So, what is with all of these national food days? Some are entirely sketchy food celebrations like, um… National Turkey Leg Day or National Chinese Take-Out Day. I mean, come on…really? But then, just when I lose faith in the national day naming gods there comes a totally legit stand-out. November 6th is not just a cold and misty day in November. As a designated National Nacho Day, November 6th is a day for cheesy joy and crunchy chips. November 6th now has serious swagger, I mean, nachos. That’s something to celebrate.
Why, you ask, does the seemingly humble nacho deserve a national day? Simple, because… #1. Nachos are almost always totally delicious. #2. The nacho is no ordinary appetizer; it’s an appetizer that’s a meal, that’s also an appetizer. #3. Nachos are sharable and sharing food makes eating more fun… oh … and #4. Nachos can be soooo many different things…loaded up with soooo many tasty toppings. You think all Nachos are the same? Scroll and learn, young grasshopper. You’ll find three extra-yummie nacho recipes (yes, nachos require a recipe to have organized layers of flavors). These nachos are so loaded with nacho-y goodness that, if done right, can help console you, if needed, or be the best celebration indulgence evaah! Nachos will always be there for you through the good times and the bad. Definitely, worthy its own national day… way more worthy than say … November 30th which is Cricket Protein Day. I guarantee cricket protein does not make for a delicious appetizer at your tailgate bash and it is not to be served up when your team wins (or loses – or, really …ever) the Championship! Hip hip hooray for the mighty nacho!
The Classic Chili Sheet Pan Nacho
The Classic Sheet Pan Nacho is classic, not basic. This recipe is the mother-load giving you 4 recipes in 1.
Serves: 15-20 hungry tailgate revelers
Prep Time: 45 min.
Pre-heat oven: 350
- 2 – 18 ounce bags of your favorite tortilla chips- 1 bag for each sheet pan
- 1 lime – juiced
- 32 – 36 ounces of finely shredded cheddar and or Mexican blend finely shredded cheese
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved – divided for topping on each sheet pan
- 16 ounces of sour cream – divided – 8 ounces for each sheet pan
- 16 ounces of queso fresco – rough cut into small crumble chunks
- 16 ounces of guacamole – divided for each sheet pan
- 12 ounces of refried beans – divided for each sheet pan
- 2 thinly sliced fresh jalapeños
- 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro – divided for each sheet pan
- 1 cup of jalapeño infused pickled onions – divided for each sheet pan
- 1 cup of diced green onions – divided for each sheet pan
- 6 cups of Chili – 3 cups for each sheet pan
A parchment paper lined 2 – 1/2 sized sheet pan topped with your favorite tortilla chips. Spritz lime juice over the nachos and sprinkle sea salt and toast the tortilla chips for 5 min. Pull the chips out of the oven and sprinkle a 1/2 cup of cheese on the chips and place back in the oven for 2 min. Do this before loading the nachos with accoutrements to start a strong nacho base.
Nachos are all about layering great ingredients that taste amazing together. Start by spreading the refried beans on the toasted cheesed-up chips, then ladle the chunky chili onto the beans. Next, add the rest of the cheese. Pop this back in the oven for 4 min. until the cheese is melty. Top with the guacamole and sour cream and then sprinkle with sliced jalapeño, green onions, tomatoes and small chunks of queso fresco cheese. Next … dig in!
Recipes for Nacho accoutrements:
Chunky Nacho Chili
- 2 pounds browned ground beef
- 2-16 ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-16 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2- 14-1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
- 2-10 ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
- 1- 3 ounce cans of chipotle in adobo
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cumin seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Place all of the ingredients in a 5 quart slow cooker. Turn it on high for two hours and medium – low for the remaining two hours of low and slow cooking.
Guacamole- This is a simple yet delicious, chunky guac recipe.
- 2 large ripe avocados pitted, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper powder
- 1 medium tomato, seeded, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, add avocados, lime juice, salt and chili powder mash with fork.
Gently stir remaining tomato, garlic and onion into avocado mash.
Sprinkle top with reserved 2 tablespoons tomato and the cilantro. Place one giant scoop onto sheet pan nachos!
Refried Black Beans – Easy and delicious
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1-16 ounce can black beans, including liquid
- 1 medium garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder or cayenne pepper
Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium – high heat. Add the onion and saute until browned. Add the can of black beans, the garlic and chile powder.
Let the beans come to a high simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue to cook. Stir and mash until the beans are coarse and have thickened. Continue this process for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Scoop a large scoop warm from pan onto your sheet pan nachos.
Mexican Braised Short Rib Sheet Pan Nacho
Whoa! This. Yes, this! It takes a little time for the low and slow braising of the short ribs but it’s totally worth it.
Serves: 10 hungry tailgate football loving revelers
Prep Time: 2 hours
Pre-heat oven: 350 degrees
Mexican Braised Short Rib Nachos
- 18 ounce bag tortilla chips
- Shredded short rib meat, see recipe
- 8 ounces of cooked refried black beans
- 1/8 cup reserved braising liquid from short ribs
- 16 ounces finely shredded cheddar or finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced pickled red onion – see recipe
- 1 and a 1/2 cups guacamole – see recipe
- 1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled
- 1 and a 1/2 cups Horseradish Sour Cream – see recipe
A parchment paper lined 2- 1/2 sized sheet pan topped with your favorite tortilla chips. Spritz lime juice over the nachos and sprinkle sea salt and toast the tortilla chips for 5 min. Pull the chips out of the oven and sprinkle a 1/2 cup of cheese on the chips and place back in the oven for 2 min. Do this before loading the nachos with accoutrements to start a strong nacho base.
In a food processor, combine cooked black beans and the 1/8 cup of reserved braising liquid from the short ribs. You still want the black beans to be thick enough for spreading, do not add too much liquid.
Spoon the black bean puree over the chips. Alternately layer the short ribs, black beans with layers of chips. Sprinkle with shredded Mexican cheese and toast in the oven for 5 min to melt the cheese. Remove from the oven and add pickled red onion, a large scoop of guacamole and top with a scoop of Horseradish Sour Cream, then top with small chunks of Cotija cheese.
Mexican Braised Short Ribs
- 1 and a 1/2 pounds short ribs, trimmed
- Flour, for dusting of the short rib meat
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 cup hot water
- 1-12 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine
- 1and a 1/2 cups beef stock
In a small bowl combine cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture on the short ribs. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess.
In a skillet, heat oil. Caramelize the short ribs on all sides. Set aside.
Place in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let steep until soft, about 5 -10 minutes.
In a dutch oven, add red onion, carrots, garlic, and crushed tomatoes. Place short ribs in next. Pour in red wine and beef stock. Cover and cook on low until meat falls off the bones, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove meat from the crock pot. Strain liquid and reserve 1/4 cup. Reduce the remaining liquid by half until it has thickened. While the liquid is reducing, shred the short ribs with two forks. Once the liquid is reduced, toss it with the shredded meat. Reserve 1/8 a cup of liquid for the refried black beans.
Horseradish Sour Cream
- 3 ounces of prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
- 8 ounces of sour cream
In a small bowl stir and incorporate together all ingredients – refrigerate for 1/2 hour before scooping a top the nachos.
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 medium sliced red onion
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Start 2 or 3 cups of water to boil. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately ¼ – inch slices- moon shaped. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half and smash.
In a small bowl add the sugar, salt, garlic and vinegar. Stir to dissolve.
Place the onions in a strainer and slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain. Add the onions to the bowl with the vinegar and stir gently. Let this all sit and mingle for 1 hour prior to scooping the pickled onions out of the bowl onto the top of the nachos.
That’s all for the nacho instruction today. Our advice here at P&C…Love the nacho. Be one with the nacho. It’s a special nacho kinda day. Nacho mamma’s day though, that’s another day all together… sometime in May.
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