I love nachos, but they don’t love me. If they did, then the platter wouldn’t be so overstuffed with deliciousness! It’s really hard to practice portion control when you’re facing all those chips.
To make my life easier, I love to make individual nachos. These handheld bites have everything that makes a nacho great: crispy corn tortilla chip, meat or beans or both, tangy salsa, cheese, sour cream, olives if you wish. They’re perfect for leftover meats like pulled pork. And, of course, they’re gluten free!
These nachos are also great for parties where you don’t want to serve a big messy platter of food. Figure three chips (or one corn tortilla) per guest, and load them up with your favorite toppings!
Years ago during South by Southwest, my husband and I snuck out for a meal by ourselves. We ended up at the Moonshine Grill in downtown Austin. On the menu was an amazing macaroni and cheese with spicy green peppers. The moment we returned home, I started trying to recreate this recipe.
Over time, I stopped trying to make Moonshine’s mac and cheese, focusing instead on making my own. My ever-faithful bookclub has cheerfully (and hungrily) endured my experiments over the years, and there was only one major failure. Note to all: soymilk is not a good substitute for real milk in this instance.
You live, you learn.
From my perspective, the key to good mac and cheese is a mix of cheeses that bring appropriate meltiness and flavor. As a rule, I rely upon good old-fashioned regular milk when making my cheese sauce, but have, once or twice, tried out evaporated milk. The latter does add an interesting creaminess to the sauce…and that weird evaporated milk smell completely disappears in the sauce.
Needless to say, this recipe makes excellent leftovers. I do find that gluten-free pastas tend to absorb a lot of sauce, so I tend to go heavy on the sauce, lighter on the noodles.
Nachos are the ultimate party food (and, sometimes, main course). They’re great for those parties where sitting around and munching is an essential part of the gathering. As with so many dishes, Nachos are a flexible food: other than a base of tortilla chips and a good amount of gooey cheese, what you put on your dish is your business.
A note about nachos: they can made vegetarian or with your favorite type of meat.
If you wish to make your own guacamole, find the recipe here.