

Top with shredded cheese.

Top with shredded cheese.

Add on some diced tomatoes, and chopped scallions, then a big handful of cheese.   Put it back into the oven to melt the cheese.

Hot and melty, so good!!

Hot and melty, so good!!

Once its out of the oven for the final time, serve while hot with sour cream, salsa and guacamole and call it a meal.

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

These make a wonderful snack or meal on game day when everyone wants to be in front of the TV.

IRISH NACHOS

Yield:    Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 large red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey or beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese ( I like a Mexican Blend )
  • sour cream, salsa and avocado or guacamole to serve on the side

Directions:

1.  In a large wrought iron skillet or tart pan, layer the sliced potatoes in circles, making sure to cover as much of the bottom of the pan as possible.  Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the paprika and garlic powder.  Drizzle with the olive oil and bake at 350* F. for about 35 minutes.

2.  While potatoes are baking,  cut up peppers and onion.  In a medium skillet drizzle olive oil to coat the pan and bring to medium high heat.  Add the peppers and onions and sauté for 5 minutes.  Remove to a dish to keep warm.  Next add the beef or turkey and sprinkle with the chili powder.  Season with salt and pepper and sauté  until meat is fully cooked.

3.  When potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and layer the vegetables mixture over the top.  Then transfer the meat mixture to the pan over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and scallions.  Then top with shredded cheese.

4.  Put back into the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes until the cheese has melted.

5.  Once out of the oven, serve immediately with sides of sour cream, salsa, and chopped avocado or guacamole.

SOURCE:  Carolyn’s Originals