The other day I was thinking about what my top 10 favorite foods were?. I decided that nachos were on there. I recently bought a book called “Macho Nachos” by Kate Heyhoe. Who would have thought that there could be a 95-page book all about nachos?
As I began reading I discovered the original melted cheese and jalapeño nacho originated in Pieddras Negras, along the Rio Grande border, during World War II. The concoction was named after its inventor Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya.
Nachos quickly jumped the border, blazing through Texas and across the rest of the nation like wildfire. A lot of oil billionaires, and U.S. presidents have all feasted on this authentic Tex Mex snack, and to this day they still haven’t gone out of style.
I’ve eaten all sorts of nachos; from bean and cheese to crab and spinach, to fajita, grilled shrimp and veggie nachos. I’ve even had dessert nachos.
The nacho has universal appeal. It’s finger food, it crunches, it’s cheesy, it’s tasty, quick and satisfying.
Great tasting nachos can be made with just two ingredients. Or to upgrade your nachos add a little meat and some roasted peppers.
No fancy equipment involved, just a baking sheet and a cheese grater.
They are spontaneous bursts of kitchen creativity and sudden snack attacks. They can be whipped up on the spot as a meal, or to perk up a party.
Here are a few tips that I have learned over the years:
To keep the melted cheese from sticking to your baking pan, line it with a piece of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.
A 12x18 pan holds about four cups of chips and will serve two people for lunch, four as a snack and six as a party appetizer.
Set the oven rack seven inches below the broiler so the chips won’t burn before the cheese melts.
Saute your onions, peppers and any other veggies in a little olive oil until crisp tender before putting on tortilla chips.
As much as you want to, don’t overdo it on toppings or the chips will get soggy.
(Editor’s Note: Kuisine by Kathy is written by Kathy Bullerman, a licensed personal chef and wellness coach at Global Wealth and Wellness in Oro Valley. Visit her website at www.kuisinebykathy.com.)
JAMAICAN RUM CHICKEN NACHOS WITH GINGER
For the marinade and chicken:
2 T. Captain Morgan spiced dark rum
3 T. unsweetened coconut flakes
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into ½ inch pieces
*Combine all the marinade ingredients and toss to coat the chicken. Marinate for 30 min. giving it a stir after 15 minutes
Warm the 1 T. of oil in a sauté pan on high heat. Drain the chicken from excess marinade and fry the chicken bits in the skillet until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees
Assemble the nachos. Arrange the chips on a 12 x 18 inch baking sheet. Top the chips with two cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese. Sprinkle on the cooked chicken.
Bake the nachos for 46 minutes, or until bubbly.
What you’ll need:
2 T. crunchy peanut butter
2 tsp. maple syrup
3 T. graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. butter
18 inch flour tortilla
30 mini marshmallows
2 T. semisweet chocolate chips
*Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with the oven rack in the middle, about seven inches from the top of the oven.
In a small bowl combine the peanut butter and maple syrup
In another bowl, toss the graham crackers and butter together and microwave on high for 10-15 seconds, or until butter is melted enough to mash into the crumbs with a fork.
Slice the flour tortilla into 6 wedges using a pizza cutter. Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet. Lightly spritz the wedges with nonstick spray. Flip wedges over and lightly spritz the other side.
Smear a layer of the peanut butter mixture on top of the wedges. Gently press the marshmallows into the peanut butter. Sprinkle the graham crackers around the edges of the wedes as a border. Toss the chocolate in between and around the marshmallows.
Bake for 3 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasty and golden on top. Great with a cup of coffee or a large glass of milk.