So the Mrs and I were sitting in a cafe at the Denver Airport a couple of weeks ago, snacking on a big plate of nachos, and I got this goofy idea. The nachos are tastiest down at the bottom, when the chips start getting soggy, and there’s a lot of melted cheese left on the plate. So why not take it to an extreme? Back home, I tried it out, and ¡mira! it’s good.
Nacho Cheese Soup
- 6 corn tortillas, fried into crispy strips, about 1 x 2″ (I do my own in peanut oil, YMMV)
- one Fresno or serrano pepper, minced
- one Hatch or Anaheim pepper, sliced into thin rings
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 oz processed cheese food (“velveeta”), cut into ~1″ cubes
- 2 cups coarsely grated medium or sharp cheddar
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I use grape tomatoes, halved)
- 1/2 cup sliced olives
- one avocado, sliced into thin wedges
- 2 oz butter
- 1/4 cup flour
Saute the peppers and onions in some olive oil until the onions are translucent, and set aside. In a large saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour. When it’s bubbling and starting to brown, add the chicken stock and wisk into a gravy. Then add in the cheesy cubes, wisking as they melt. Then add the grated cheddar. Then add the sauteed peppers and onions, and remove from heat.
Just before serving, stir in the chopped tomatoes (you want them cool and firm, not cooked). In each serving bowl, place a half-dozen tortilla strips, fill with soup, and garnish with more chips, 3 or 4 avocado slices, and some sliced olives. Serves two or three.
Update: Gustavo Arellano takes a chainsaw to the media in a quick history of the nacho:
But the death of the 84-year-old San Antonio native Frank Liberto is a reminder that cultural appropriation’s biggest enablers aren’t entrepreneurs but rather clueless reporters who’ll swallow any Montezuma’s Revenge that PR hacks and Google feed them. Liberto died on November 6, one day before National Nachos Day….
Liberto didn’t invent nachos. That genius was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, who whipped up a quick meal of fried tortilla strips, melted cheese, and pickled jalapeños for hungry American military wives at his Piedras Negras restaurant in 1943. But facts didn’t stop the San Antonio Express-News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post from calling Liberto the “Father of Nachos,” even as they all acknowledged Anaya’s innovation—and betcha more media outlets will do the same in the days to come.
Why? Because the National Association of Concessionaires deemed Liberto as such in 2004, then Smithsonian Magazine did the same in 2013, so why not?
Media love to use the Big Lie…
Tip from Maggie’s Farm