Since Nachos, Tostadas (tortilla chips), Crispy Tacos and Chile con Queso have become part of the American food canon, it seems unnecessary to devote posts to each of them. However, for those unfamiliar with American fast food, here’s the basic lowdown.
A basic nacho is simply quartered corn tortillas, shredded cheese (Longhorn or cheddar) and pickled jalapeños, sliced lengthwise or in rounds.
Either fry tortilla pieces in oil until crisp and drain on paper towels (which makes them Tostadas), or, place on cookie sheet and toast in oven or toaster oven. Sprinkle with cheese and top with jalapeño. Place under broiler until cheese melts.
But on menus these days, nachos are anything but basic. Some of our favorite simple additions are:
Bean Nachos: Spread with refried beans first.
Beef Nachos: Spread with refried beans, then top with shredded Carne Asada.
Things can go way beyond this however, and I’ve seen nachos with all the above and corn, whole beans, chicken, guacamole, sour cream—you name it. Just as anything can be a taco, anything can be a nacho according to your individual taste.
For Crispy Tacos, you need taco shells—either homemade or store bought, cooked ground beef, chopped onion, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa or hot sauce or taco sauce and shredded cheese.
To make your own taco shells: Heat oil in large skillet. Dunk tortillas in oil to soften, and use tongs to immediately fold in half, leaving a 1-inch opening. Fry each side until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Fill and eat.
Instead of ground beef, try these options:
• Cooked chicken or turkey
• Sauteed flank steak slices
• Refried beans
Chile con Queso
This is the only time you will ever hear me speak about using anything other than 100% real cheese. But for Chile con Queso to be the perfect consistency, Velveeta is required. A pound of the stuff, cubed into a microwave safe bowl, and a can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles (whatever level of heat you like), is all you need. Microwave and eat. For more on add-ins and stuff, see http://www.quesoforall.com/