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A Trip Around the World for Nachos

Feb 27, 2014 01:56AM ● By Erin Frisch

When you think of nachos, you probably think of the standard bar fare a plate of tortilla chips piled high with avocado, beans, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, jalapenos, and maybe your choice of meat all very tasty, but kind of boring. Everyone has eaten those nachos, and most people love them. However, you can easily step it up and serve easy-to-prepare, unconventional nachos at your next get-together or for a quick and easy dinner.

To prepare nachos at home, set the oven to 475º and spread about 8 cups of chips on a rimmed baking sheet. Add your toppings and bake for about 7 minutes in the top third of the oven. Read on for tasty but nontraditional nacho topping ideas!

Two-Layer Nachos. For a new perspective on an old favorite, use traditional toppings but create two layers. Make your first layer chips, add refried beans and cheddar cheese, and then top with a second layer of chips, refried beans, and cheddar cheese. Bake, then top with olives, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chopped tomatoes, and jalapenos.

Greek. Go Greek with pita chips substituting for tortilla chips. Add diced cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, finely chopped red onion, and kalamata olives and served unbaked. Drizzle with tzatziki sauce and serve some on the side for dipping.

Cheesesteak Nachos. Bring a little piece of Philadelphia into your home by recreating their signature cheesesteaks in a different way. Use cheese-flavored tortilla chips and top with sliced roast beef, caramelized onions, and either prepared nacho cheese sauce or melted Velveeta. After baking, top with sliced hot, pickled Italian peppers, which you can find in most grocery stores.

Jerk Pork Nachos. Give your nachos a Jamaican flare with jerk pork. Rub a pork tenderloin (about a pound) with about a quarter cup of jerk seasoning and grill until cooked. Chop into small pieces and toss on top of your chips, along with chopped pineapple and pepper jack cheese. After they’re baked, top with chopped jalapenos and freshly squeezed lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

Chimichurri Nachos. Hankering for get a taste of South America? Make a puree of ½ cup parsley, ½ cup cilantro, ½ cup olive oil, a garlic clove, and hot sauce to taste to create a chimichurri sauce. Rub half of the sauce on a one-pound skirt steak, then grill and thinly slice it. Grab a bag of lime-flavored tortilla chips and top them with a mixture of mozzarella and Cotija cheese and bake. Then top with the steak and the remainder of the chimichurri sauce.

Indian Nachos. Love Indian curries? Buy packaged naan bread from your grocery store and cut into chip-sized triangle-shaped pieces, and toast them in the oven. Cook together a sliced onion, ¼ teaspoon curry powder, a can of drained chickpeas, ½ cup peas, and salt to taste. When cooked, mash together and spread over the toasted naan chips. Top with mozzarella and bake until melted. Serve topped with yogurt, chutney, and cilantro.

Creamy Mushroom Nachos. Vegetarians can give nachos a little French kick with wild mushrooms. Get a couple of different types of mushrooms and sauté 5 cups sliced in a little butter with a clove of chopped garlic, a tablespoon each of chopped parsley and chives, ¼ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup white wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the mixture reduces. Spoon the reduced mixture over multigrain chips or pieces of very thinly sliced baguette, top with Gruyère cheese and bake.

Do you know of any traditional recipes from around the world that translate into a tasty plate of nachos? Share with us in the comments!

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