Crazy Nachos with Chipotle Beef and Guacamole
As life partners go, I’m pretty sure I won the spouse lottery when I met Ben. It’s nearly impossible to put into words just what a wonderful man he is. One thing is for sure – most of my happiness and my achievements are in large part thanks to him and his never ending support. I never doubted that he would be a great dad, but seeing him in action is really something. He has all the patience even when I have none. He has all the silly voices and best accents when we read books with the kids. He is an epic DJ for family dance parties.
This Father’s Day, we’ll do our best to show him how much we love and appreciate him. One part of that will be cooking something that he especially enjoys. I’m thankful for this guy who will eat any meal I make and love nearly all of it. I cook meatless meals the majority of the time and he never complains. He genuinely enjoys them. But I also know that more carnivorous fare is his favorite. To honor that, I give him (and all of you) crazy nachos with chipotle beef and guacamole. Since when do nachos need a recipe, you ask? I asked the very same thing. But this particular combination works so well, you’ll understand after you try them. Each nacho chip is topped individually so there won’t be any awkward IwantonemorechipbutOMGIjusttookthewholebatchstucktogether moments. After all, as much as I love Ben, Annie doesn’t share food.
Last day of t-shirt sales for this round. Head to the shop before your fave is gone!
Yield: about 4 servings
For the beef:
- 1 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef or ground sirloin
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 plum tomato, seeded, cored and diced
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (or ½ tsp. ground chipotle powder)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- Oil, for frying*
- 4 corn tortillas, quartered*
- Coarse salt
- 1/3 cup refried beans
- 1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese*
- About 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Pickled jalapeño slices
- Hot sauce and/or salsa
To make the chipotle beef, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is beginning to brown and the onion is somewhat softened, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook about 30 seconds more. Stir in the tomato, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and chipotle. Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes. (If the pan seems dry, add a bit of water to keep the mixture moist.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the lime juice. Adjust the seasonings to taste if needed.
Heat the oven to 375˚ F. Pour about ¾-inch of oil in a heavy skillet or the bottom of a Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 350˚ F. When the oil is hot enough, add the tortilla quarters in batches and fry, flipping once, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with coarse salt.
In a large skillet or rimmed baking sheet, lay the chips in a single layer so that they are close but not overlapping. Top each chip with about 1 teaspoon of refried beans, 2 tablespoons chipotle beef, and 1-2 tablespoons cheddar cheese. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Once removed from the oven, top each chip with a small spoonful of guacamole, sour cream, and a pickled jalapeño slice. Serve warm with salsa and/or hot sauce.
- Yes, this is making your own tortilla chips. Yes, you will be tempted to go the simpler route and just buy them. I urge you to make your own for this dish. They taste better and are sturdier than the store bought variety. If you do use store bought, make sure they are thick so that they can withstand the awesomeness that is these nachos.
- If you do make your own chips, use whatever oil you prefer. I use refined coconut oil – healthier than vegetable or canola oil, but because it is refined, it doesn’t have a noticeable coconut flavor.
- For best results, always use freshly shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things such as flour, cornstarch to prevent clumping and results in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted.