Post-Thanksgiving Indulge Eats (Version 1 – Nachos)

I guess I didn’t get enough turkey and stuffing last night, because I still want something indulgent to eat – or maybe it would be more accurate to say that all that turkey and stuffing triggered something in me that’s hard to turn off. Whatever. I’m making nachos tonight.

My favorite version is made using restaurant-style tortillas chips (tostaditas, or totopos) and piling them with beans, sliced jalapenos, cheese, chorizo and salsa. Now, by “restaurant-style” I mean that they should either come from a restaurant that fries their own, or from a Mexican grocery (I like the “El Milagro” brand that comes in a brown paper bag). Supermarket brands just don’t have the flavor or heft to stand up to all the ingredients you’ll be piling on.

Nachos:

1 can refried beans

1 T vegetable oil

1/4 tsp powdered epazote (see note, below)

24 Tostaditas

1 – 2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced

fried and crumbled chorizo

shredded chihuahua or medium cheddar cheese

1 recipe salsa fresca (see below)

4 oz. queso fresca (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

On the burner, heat a heavy pan or skillet and then add the vegetable oil and heat 30 seconds. Add the epazote, then add the beans and stir to mix. Heat the beans thoroughly and keep warm until needed.

Lay the tostaditas in one layer on a cookie sheet, fitting them together to get as many on as possible. Spread each one with some of the beans and a slice or two of jalapeno, then sprinkle with chorizo and top with cheese:

Heat in the oven until the cheese has melted. Remove to a serving platter and top each one with salsa fresca and queso fresca.

Serve with lots of beer or Margaritas.

Salsa Fresca:

2 medium tomatoes, halved and with seeds squeezed out, and chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 serrano chilies, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

salt, to taste

Simply combine everything in a bowl and mix well. You can add more coriander if you wish. The amount of chilies is also up to you. Just before serving, spoon out the accumulated water thrown off by the tomatoes.

Note about epazote: This herb is traditionally added to beans, but it’s hard to find it fresh, so I buy the dried epazote that’s sold as a medicinal tea – it comes in plastic packs in the spices section of Mexican groceries. I strain it to separate the twigs from the powdered stuff (dried leaves can be crumbled up and added to the powder). Store the powder in an empty spice jar.

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