Last night I made some of the best nachos I’ve ever eaten. I may be biased, but hear me out…
Emily told me she was craving nachos, which was great because it’s something on my menu that I’ve been wanting to play with, so I daydreamed most of the day about how I’d concoct such a dish. Chips, seasoned beef, refried beans, cheese, chile con queso, jalapenos, and a roasted poblano cream sauce seemed like a great recipe to me.
PREP: i started with the sauces to get them out of the way. I made the chile con queso by sauteing my homemade pickled jalapenos with some garlic in canola oil. I added a handful of cilantro and let it cook breifly. I then added a little whole milk to the pan, and an 8 oz. block of velveeta (cut into chunks for quicker meltiness). I added a pinch or two of sea salt, and let everything cook together. Once the cheese was melted and everything looked harmonious, I killed the heat and added a diced hothouse globe tomato. I didn’t want to cook the tomato. I wanted to maintain the firm texture, which adds quite a bit to the overall umami of the sauce. I then covered the pan and put it off to the side.
Next was the poblano cream sauce. I roasted, sweated, and diced one poblano and one green serrano pepper. I added them to a food processor along with a diced clove of garlic, a handful of cilantro, 16oz of sour cream, a pinch of salt, and the juice of half a lime. I pulsed the mixture until combined and incredibly delicious. It was REALLY good. The only thing I think I would change is maybe cut the sour cream in half to bring out a better balance of flavors, and maybe a splash of cream to thin it out slightly.
I then made the seasoned ground beef: 1lb of 73/27 beef, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Brown and drain.
ASSEMBLY: I thinned out a can of refried beans with whole milk, filled a 9×13 with tortilla chips, and topped them with the beans. I added the seasoned beef, then some shredded colby jack cheese.
COOK: I baked the nachos at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until the cheese had melted, then threw it under the broiler for a minute to brown the cheese and exposed chips.
SERVE: I topped the nachos with the chile con queso, poblano cream sauce, and some of my homemade pickled jalapenos.
REVIEW: Absolutely phenominal. The sauces worked together in perfect harmony and carried the nachos across my palate. Iconic nacho taste with a perfect, creamy, spicy twist.
REVISION IDEAS: cut the sour cream in half for the poblano cream sauce, and add cream to thin. I also want to make my own processed cheese so I can get away from the supremely fake taste of Velveeta. I found a recipe to try on browneyedbaker.com.
Even though these require a slight modification, I still rate this as the best nachos I’ve ever made/eaten.
[revised] Chile con Queso Recipe:
1/4 c pickled jalapenos
1 clove garlic, minced (roughly 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c whole milk
8 oz. yellow american cheese, cubed
1 globe tomato, diced
salt to taste
1. Add pickled jalapenos, minced garlic, and oil to medium sauce pan, and heat on medium-high heat until the peppers are tender. Add cilantro, stir, and cook breifly.
2. Add cold milk to the pan, and stir, followed by the cubed american cheese. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is completely melted.
3. Add cold diced tomatoes and remove from heat. Serve and enjoy.
Creamy Poblano Sauce Recipe:
8oz. sour cream
2 roasted poblano chiles, sweated and peeled
1 roasted serrano chile, sweated and peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced (roughly 1 tsp)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 c chopped cilantro
juice of half a lime
1. Add everything (remove crowns and stems from chiles first) to a food processor and go! Serve and enjoy.
Seasoned Beef (mix together and brown in pan)
1lb ground 73/27 beef
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp mexican oregano
1-16oz bag tortilla chips (or homemade)
1-15oz can Refried beans (black or pinto)
1/4 c whole milk
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1. fill 9×13 pan with tortilla chips.
2. thin beans with whole milk in a bowl, then spread over the top of the tortilla chips
3. Top beans with browned seasoned beef.
4. Top beef with shredded colby jack cheese
5. Bake in 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
6. Toss nachos under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to crisp everything up (optional).
7. Serve immediately with poblano sauce, chile con queso, and pickled jalapenos.
Alternate serving: Top chips with chile con queso, seasoned beef, and jalapenos. Omit beans and shredded colby jack. Serve with poblano sauce.