Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

Traditional Tex-Mex Nachos

by Kate Heyhoe
Serves 2 as a light meal, 4 to 6 as a snack


Don't confuse these nachos with the gooey, gloppy orange stuff passed off as nachos in cheap restaurants.

This is the authentic style of nacho that spread across Texas and the nation faster than wildfire back in the 1960's and 70's—it's the real thing. Oil billionaires, Texas governors and now US presidents have all feasted on this authentic Tex-Mex snack, and to this day, it never goes out of style.

Store-bought chips are convenient and keep well in the cupboard, but if you can, make chips using fresh tortillas, cut into quarters, then fried in hot oil until crispy. Or, purchase a bag of freshly fried tortilla chips from a local Mexican restaurant or market. You'll taste the difference immediately. Also, if you have a Mexican restaurant which makes awesome refried beans, or you make them from scratch yourself, use them instead of canned beans.

When making nachos, remember that amounts are approximate, and just about any thing goes.


About 4 ounces tortilla chips,
   or enough to cover a flat baking sheet
   or heatproof platter (see Note above)
1 to 1-1/2 cups refried pinto beans
8 ounces grated cheddar, Monterey Jack or
   asadero cheese or, preferably, a combination
3 pickled jalapeños, sliced (or use pre-sliced ones)


Heat broiler on high.

Lightly smear each chip with refried beans. Arrange the chips on a 12x18-inch baking sheet or equivalent. (For easy clean-up, line the sheet with foil.)

Sprinkle the cheese over the chips. Top each chip with a jalapeño slice.

Broil 3-6 minutes until the cheese melts and is bubbly. Watch closely—ovens vary and the chips can go from golden to black in seconds. Serve hot.

Tradition calls for pinto beans, but refried black beans work well also.


Macho Nachos
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Kate's Global Kitchen for June, 2001:

06/02/01 One Husky Little Tomato: Mexico's Tomatillo Unwrapped
06/09/01 Cooking with Jazz, Dakota-Style
06/16/01 Macho Nachos: Fiesta Food for Dad's 'n' Grads
06/23/01 Timelines & A Timely Menu

Coming in July-August: The Big Grilling Guide & The Haiku of Food Contest


Copyright © 2001, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


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This page created June 2001