The Five Keys To Reaching Nacho Nirvana
The ideal specimen is medium-thick. Greasy, thin versions–like the ones some restaurants fry in-house–won’t hold up here. I’m into Tostitos Simply Natural chips.
Liquid cheese, the kind that comes in a side compartment at the concession stand, tastes like candle wax. Gruyere? Save it for grilled cheese. I go for a blend of sharp yellow cheddar and Monterey Jack; they melt well and aren’t overpowering.
You want shredded or pulled meat for easy building and eating. Pork is my gold standard–it crisps up nicely but remains juicy under blasts of cheese-melting heat. Try carnitas, or buy pulled pork from a barbecue joint. Omitting the meat is fine, too; just don’t anger the nacho gods with tofu.
As with any dish, balance is paramount. Meat and cheese beg for heat, freshness, and acidity. So I finish with radishes and cilantro and set out jalapeños, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for garnishing.
Nachos leave room for personal preferences (switch up the fixings, use a different chip), but proper assembly is nonnegotiable. Start with a baking sheet: You need surface area, plus it makes a statement to present a tray of nachos that generous. Spread out a layer of chips, followed by an even distribution of meat and beans, then lots–I mean lots–of cheese. Complete coverage guarantees you don’t commit the cardinal sin of nacho making: the sad chip with no topping. Repeat until you have an impressive tray a few layers high, then bake. Pour yourself a Margarita, let guests yank out a cheesy chipful, and watch them go nuts.
What are your favourite Nacho toppings?