Game Day Food: Loaded Nachos
With the NFL Conference Championships on later today, figured it was a good day to post this.
Back in September when the NFL season began, I made these delicious nachos for an indulgent lunch that made everyone smile!
We all love nachos but hadn’t had them in a while. It’s not typically something I make at home and we hadn’t been dining out due to COVID-19. Lunch is my least favorite meal to prepare because no one in our house will just eat a turkey sandwich so I was happy to make something that pleased everyone.
The recipe (surprise, surprise) comes from the NYT Cooking. I love their “What to Cook This Week” email profiling 5 weeknight dishes. Like everyone else, I’m inundated with email newsletters and promotions and typically delete most without reading. But I read the NYT Cooking emails without fail. This recipe arrived in one of those emails.
Other that putting the sour cream on the side, I followed the recipe pretty closely and they were devoured!
Shortly after making these nachos, the New York Times published this article on the origins of nachos. I didn’t realize it was thanks to one man whose nickname was Nacho that this beloved dish came to be! Thank you, Ignacio Anaya!
Sam Sifton, NYT Cooking
- ¼ pound slab or thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef, like chuck or sirloin
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, hot or mild
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ to ⅔ cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium, or water
- 1 12- to-16-ounce bag corn tortilla chips
- ½ head iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded
- ½ cup pickled jalapeños
- 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- 3 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 limes, cut into eighths, for garnish
- Hot sauce, if desired
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a large sauté pan with high sides over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pieces are crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes, then remove the bacon and set aside.
- Add the onions to the bacon fat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and started to go brown around the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and garlic and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chile powder, cumin, salt, paprika, black pepper, sugar, cornstarch and red pepper flakes and stir to combine and toast the spices. Add enough chicken stock or water to loosen the mixture, and allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Add a little more stock or water if mixture is too thick.)
- Assemble the nachos on a half sheet pan: Put a layer of tortilla chips on the pan and cover with about 1/3 of the meat sauce, then add about 1/3 of the lettuce, 1/3 of the jalapeños, some avocado slices and a handful of the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. Top with more tortilla chips, more meat sauce, more lettuce, jalapeños, avocado and cheese, then make a final layer of chips, meat, bacon, jalapeños, avocado and cheese. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and slide the sheet pan into the oven to bake until the cheeses have melted through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Top cooked nachos with the sliced radishes and tomatoes, and dot the tray with teaspoons of sour cream. Scatter the cilantro over the top and serve, accompanied by limes and hot sauce.