¡Buenos Nachos! Round-Up

May 02, 2017

What do stars like Bill Hader, Jorma Taccone, Big Freedia, Andrew Zimmern and Rachael Ray have in common with America's best chefs? They all love nachos (who doesn't?). ¡Buenos Nachos! is a modern-day tribute to Mexico's most brilliant edible export, with recipes collected from celebrities and top culinary talents that range from the traditional and minimalist to a nacho volcano that erupts with molten cheese.

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we have a round-up of recipes from ¡Buenos Nachos! to help reach your #NachoGoals. Here is the ultimate guide to the ultimate finger food.

Mount St. Nacho by Justin Warner
makes 6 to 8 servings

Special equipment:
Siphon transfer hand-pump (available at hardware and auto stores)
Small silicone or metal Bundt pan

1¾ cups water
2 teaspoons sodium citrate (available at spice shops or online)
1 pound shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 4 cups)
¼ cup Sriracha hot sauce
3 Roma tomatoes
12 to 16 ounces blue tortilla chips (1 large bag)
1 cup canned black beans, drained
1 cup pickled jalapeño slices (from a jar or homemade)
1 cup Pickled Red Onion
1 cup chopped cilantro
½ cup Homemade Crema or sour cream


Make the queso: In a small saucepan, bring the water and sodium citrate to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cheese, a handful at a time, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the Sriracha. If the cheese isn’t smooth, blend it with an immersion blender. Cover and keep warm, whisking or blending occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top of the queso. (To make your nacho volcano more portable, you can keep the cheese warm in an electric crock pot.)

Prepare the volcano: Halve one of the Roma tomatoes crosswise. Dice the remaining tomatoes and set aside. Cut a small circle in the center of the tomato half and feed the end of the depositing tube through it; it should fit snugly (this will hold the tube in place). Feed the other end of the tube through the top of a small silicone or metal Bundt pan, leaving the tomato end of the tube inside the crater of the Bundt pan, pushing it down gently to plug the hole. (If you don’t have a Bundt pan, cut a hole in a plastic storage container or bowl.) Place the pan over a small rimmed baking sheet or on top of a cardboard box; you want the tube to be able to reach the melted cheese without getting kinked. Trim the tubes to the desired length (the shorter the better) and attach the other ends to the pump.

Using a brush or rubber spatula, spread some of the queso over the Bundt pan. Layer the chips over and around the pan to form a volcano shape. Spoon the diced tomatoes, black beans, jalapeño slices, red onion and cilantro over the chips. Drizzle with the crema.

To serve, place the end of the receiving tube in the warm cheese. Slowly pump the cheese through the center of the volcano until it begins to flow up through the center of the crater. Serve immediately

Creole Crawfish Nachos by Big Freedia
makes 4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat (fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned)
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend (Big Freedia likes Tony Chachere’s brand)
8 to 10 ounces tortilla chips (1 medium bag)
½ cup Creole Queso (below), warmed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Creole Queso
makes about 2 cups

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 tablespoon Creole spice blend

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the scallion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Creole seasoning and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Arrange the chips on a platter and spoon the crawfish and any juices over the top. Drizzle the queso over the chips, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Make the Creole Queso: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to high and whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil while whisking, then lower the heat and gently simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese and whisk the queso until it’s smooth. Whisk in the Creole seasoning and keep warm until ready to use.

Nachos in a Bag by Kristen Kish
makes 4 servings

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ cup tomato paste
½ cup water
Juice of 1 lime
8 to 10 ounces tortilla chips (1 medium bag)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup pickled jalapeño slices
½ cup cooked corn kernels
½ cup sliced black olives
1 large tomato, cored and diced
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup bottled ranch dressing

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking the meat up with a spoon, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the spices and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a simmer and cook until the meat has absorbed the liquid, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice. Set aside.

Divide the chips among 4 brown-paper lunch bags or small chip bags. (You can also serve the nachos in 4 bowls.) Divide the meat, cheese, onion, jalapeño slices, corn, olives, tomato, sour cream and ranch dressing among the bags. Close and shake the bags well to distribute the ingredients. Serve with forks.

Breakfast Nachos by Tiffani Thiessen
makes 4 to 6 servings

12 ounces breakfast sausages, casings removed
1 yellow onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 bunch kale, tough stems discarded and
leaves cut into ½-inch ribbons
½ cup mayonnaise
6 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
Pinch of sugar
4 to 6 eggs
8 to 10 ounces large, sturdy potato chips

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook, breaking them up into chunks with a spoon as they cook, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl, leaving any fat in the pan.

Add the onion and peppers to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the sausage. Add the kale to the same skillet and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Sriracha and sugar.

In a large nonstick skillet, fry the eggs over medium-high heat to desired doneness.

Arrange the potato chips on a platter and top with the sausage, onion and peppers. Scatter the kale over the nachos, top with the fried eggs, drizzle with the Sriracha mayo and serve.

Faux-Tel (Oklahoma-Style Queso) by Bill Hader
makes about 3 cups

3 medium tomatoes, diced
½ cup pickled jalapeño slices (from a jar or homemade; see page 142), diced
Juice of half a lime
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup heavy cream
2 ounces Velveeta cheese, diced
8 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
8 ounces Havarti cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it begins to steam. Add the Velveeta and stir until it’s melted. Add the cheddar and Havarti and whisk the mixture until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the tomato-jalapeño mixture (don’t drain) and stir until smooth. Keep warm until ready to use.

makes 1 drink

Lime wedge
Coarse salt
2 ounces mezcal
2 ounces grapefruit juice
½ ounce fresh lime juice
2 to 3 ounces club soda
Lime twist, for garnish

Wet the rim of a highball glass with a lime wedge and rim with salt. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add the mezcal, grapefruit juice and lime juice. Stir to combine the ingredients, then top with club soda. Garnish with a lime twist and serve

Looking for more nacho inspiration? Grab your copy of ¡Buenos Nachos!
(Dovetail, 2016) by Gina Hamadey today!