Tag Archives: Nacho Patrol Originals

Thanksgiving Leftover Nachos: A Nacho Patrol Original

26 Nov

Thanksgiving is over and, like many Americans, you might be starting to wonder what you are going to do with all those leftovers. We, unlike most Americans, bypassed the turkey noodle soup and went directly to nachos.  And really, it couldn’t have been a better choice. With a bag of chips and a little ingenuity, the old turkey day standards transformed into some novel nachos.

First step: what kind of chips to use?  We considered both pita chips and sweet potato chips but found something even better in the grocery store’s natural food section: Food Should Taste Good‘s sweet potato tortilla chips.

These hearty, stone-ground tortilla chips had a lovely orange color and just enough of the vegetable’s delicate sweetness to support but not overwhelm the other ingredients.  And as opposed to regular sweet potato chips, they a little less deadly should you happen to eat the whole bag.

We selected a few hunks of turkey (mixing light and dark meat) and chopped them into bite-size pieces, the heated in the microwave:

Last night’s sage, sausage and wild rice stuffing had gotten a little dried out, so we reheated it slowly in a small pot with a few spoonfuls of broth (made from the turkey carcass, of course!):

Finally, the cranberry sauce.  We felt that these needed a little bit of zing (being nachos, after all) and added chopped jalapeno, red onion, and a splash of lime juice to our cranberry sauce to turn it into a salsa.  If you want more spice, let it sit for a while before serving to let the flavors combine:

Assembly: lay down a layer of chips, sprinkle with turkey and stuffing, and cover the whole plate with a drizzle of reheated gravy.  If you’re craving sour cream, a spoonful of mashed potatoes on the side will work in a pinch:

The verdict? With the spicy cranberry salsa on the side, these nachos were near perfection.  We had debated long and hard over including cheese but in the end vetoed it, since cheese has a minimal presence in a traditional Thanksgiving feast. It was the right decision– the salty gravy served as the cheese sauce on these nachos, and anything more would have overwhelmed some of the wonderful fall flavors at play. The chips were the perfect vehicle for the moist stuffing and turkey, and the cranberry salsa was good enough that we are already planning other nacho dishes around it.  If you’re getting sick of your leftovers (and even if you aren’t) these are definitely worth a try!

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Trader ‘Chos: A Nacho Patrol Original

14 Oct

Who among us does not love Trader Joe’s, that ubiquitous purveyor of cheap wine and delectable slightly-exotic foodstuffs?  TJ’s is often our go-to source for nacho ingredients, as they offer a much more varied selection of chips, cheeses and salsas than your average grocery store.  But we’ve always known that there is potential for much, much more. In this latest installment of Nacho Patrol Originals, we head to Trader Joe’s in search of specialty nacho inspiration and end up creating one of our best nachos yet.

One thing was certain: we  were looking to go a little more upscale from our last nacho experiment (not really that hard to do).  We first picked out brie cheese and the rest fell into place: prosciutto, arugula, apple and sweet potato chips:

Prep time on these nachos was surprisingly brief. Once the apples and prosciutto were chopped, we whipped up a quick bechamel and stirred in the brie until melted to create a cheese sauce and aid in distribution.  We combined the sweet potato chips with plain pita chips to provide the base layer:

Layer with apples and prosciutto:

and commence liberal application of cheese sauce.

(note: more cheese sauce applied after this photo was taken.)

Pop that baby in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes to warm things up and make sure the brie sauce is extra viscous.  Once it’s out, the finishing touch (that really qualifies these nachos as foofy): a dusting of arugula. And consume!

We loved these nachos: the sweet potato chips held up admirably, the brie was perfectly melty, the sweetness of the apple and saltiness of the prosciutto played well off each other, and the arugula added a lovely fresh bite.  Perhaps in the future we will get more adventurous with the apple, turning it into some sort of salsa.  The creation of a cheese sauce has opened up new worlds for us, imagining all sorts of pairings with cheese that normally don’t melt well enough for nachos. This one’s a keeper!

Wine note: these nachos pair well with a nice 2009 Charles Shaw Sauvingnon Blanc.

 

 

White Trash-os: A Nachopatrol Original

5 Sep

How low can Nacho Patrol go? If we’re talking limbo, then not all that low (unless we’ve stretched beforehand).  But when it comes to nachos, there are no depths we would not plumb.  Freshness be damned– today, we’re aiming for nachos laden with enough preservatives to let them outlast next millennium. Hence, our trashiest NP Original to date.

Ingredients: One bag of Fritos (large scoops make for the best nacho experience), a pack of hotdogs, a can of pork and beans, and queso cheese sauce.  We had originally planned on using pork rinds as chips to up the pork percentage but found them woefully unavailable in area grocery stores.  Maybe next time, if there is a next time….

Heating makes up the majority of the prep work– if necessary, you might be able to cram everything in the microwave at once.  We grilled and sliced the dogs, nuked the cheese sauce, and heated the beans on the stove, and combined them into two layers on top of the chips, producing this warm-toned beauty:

While eating these we pondered, “Is there anything a Frito cannot scoop?” Indeed, the dense, crunchy chips held up famously to ingredients that would have left sodden any other delivery vehicle.  The texture of the topping was a little too uniform– slicing the hot dogs and then toasting them would have added some welcome crunch. Overall, the flavors mixed well but the cheese sauce…well, we just don’t really like cheese sauce, and the Taco Bell brand that we picked up left much to be desired.  We wanted to keep eating these but our right brains stopped us before we started to consider picking up a rack of Budweiser and heading out to the monster truck rally.  White Trashos: a success, but not likely to be repeated….unless we track down some pork rinds.