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Monday, April 4, 2011

Latin Nacho Bowls

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(the original)
There once was a boy and a girl who went on vacation with another couple on a road trip to Nashville, Charleston, and Asheville. Upon arriving in Asheville, the four travelers went on a hunt for a snack and a drink and stumbled upon one of the most delicious eats of their trip: Latin Nachos. Paired with strong margaritas, these nachos helped the travelers forget the hours they spent cramped in the car and they devoured the entire plate in minutes oohing and aahing over the delightful combination of flavors and--their most favorite part--the fried egg atop the nachos. They discussed the brilliance of topping foods with fried eggs and vowed to recreate the dish upon returning home. Conversation switched topics but none of them forgot the amazing, unique nachos they had.

Fast forward to the next day when, again over cocktails, the four are reminiscing about the nachos. Suddenly, the boy had a revelation. He was convinced, absolutely convinced that topping nachos with a fried egg was in fact NOT unique and that he, himself, had actually done this just a few weeks prior. Girl immediately scoffed at the idea, knowing that she absolutely would have remembered such a combination, holding fast to the truth that these were indeed unique. Arguments commenced, with boy and girl trying to convince the other that their memory was indeed the correct one. Eventually the disagreement was dropped, with promises not to mention it anymore, lest the petty argument ruin a vacation... :)

Moving on, though the origin of the nachos was no longer discussed, it was unanimously agreed that the nachos needed to be recreated, which brings me to today's post. These nachos, dubbed Latin Nacho Bowls, are extreme. Tortilla bowls, filled with chips and topped with chicken, black beans, avocado, goat cheese, 2 kinds of salsa (ranchero sauce & pico de gallo), and finished with a fried egg, out of control. We worked hard to make a semi-healthier version, eliminating most of the cheese and broiling rather than frying our tortilla bowls and chips. Were they as amazing as Chorizo's Latin Nachos? No...but they were certainly a delicious "Latin Nachos Lite" version, if you will, while still bringing us back to that sunny afternoon in Asheville.

What I've posted below is more of a guideline for you to follow...make your own version with different beans, different salsa, and different cheeses. Modify according to your tastes--this is a great casual dinner party food--lay out the spread and let people make their own! Don't skip the fried egg on top, that's the best part!

Latin Nacho Bowls
inspired by Chorizo in Asheville, NC

-Homemade tortilla bowls (I sprayed whole wheat tortillas with cooking spray, pressed them around a mug, and broiled on a baking sheet for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and holding their shape)
-Homemade tortilla chips (cut corn tortillas into triangles, sprayed with cooking spray & salt, and broiled for 3-5 minutes)
-Avocado, sliced
-Black Beans, seasoned to taste (I seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, and chile powder)
-Cooked & shredded chicken breast
-Crumbled goat cheese
-Pico de gallo (storebought or homemade--we made a quick version with tomato, onion, and cilantro)
-Ranchero sauce (recipe below)
-Fried eggs, to top
**additional ideas include other cheeses, sour cream, refried beans, etc. Have fun with it!

1. After making tortilla bowls, fill with tortilla chips and add desired toppings. If desired, melt cheese by popping the bowl in the oven or microwave for a few seconds. Top bowl with fried egg and serve.

for the Ranchero sauce (adapted from here)-
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
-3 cups diced tomatoes
-1/2 tbsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp ground chile
-salt, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, jalapeno, and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat slightly and add tomatoes, cooking for 5-6 minutes. Stir in seasonings and simmer for 5 additional minutes. Leave as is or blend/puree in a food processor until desired consistency.