Recipes: Game Day Nachos {Or Any Day!}

by Cate on September 21, 2012

Game Day Nachos
Just about a month ago, my stepdaughter (The Ex’s daughter) was coming over for dinner and I was trying to menu plan. Because the kids weren’t with me during the day, I figured I would take advantage of the extra time and cook up a few different things.

I love planning a menu of finger food items, which is exactly why the appetizer section of a restaurant menu is always where I look first. And for the kids, planning an at-home menu of just appetizers is a chance for tasting many small bites, and at the same time, it gives me a chance to try out a few new recipes. So this particular night was all about the finger food. We opened up the coffee table, sat on the floor, found a movie we could all agree on (for the record, Soul Surfer, which everyone loved, especially Madeline, and what a good message for all), and chowed down.

Nick is a sucker for nachos. Any kind. I first spied this recipe for Big Dish O’Nachos in the April issue of Food Network magazine. It’s the first time I’ve made nachos in my cast iron skillet (and I do love another excuse to dig it out, although I hate cleaning it) and the first time I’ve seen a recipe that called for layering the cheese amongst the chips. Which totally make sense. I mean, really, who doesn’t need more cheese?

Although it has a couple extra steps, it really is super simple and didn’t take more than the 30 minutes the recipe called for. And we got through eating probably a little more than half of it (and would have eaten more had we not had two other dishes on the table, competing for real estate in our bellies). Whether you fancy a laid-back evening of appetizers in your living room, or are looking for the perfect food for Game Day, give these nachos a whirl.

Alright folks, that’s a wrap on the week. I have a to-do list a mile long that I have every hope of getting through. Well, getting through at least half of it anyway. xoxo

Big Dish O’Nachos
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine (April 2012 issue)


2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 8-to-10-ounce bag multicolored tortilla chips
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cheese sauce, warmed (see recipe below)
1 1/2 cups prepared chili, warmed
1/2 cup guacamole (see recipe below) (I skipped their recipe for guacamole and just mashed the avocados with lemon juice and kosher salt)
Sour cream, pico de gallo, sliced pickled jalapenos and sliced scallions, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the cheddar and pepper jack in a bowl. Spread half of the tortilla chips in the bottom of a deep 12-inch cast-iron skillet or cake pan. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Top with the remaining chips and sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixture and the black beans. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 more minutes.

Remove the nachos from the oven and drizzle with the cheese sauce, then top with the chili and guacamole. Top with sour cream, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos and scallions.

Cheese Sauce

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon each minced garlic and shallot; cook 5 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup milk; whisk until thick. Add 1 cup cheddar, season with pepper and stir until smooth.


Mash 2 avocados with a fork. Add 1/4 cup diced white onion, 1/3 cup diced tomato, 4 teaspoons chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno, and salt and pepper. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until ready to use.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

patsy September 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm

My mouth is watering… I’m all over a meal full of appetizers!
patsy recently posted..Family Fun: Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ


Betsy September 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I love my cast iron too, just bought my first one a few months ago. And, can’t be the price of my Lodge pan. Although it took some getting used to not using soap (altough I know some do)….. I basicallyput the pan (still often a bit warm so use my pot holder) in the sink and run the hot water and use a stiff brush. I read somewhere (maybe it was the Lodge website) that you can add some kosher salt (I do that when only a bit of water in the pan to start) and and use the brush, so the salt make like an abrasive paste. Then rinse real well. Then dry super well. I put back on the burner for a few minutes (like if burner still a bit warm), sometimes I might put the burner on low for a few minutes to make sure all the water is gone and pan very dry (I always put the timer on so I won’t forget). Turn off. And, then wipe with a tiny bit of oil (one good for high heat cooking). And, I’m done.

If my pan is a bit of a mess from cooking something that stuck, I often add some water, and boil all the “stuff” for a few minutes. I find it help loosen some of that stuff before I start cleaning.

Do you clean the pan in a similar way? I never had a cast iron pan used growing up so still new to me, so always on the look out for tips and new ideas.

I’m thinking of making a small pizza in my cast iron today, since I think it will help get my crust crispier than usual.



Cate September 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Ok so I totally don’t do any of that. It takes all my powers to not put it in the dishwasher, but I wash it in the sink with soap. I just can’t bring myself not to. I will definitely try the kosher salt trick next time instead though. Let me know how the pizza recipe turns out – sounds delish!


Betsy September 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Cate, so funny how everyone treats their cast iron different. I was hesistant to give it a try, but since it was less than $20— I thought what do I really have to lose. If I didn’t like it, off to Goodwill. I do make sure I dry it super well, and dry right after washing, so it won’t rust. It’s not totalllllly non-stick yet, but getting there. Maybe Ineed to make some bacon to help it out. Ha. I made the best roasted potatoes tonight, just cut up some yukon gold and tossed in olive oil. I even heated up pan a bit before adding potatoes. Soooo good.


Ramona September 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I have a huge avocado I need to do something with today.
We have a giant collection of cast iron.


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