I am a bit of a nachos snob. If you put chips on a plate and top with a smidgen of microwave-melted cheese, salsa and sour cream and call it nachos, I will scoff at the use of the term.
In my eyes, nachos needs to have lashings of beans and guacamole and tomatoes and peppers, be oven-baked and crispy, and basically be a huge plate of comfort food goodness to warrant the term.
Without bragging too much, my nachos is pretty flippin’ awesome. It may not be the prettiest dish but is perfect for sharing and it’s a big crowd-pleaser that has surprised and won over many an omnivore. I recently veganised it by simply replacing the cheddar cheese with vegan cheese and it is just as good, I promise! (However, If you are not that way inclined, you can of course use regular cheddar cheese for the topping.)
One of my very first posts on this blog was an embarrassingly terrible version of this nachos. I have since removed some of the dreadful photos that accompanied that post, refined the ingredients list and learnt how to write a recipe properly (Rule #1: List ingredients in the order that they are used; not in the order that you remember to add them to the list).
So I hope you enjoy the new-and-improved mega nachos recipe!
Serves 4 (plus left-over bean mix)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and diced (or one teaspoon hot chilli powder)
1 red pepper, de-seeded and thickly chopped
150g baby pomodorino tomatoes, diced
1 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 435g tin refried beans
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
5-6 drops Tabasco sauce
1 300g jar hot salsa
1 large bag lightly salted corn chips
100g vegan cheddar-style cheese, grated (I used Violife)
Flesh of 1 medium avocado, mashed and mixed with 4-5 drops Tabasco sauce
Pre-heat oven to 200ºC.
Heat oil in large pan or wok. Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add chilli, red pepper and 100g of the fresh tomatoes and fry for further 3-4 minutes before adding kidney beans and tomato paste. Mix well then add tinned tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and half the jar of salsa and stir well until heated through. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes until mixture thickens.
Line the edges of a large oven-proof bowl or tray with corn chips, leaving a fist-sized gap in the middle. Spoon 2-3 cups of bean mixture into middle of bowl or tray. Sprinkle cheese over chips and bean mix and bake in hot oven for 5-6 minutes until cheese is melted and corn chips browned.
Remove from oven and top with remaining salsa, avocado mix and fresh chopped tomatoes.
NB: leftover bean mix will keep for several weeks in a sealed container in the freezer.