Ignacio Nachos To Go
I read in a narrative I gleaned from Wikipedia that Nachos originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. In 1943, the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip for the day and arrived at the Victory Club restaurant after it had closed for the day. The Maître d’Hôtel, Ignacio “El Nacho” Anaya, created a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, fried them, added shredded cheddar cheese, quickly heated them, added sliced pickled jalapeño peppers, and served them hot as a meal. Voila!
I love Nachos if they are prepared properly. One restaurant that we favored going to in the Los Angeles area when we lived there was the El Torito Restaurant. Since there is one in Miami also, we went there quite often for brunch when we lived and worked in South Florida doing reconstruction after Hurricane Andrew.
Their NACHOS SUPREMOS consisted of Chicken on a mound of warm chips, melted cheese, refried beans and guajillo chile sauce topped with fresh jalapeños, tomatoes, green onions and guacamole. I always added Steak for an additional cost to make a meal of this fest.
Living In Rural Nachos Limbo
We do have two Mexican restaurants in our nearby town of Defuniak Springs, Florida, but their nachos are not quite the same. So I have decided that if I want to have what I really like, I would have to accept the fact that I am planted in the center of Rural Nachos Limbo. Just like in my “In Search Of The Perfect Burger”, I have to creat my own satisfactory Ignacio Nachos.
So I did the following one day for a quickie-style lunch”
- Grabbed a bag of Tostitos “Ranch Style” Tortilla Chips
- Laid out a single “primary” layer of chips on a large ceramic dish
- Sprinkled on a layer of grated cheddar cheese to cover
- Then I added a bits of finely chopped green onions
- Spread out a second layer of chips on top of the first
- Repeated the process of steps 3 & 4
- Added sliced pieces of jalapeño peppers (fresh or frozen)
- Heated the concoction in the microwave oven on high 2 min.
- Included a cup of sour cream on the side as a garnish
- Served the dish for lunch.
La Carumba! Ignacio Nachos To Go!
My next batch will include extra experimentation. To wit:
Still An Appetizer
- Add sprinkling of sliced black olives
- Add freshly diced tomatoes
- Guacamole, if I have it (But should be made fresh)
- Carefully sprinkle on a dash of Habanero Sauce (Maybe)
- You can add shredded lettuce, but then it starts looking like a freakin Tostada
For A Full Blown Meal
- Add a generous helping of canned refried beans
- Add Taco Seasoned Ground Meat
- Or, Add Grilled Steak Strips
The reason I prepare two layers is to ensure the cheese permeates all the nacho chips. Otherwise the lower layer will have almost nothing on them.
Also, I do not like the gooey pre-melted cheese in a jar because it makes the chips soggy towards the end of your meal. Real shredded cheddar cheese does not do that. Just makes the chips stick together. You just have to pull them apart to eat the suckers.
If you’re going to include Salsa, make your own or homemade Pica De Gallo. The goo you buy in jars can alter the flavor in the wrong direction and reduce your creation to a concoction of fancy chips and mediocre dip. Not at all what you want.
NOTE: I have recently been making artisan bread sandwiches and breakfast croissants in the oven for crispier results. I start the oven at 350 degrees on Bake while I prepare the meal. Then put my creation in the oven on a baking dish covered with parchment paper. After 3 to 5 minutes of baking to melt the cheese and heat the meat, I switch to Broil on Low for a couple of minutes for a crispy finish.
Doing this with the Nachos on a pizza pan would give a much crispier texture to the meal and tinge the chips to a golden brown when done. But be careful with this method. When the sandwiches, or Nachos, just begin to brown, pull them out of the oven immediately. Otherwise they will burn in the blink of an eye. Bummer!