Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Nachos Here, Get Yer Nachos Here"

I've been thinking about nachos all week.  Actually, perhaps "thinking about nachos" isn't exactly right.  More accurately, I've been "hankering after nachos" since last Sunday.  What is about Sunday that puts nachos into the mind?  Football?  God?  Perhaps there is no connection between nachos and Sundays.  Perhaps there is also no connection between nachos and sauteed, shredded kale.  That is, there was no connection until I did it.  I put some kale on some nachos, and the world shook, just a little bit it shook.

The beautiful thing about these "healthy" nachos---actually, screw the quotes---is that while they are indeed healthy nachos, they still taste like stadium nachos, like nachos from a gas station whose cheese comes from a pump, thanks in large part to the pickled jalapenos.  But let's get back to this healthy business. 

I started by deep frying some really nice corn tortillas.  When I was visualizing these nachos, I didn't see the typical nachos with their melted cheese and their burnt chip edges.  I saw nachos with cheese sauce, pickled jalapenos, and shredded lettuce.  Ah, but shredded lettuce is so predictable!  So forget shredded lettuce, I thought to myself.  Kale!  I will saute shredded kale and garnish my nachos with it.  It will make the junk food lovers roll over in their graves!  And I'll add some spicy beans, too.  But they won't be black beans because, again, black beans on nachos is too predictable.  Let them be kidney beans!  And let me cook them with some sauteed onion and crushed chili, and let me simmer them in beef stock. 

 As you can see, like the great pyramids of Egypt, I built these nachos in tiers.  One of the problems with inferior nachos, such as you can find in places like Buffalo Wild Wings, or pretty much anywhere else in this blasted sports-bar world, is that the cooks don't bother to properly build the nacho pile.  They just chuck stuff onto chips and call the pile nachos.  Strictly forbidden.  My healthy nachos would not be chucked together.  Like the Louvre in Paris and the Arc de Triomphe (also in Paris), these nachos would be built, and built to impress.  It has been said, that when a duke lays eyes upon a poorly built pyramid of nachos, he imposes a mandatory punishment on all the denizens of his dukedom---that is, he cuts of everyone's hands.  Not that pleasant.

This is a single, kale nacho (to emphasize the cheese sauce):

To make the cheese sauce, you must first learn to make bechamel.  To make bechamel, you do this:

Cook an equal part of flour in some oil (or oil and butter combined); when the flour is fully cooked, it will either be "blonde" or "brunette."  (I prefer brunettes.)  Once this happens, add some milk and bring the milk just to a boil.  Then, turn down the heat and slowly add your shredded cheese(s).  You might also want to add some paprika.  Finally, keep doing this until you've got a cheese sauce that's cheese sauce consistency.  And that's pretty much it.  Now, go forth all of you, and build some nachos. 


Nicole said...

Thanks for the Nacho link, these look delicious, and, dare I say...almost healthy?

Anonymous said...

in regards to my mom and step dad's diet: "i think they eat a lot of nachos," my Dad said: though it is not these types, just recipe no. 1. They had a donkey for awhile. they are weird, but I like their place because there is no street lights or walk signals, it is in the middle of nowhere. I am not in the middle of nowhere in Los Angeles. My mom's got it made, too bad their so weird.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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