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.
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.Pin ItAppetizers, finger food, Food Network, game day food, nachos