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Super Bowl Super Nachos

Tuesday Jan 27 2009

Posted in Party Recipes

Super Bowl Super Nachos
Happy Super Bowl Weekend

Truth is, I hate football. It is football, right? However, I love any reason to have a party. Around here, nachos are as much a part of Super Bowl as watermelon and hot dogs are a part of the 4th of July. I make my own giant tortilla chips, not just to thrill the guys, but also to save precious last minute prep time. Six-inch corn tortillas, halved and brushed with a spicy olive oil mixture, then baked, make the perfect base for these hearty snacks. And, at this size, assembly takes less time since you’re not tediously topping lots of smaller chips.

I'd like to be able to give some beer suggestions to accompany these nachos, but I must admit I'm a wine person. These guys however, seem to know what's what and they recommend light ales and light lagers with spicy food.

SUPER BOWL SUPER NACHOS

The toppings and cheese used here are just suggestions. Use these ideas as a springboard for your own creations. If you have leftover bean spread, serve it warm as a dip with chips.

INGREDIENTS

(Makes 24 giant nachos)

For the chips:

¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing pans

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon paprika  

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon salt

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

For the nachos:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 (16-ounce) cans refried beans

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more, to taste (optional)

¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

2 cups (one 8-ounce bag) shredded cheese such as Monterey Jack or fiesta blend

Your choice of toppings such as: canned whole green chilies and roasted red peppers, (sliced into strips) halved olives, chopped scallions, pickled peppers, halved grape tomatoes, green pepper strips, frozen corn kernels (thawed) and chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Make the chips:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.

 2. Brush two large baking pans with oil. Whisk ¼ cup of oil with the spices and salt. Brush one side of 4 tortillas with the oil and spice mixture. Stack tortillas and cut the stack in half with a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place the tortilla halves, dry side down, in a single layer on the baking sheets.

 3. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, for 12 to 14 minutes or until the chips are golden and crisp. Season with additional salt, if desired, and let cool completely in the pans. Repeat with remaining tortillas. (The chips can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in a tightly covered tin.)

Make the nachos:

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the chopped onions in the olive oil until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cumin and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the refried beans, salt, hot sauce and cilantro (if using) and stir until well mixed and heated through. Let cool. (The refried bean mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated.)

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread a giant chip with about 2 generous tablespoons of refried bean mixture. Top with cheese and desired toppings, and place on a large non-stick baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chips. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Using a metal spatula, transfer the nachos to a platter and serve. 

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