What a difference an article and a preposition make. I admit, I’ve been completely remiss in my blogging duties of late and I should have given you this sooner. I can’t explain it. Well, actually, I can. I’ve been cooking and eating (and continuing that World War I obsession with the completely obsession-worthy Downton Abbey), but not writing. Were I a blogger extraordinaire, I would have had the wherewithal to post my favorite Superbowl Nachos recipes well before the Superbowl, rather than…(ahem). But, alas, I am not, and other things, mentioned above and not excluding the Paris Wife and a fascinating history of all things domestic, have gotten in the way of any and all desire to turn on my computer. Until today.
So finally here they are, rather than the “Superbowl” Nachos they were meant to be, they are instead A Super Bowl of Nachos, which I did indeed pull together last Sunday. They’re a yearly tradition for S and I, and though we didn’t feel strongly about the game, I was anxious for these nachos (and the half-time show). Maybe you’d prefer to call these Valentine’s Day Nachos, or maybe Mardi Gras Nachos? How about Oscar Night Nachos? Nah, let’s just stick with what they are and call it a day. Eat ’em whenever you want. They’re pretty, um, super.
Adapted from Rachael Ray Get Togethers, 2003, serves 4-6.
Do not be dismayed by this long ingredient list or the many steps involved. If you chop veggies, grate the cheese and make the Pico de Gallo(but not the Guacamole)earlier in the day, then follow my order of operations, it really comes together in a snap. Really.
For the Pico de Gallo
- 5-7 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded, diced and dried
- handful chopped cilantro
- 1/4 very finely diced red onion
- juice of one lime
- coarse salt
For the Guacamole
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup (or more) pico de gallo
- juice of one lime
For the Nachos
- 2 bags various tortilla chips (Tostitos Multigrain are pretty good!)
- 1 lb. ground sirloin
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. chipotle chili powder (or a dash of cayenne pepper)
- 1.5 tsp. cumin
- a couple of dashes of hot sauce
- coarse salt and pepper
For the Cheese Sauce
- 2.5 cups Pepper Jack cheese, shredded (1 block Kraft brand)
- 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
1. Prepare the Pico by chopping and combining in equal amounts the tomatoes, cilantro and red onion. Make sure the tomatoes are dry if you don’t want wet pico. You can drain them while you make the other ingredients or dry them with a paper towel after you chop them, which is what I did. Add a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of salt before serving.
2. Start the meat topping for the Nachos. Preheat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for three minutes. Add the ground sirloin and crumble with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Add the spices (chili powders, cumin, hot sauce) and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the beans and turn flame to low for flavors to combine.
3. Next, prepare the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for a minute so. While whisking, slowly add the milk. Doing this step slowly is actually faster since adding the milk in small bits will bring it to a boil more quickly than adding two cups of cold milk all at once. Get it? Once the milk boils (or lightly bubbles, a rolling boil is not necessary, but watch that it doesn’t boil over), turn down the heat and add the cheese. Stir in a figure 8 motion until the cheese is melted into the milk and the sauce is thickened. I added another dash of cumin at this point but you don’t have to.
4. Finally, prepare the guacamole by dicing two avocados and adding about 1/4-1/2 cup of your pico de gallo (a trick I learned recently from The Pioneer Woman…she called it a “revelation of epic proportions” on her charming show). Add the juice of one lime and stir.
A trick I just discovered, my own “revelation of epic proportions”, if you will, is how to store Guacamole so that it’s still good the next day with leftovers (mine lasted two days, as green as could be with this handy trick!). I stored mine in a small glass container topped with sour cream. That’s it–who knew? Keeping the air away kept it completely fresh and green. If you don’t like sour cream, you can do the “plastic wrap touching the guac” trick (but I don’t think it works quite as well).
Anyways, hope you try these soon. You won’t be disappointed, with or without football (or Madonna).