The letter “N” fell on New Year’s Eve, and by that time, everyone was absolutely sick of leftovers. We still had ham and cranberry sauce threatening to jump out of the fridge every time someone opened the door, but no one could stomach another bite after a week of microwaving them and trying to forget they were what we ate morning, noon, and night. So to end the year on the right foot, I made a dish everyone in my family loves… Nachos!
As you’ve probably guessed, I’ve made and consumed my fair share of nachos. Which meant that, according to my Alphabet Adventure rules, I had to concoct my own recipe. That was fairly simple; I just needed to throw together chips, cheese, and maybe some beans, then heat it until the cheese melted. Ta da!
…But that seemed like cheating. I’m over halfway done with the alphabet, and in the process, I’ve prepared some pretty involved foods (like chili and enchiladas) and battled my kitchen fears (like hot oil for donuts ad boiling sugar for lollipops). Throwing three things in a pan and calling it “N is for Nachos” was definitely the cowardly thing to do. So I got in the car, drove to the store, and bought the ingredients to make loaded nachos entirely from scratch.
As soon as I pulled my homemade tortilla chips out of the oven, my family members tried peeking their heads into the kitchen to see what the delicious smell was, but I shooed them out so they wouldn’t spoil the surprise. Just like little hopeful puppies, they attempted to come back in to try a taste while I sautéed onions and peppers, but they ran out with their tails between their legs when I reprimanded them for snooping. And the second I finished snapping my final photographs and let them enter the kitchen, it was a race to see who could snag a nacho and swallow it the fastest. Not a surprise that these disappeared faster than it took the ball to drop in NYC’s Times Square!
New Year’s Eve Nachos
Pick your favorite color of bell pepper; red or green would make an even prettier presentation! You can also top with guacamole and sour cream, but I’m not a big fan of either so I omitted them. If you don’t own a quiche pan, use an 8×8 or 9×9 brownie pan, and the nachos will still turn out just as well.
6-8 big handfuls of tortilla chips (or more, if desired)
1 (15 oz) can refried beans
1½ tsp chipotle chili powder (opt)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 purple onion, diced
½ c. frozen corn
¾ c. shredded cheddar cheese
¼ – ½ c. of your favorite salsa
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a quiche pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat 3-4 tbsp olive or canola oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and stir to evenly coat with oil. Place a lid over the top and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 min or until translucent and beginning to turn golden.
- While onions cook, mix refried beans and chipotle in a bowl. Place half of the chips in the bottom of the pan. Using half of the refried beans, place dollops on the chips. Sprinkle with half of the black beans. Set back aside.
- Add bell peppers and corn to the pan with the onions and cook for 2-3 min, or until all of the veggies are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Using half of the veggie mixture, sprinkle over top of the refried and black beans. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese over top of the veggies.
- Add a second layer of chips, beans, veggies, and cheese using the remaining ingredients. Bake the nachos at 375° for 5-6 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with your favorite salsa (or serve salsa on the side) and serve immediately.
Who has time for black-eyed peas when there are mouthwatering nachos around?
Happy New Year!