Some food is literally made to be eaten in front of the TV. I am usually not a fan of this habit (at least if I’m in company), but these loaded nachos are definitely one of these foods. It just feels wrong, sharing and eating, while sitting up straight on a chair. There may be only one exception, where nachos are good to eat while sitting on furniture, made of wood: in a bar, accomanied by a pitcher of beer.
Usually, all you need for these nachos is a comfy sofa and a no-brainer TV-Show or movie. Nothing too sophisticated – you will need all your brain to figure out, how not to make a huge mess between eating, drinking, sharing, cushions and blankets …. So: It’s just the right food for watching the Super Bowl, at least if you are watching it for the half time show anyway! It’s a shame, but people in Austria usually don’t care much about football (they prefer kicking the ball with their feet), so todays recipe is all American. Not exactly traditionally Bostonian, but who could ever sip a bowl of New England clam chowder while watching Tom Brady smashing the Seahawks (or not??). And since I am not enirely a huge fan of chicken wings, nachos are my first choice. The contrast between the hot chips and cheese and the cold salsa is just awesome.
These are the ingredients for my favorite nachos. I used blue and yellow tortilla chips, black beans, fresh and canned tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, shallots, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, a mix of cheddar and mozzarella and sour cream. If you don’t plan on adding an extra veggie layer as I do, you can skip the red bell pepper, one shallot and the fresh tomatoes.
For the red salsa you have to dice the veggies very finely (right side). For the additional veggie layer you don’t have to be so carfeful – chunky is good enough (left side).
Sautée shallots, green bell pepper and garlic for the salsa. Add the diced, peeled tomatoes and cook over low heat until it has thickened as shown in the picture. I prefer my salsa to be cold, because there is nothing better than the mix of hot chips and cheese topped with cold salsa ;-)
When the salsa is cooled down, mix in chopped cilantro and jalapeno.
On a large oven-proof plate, baking pan or any other oven-proof casserole dish, spread out a third of the tortilla chips. Next, evenly spread a third of the cheese and beans over the chips. If you want an extra veggie layer, spread a third of the cut veggies now. Repeat two times, so you have 3 layers of chips, cheese, beans and veggies.
Repeat two times, so you have 3 layers of chips, cheese, beans and veggies. Before baking in the oven, the dish should look like in the picture above. Bake the nachos for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. If you opt for the veggie version, bake it a little longer (25 minutes or so), so the vegetables soften. Cover with aluminum foil for the first 15 minute. This way, the veggies get softer while the tacos don’t burn.
Remove nachos from oven and top with homemade salsa and a dollop of sour cream before serving. Be careful, plate (casserole) is hot. Enjoy (in front of the TV)!
If you feel like adding a little more mess to your plate, prepare some additional guacamole or pico de gallo. Also a good idea if sharing your plate with chowhounds.
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