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Sunday, October 23, 2011

International Day of the Nacho

   October 21st is the International Day of the Nacho. Number Two son will be very happy.
   Years ago, when Applebee's first moved into our neighborhood, it was nearly impossible to get seated during dinner time. There was an hour's wait, minimum, and with three small, very hungry boys, well, that's just not a good mix.  I was able to get us in for a late lunch one afternoon during a holiday break from school.
   Number Two had been told by a friend from school to get the Nachos, and being a nacho hound, that's what he ordered. I asked him if that was really all he wanted, the nachos being on the appetizer menu. He assured me that the nachos was all he wanted. He wasn't disappointed.
   I don't even remember what anyone else ordered. The waitress brings the nachos to the table and as she is putting them in front of Jesse I realize this appetizer is probably meant for a group of four adults. I could not see him over the pile of nachos and fixings. I lean over to try to see him. He is wide eyed and his mouth is open in a very large "O". Then he starts to stutter, "its a, its a, its a Nacho Mountain!" he finally exclaims.
   You could hear a small chorus of laughter from the surrounding tables. It was really quite funny, but, sadly, at that time cell phones didn't have cameras so I didn't get to save the picture, only the one in my head.
   Since then Number Two occasionally fondly recounts his memories of the Nacho Mountain he got at Applebee's. Tonight, I think I'm going to try to duplicate a mountain of nachos for my number two son, after he comes home from being on the road all week.
   Things did not work out as I had hoped. I did make the nacho chips from flour tortillas, but an automobile breakdown and subsequent tow truck break down lead to a fiasco of part to all of the family being stuck out of state from Thursday until Saturday night. I spent most of my time fielding phone calls, researching trouble codes  and coordinating a rescue operation--well, sorta.
   In between all of my worrying I did make a dish called Beef Nachos, with the chips being made from flour tortillas, some fried, some baked, but I failed to get a photo of the finished product. Again. 
   Well, here goes:

Beef Nachos

  • 1 lb ground round--or any ground beef, just drain it well
  • 1 14 ounce can refried beans
  • 1 8 oz jar medium salsa
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 
  • tortilla chips
  • lettuce, shredded
  • chopped tomatoes
  • shredded cheddar or Colby or Monterrey jack cheese or any combination of all the cheeses
  • black olives, sliced or chopped (optional)
  • chopped or sliced jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • chopped onion  (optional)
Brown the beef and drain well, add the refried beans, tomato sauce, salsa, onions, spices and mix well. Bring to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. 
Put a layer of nacho chips on a shallow baking pan or dish, Layer the meat mixture over the top, top with shredded cheese. Put in 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and gooey. Top with desired toppings (optional) serve with sour cream, if desired.
   Enjoy--Number Two did, finally.
    Oh, I took flour tortillas and with a pizza cutter cut them into wedges, then baked half of them on a sheet pan sprayed with non-stick spray, the other half I fried in canola oil, just a minute or two until they started to brown and puff, drained well on paper towels. Season as soon as they come out of the oil. Here's a photo of the chips: