Nachos, Comfort Food Part I

Everyone has their own comfort foods, and we all really crave them right now. The conspicuously bare supermarket shelves give us some clues as to what these comfort foods are. In Germany, yeast and flour are in high demand, while in the US, the snacks are all gone. This is part one of a three-part series of some of my own, personal comfort foods.

This week, my husband and I grabbed the last bag of tortilla chips from the supermarket and decided to use our last can of black beans to make nachos. Nachos remind me of my sister. My parents, who are both from Buenos Aires, Argentina, never made us nachos. Actually, I wonder if they have ever even had nachos… My sister, on the other hand, is a nacho expert. I made a batch the other day, and we ravenously gobbled them up in minutes. Thinking of you, sis.

Nachos

Makes two servings.

Ingredients

  • Tortilla chips, as much as you think you will eat
  • 1 can (400 gr) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup (125 gr) grated cheddar cheese, or as much as you want
  • Store-bought salsa
  • Sour cream or quark
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)

Steps

  1. Heat oven to 400°F (200°C) broil (heat from the top).
  2. Heat the garlic in a pan with vegetable oil until just bubbling and aromatic. Immediately add the beans, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss to heat. Press on some of the beans to mash them and have them absorb the tomato/spice mix. Taste and add salt as needed. You can add crushed red pepper if you like.
  3. Throw as many tortilla chips as you think you can eat in an oven-proof dish. Try to not let there be any gaps between chips so that they catch all the goodies you will add on top. Evenly toss beans on top of chips, then the cheese. Try to cover all of the chips.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, watching carefully. You just want the cheese to melt and start to toast, you don’t want the chips to burn.
  5. Remove from oven and pour as much salsa on top as you want to eat. Then a dollop of sour cream in the center. I like to sprinkle chopped cilantro on everything because I love cilantro.
  6. EAT IMMEDIATELY. Leave no chip behind. This is not a time for leftovers.

NOTES:

  • I finally found a decent salsa in Berlin! I still can’t help myself and usually add some chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, and/or lime juice to perk it up a bit.
  • I like to use good old cheddar cheese for nachos. It melts really well, and I like the golden yellow color.
  • If you have store-bought guacamole, throw that on top too. If you have an avocado at home, chop it up, mix in lime juice, salt, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro (if you have it) for homemade guacamole.

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