Thursday, January 9, 2014


My boyfriend has recently got me into watching more of the NFL (American Football) and last weekend we decided to watch some of the play-offs.  I wanted something reasonably simple that didn't take too long to prepare that we could munch on during the match and maybe its a cliché but I always associate nachos with watching American football.  So here's what I did.

I've done Nachos before where I buy a bag of tortilla chips along with a ready-made jar of salsa and guacamole, scatter on some cheese, microwave it and dollop on the sour cream.  However, I wanted to try and make a few more of the elements this time.  As I didn't have an oven and I wanted this not to take too long I decided to buy the tortilla chips.  However, I did make the guacamole, salsa and beans to go on top.

I made this for two people and it was a large portion.  The good thing about nachos is it's really easy to scale the quantity up or down depending on how many people there are and how hungry you are.

For the salsa:
2 tomatoes - seeds removed, finely chopped
1/4 red onion - finely chopped
1/2 garlic clove (or one small clove) - finely chopped/crushed
a squeeze of lime juice
a dash of olive oil

The main work to do when preparing salsa is the chopping!  Once you've chopped everything simply combine the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste and set to one side.  I've been a little vague about the amount of lime juice because it really is up to you, I like using quite a bit of lime juice but if you're not a big fan then don't put as much in.  You do need a little bit of acidity in there to freshen the dish up a bit though so I wouldn't leave the lime out all together.

Ok, on to the guacamole.  I've done a post before where I used guacamole in a wrap as a quick lunch (see  I really do love it as it's so simple to make, really tasty and very versatile, you can add so many different ingredients to it depending on what you fancy.  I kept the guacamole for the nachos really simple.

1 avocado
a squeeze of lime juice
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped coriander
a couple of drops of tabasco

All you have to do is mash up the avocado roughly in a bowl (make it as smooth as you like but I tend to leave a few lumps in mine for a bit of texture), stir in the spring onions and lime juice (once again as much as you fancy), add the coriander (you don't have to measure it out exactly the measurement is just to give you a rough idea) and season with the Tabasco.  Be careful!  I wasn't and added too much, you really do need only 2 or 3 drops.  If you do accidentally add too much then you'll have to do what I did which is mash up an extra avocado and combine it with the existing guacamole, then add a little extra lime juice and coriander.  You'll have a lot of guacamole but it will taste a lot better!

As I said above you can add other things if you fancy - red onion, diced tomatoes, chilli flakes for a bit of heat.  I didn't use these in mine as I've used the ingredients elsewhere in this recipe but if you just want to make a guacamole dip to go with your nachos then you can bulk up the guacamole with other things.

Finally on to the beans.  This is a really good way of turning nachos from a snack into more of a meal.

200g red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
1/2 garlic clove - finely chopped/crushed
(mild/medium chilli powder)
ground cumin

Tip the beans into a bowl and add a little chilli powder (I mean a little - if you're doing this recipe for two then you need less than 1/4 tsp), garlic and cumin powder (once again less than 1/4 tsp), then mash with a fork.  Add a tbsp of water, season and set aside.  If you want to make your beans a little hotter then add some more chilli powder, just add extra gradually and taste a little each time so that you don't overdo it.

Next, scatter your nachos onto a microwaveable plate and spoon on your salsa and beans (I also scattered on half a jalapeño - roughly chopped).  Then scatter on 50g of your favourite cheese (or more if you don't think 50g is enough).  I experimented this time with mozzarella, it tasted good but made getting the nachos apart difficult as it is so elastic when melted!  Next time I will probably go back to using cheddar.  Pop into the microwave for 1-2 mins on full power (or until the cheese has melted).  You should be ready to eat!  Dollop on some sour cream or some half-fat crème fraîche if you want to make it slightly healthier.  You can spoon the guacamole over the top but as I ended up with so much I decided to keep it in a bowl on the side and use it as a dip.

Spoon on the salsa and beans

The finished product

I hope your nachos are as satisfying as mine were, this is just one of those comfort food dishes that I don't make often but really enjoy as a treat.  Besides, it's great to make with friends as it is a perfect dish for sharing.  The team I decided to support (the Cincinnati Bengals) may have lost but the nachos more than made up for it!

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