Super Bowl Nachos

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Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings (with a hint of health appeal), these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal!

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings (with a hint of health appeal), these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal!

 

Special note: Below the nacho recipe is the unedited goodbye letter that I included with my final LNP column, published today, January 27, 2019.  For all the readers who’ve found me there for the last seven years, I’m delighted you made your way here and I wish you a warm welcome! 

 

Nachos have always held a special place in my younger son’s heart, so the casual dish we typically associate with bar food or game day snacking makes periodic appearances as dinner in our house.

Occasional indulgences align with my “everything in moderation” approach to eating. Plus, when one examines the toppings of these loaded nachos – ground beef, beans, cheese and a variety of veggies – redeeming qualities do exist.

Recently, as I was sautéing ground beef for my son Christian’s much-anticipated “special treat” dinner, he asked if Pops was coming over to eat with us. (Pops is my dad, and I often invite him over for dinner when my mom is away.)

This time, however, I had not extended an invitation. Dad gravitates towards more traditional meals – i.e., those with a separate protein, vegetable and starch. I had considered an invite earlier that day but thought he might not be satisfied with nachos for dinner. (Fully embracing the nature of the meal, I wasn’t even serving an accompanying side dish or salad.)

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings (with a hint of health appeal), these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal!

At my son’s prompt and because it’s always nice to be included, I called Dad with a request to join us along with a detailed dinner description.

Full disclosure had been issued, but I need not have worried. My square-meal-loving father enjoyed the casual fare just as much as his grandson. Not a chip remained on the platter.

Of course, my usual intent is to serve these hearty nachos during casual get-togethers, and my family often requests them on Super Bowl Sunday.

Served as an appetizer in the context of other offerings, the recipe will feed a crowd. When enjoying as a slightly indulgent entrée, plan on six to eight servings. If hungry teenage boys are in the house (or an active 84-year-old, for that matter), I’ve learned to reduce the expected yield to four servings.

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings (with a hint of health appeal), these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal!

Tips for nacho success (and a bit of health appeal):

  • Mixing beans with the taco meat mixture integrates and flavors the beans while increasing the protein content and heft of the dish. Christian will tell you that he’s not a fan of beans but adores these nachos, and he’s never requested their removal.
  • Opt for thicker, sturdy chips that will hold up to the weight of the toppings. Thinner, restaurant-style chips tend to crack or become soggy when topped. In the following recipe, the use of two types of chips, including super-crunchy Scoops, is my trade secret. The extra thickness of the Scoops works well, and the variety offers special appeal.
  • Freshly shredded cheese typically produces the best melt and gooeyness, although I’ve used pre-shredded cheddar and Mexican blend cheese as a welcome timesaver with good results.
  • Distribute the toppings evenly. It takes a few extra minutes to create layers and dole out the toppings in an even fashion, but nachos are much more satisfying when all the chips contain some of the topping.
  • Serve wet toppings like sour cream, guacamole and additional salsa on the side in little bowls with spoons so diners can add as desired. Dolloping wet toppings over the freshly baked nachos will cool them quickly and create sogginess (and few people relish a big bite of sour cream!).
Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings (with a hint of health appeal), these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal!

Super Bowl Nachos
Yield: 8-12 appetizer servings
A crowd pleasing appetizer (or slightly decadent dinner!), I’ve offered a list of traditional toppings, but feel free to adjust the toppings based on personal preference.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (homemade option available at Fountainavenuekitchen.com)
  • 1/2 cup salsa plus 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 (9-ounce) bag tortilla chips (this is one of the smaller bags, but you can eyeball from a larger bag)
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) bag Fritos Scoops (the corn chip as opposed to the tortilla chip option)
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded (3 cups)
  • 3/4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 small avocado or half a large, chopped (may substitute guacamole)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced or cut into thin slices
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Optional: a few tablespoons each sliced black olives and/or chopped fresh cilantro; additional salsa; sour cream
Ingredients
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef.  When the beef is nearly cooked, drain any excess grease, and then sprinkle with the taco seasoning and stir in the salsa and water.  Stir to combine, and then simmer the mixture for approximately 5 minutes or until thickened (this will prevent soggy tortilla chips later), stirring occasionally. Stir in the drained black beans.  At this point, the mixture can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  2. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  For easy cleanup, line a rimmed half sheet pan with foil or parchment paper, and then cover the pan with a mixture of the tortilla chips and Fritos. At this point, I use about 2/3 of each bag.  Reserve the rest.
  3. Top the chips evenly with 2/3 of the cheese (you can eyeball this) followed by roughly 2/3 each of the ground beef mixture, corn and onion.
  4. Top with a layer of remaining chips (omitting the broken pieces at the bottom of the bag – reserve these for a chili or chicken tortilla soup topping), and then evenly scatter the remaining cheese, beef, corn and onion over all.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the cheese and chips start to lightly brown around the edges. (Check a minute or so early as all ovens vary.)
  6. Remove from the oven and top with the avocado, jalapeño, scallions and optional ingredients of choice, serving the wet ingredients like salsa, sour cream and guacamole on the side. Serve immediately.
Notes

For maximum crunch, baked nachos are best eaten fresh from the oven. However, any leftovers can be heated on a metal baking sheet in a low oven (275 to 300 degrees F) for 5-10 minutes or until hot.  Watch carefully to avoid burning. Even when reheated this way, some of the chips will still be somewhat soft, but nobody here has ever complained!

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

For my LNP readers:

Several days ago, I received a phone call informing me that, due to budget cuts at LNP, today would be my last column. I had already submitted today’s recipe, but I was afforded the space to notify my truly fabulous readers of this unexpected change.

When I began sharing my recipes and stories with LNP in 2012, I decided that my little corner of the paper should be a happy place. There’s too much bad news in the world, so why not forget about the disheartening and contentious issues for a while and focus on the lighter things in life, like enjoying delicious, easy-to-make meals with family and friends.

Early on, I realized that this column could highlight more than just my family each week, and I felt privileged when I could use this space to shine a light on a handful of the many worthy causes and inspiring people in our community.

The heartfelt feedback I regularly received from my faithful readers was an unexpected and treasured bonus. My mood always brightened when you told me that my page was the first thing you turned to every Sunday morning, and I was equally flattered by the serious sports fans who reported reading my column right after a quick check of the scores. I happily replied to every email and valued all the impromptu conversations as we met along our daily travels.

The work I put into this weekly column far outweighed my paycheck, but the connection I shared with each and every one of you was priceless. You made this task a labor of love.

The positive comments provided by those who cooked the recipes also served to raise the metaphorical bar. The last thing I ever wanted was for someone to spend precious time and money on one of my recipes only to be disappointed. What I do isn’t rocket science and it sure won’t create world peace, but I made lots of test runs and offered as many tips and substitutions as possible in hopes of smooth sailing at mealtime.

While I will truly miss our Sunday morning get-togethers, the good news is that all of this started on my Fountain Avenue Kitchen blog and that’s still going strong. Fountainavenuekitchen.comis where I have always shared my recipes first, including the ones that appear in LNP, plus an additional midweek recipe. Join me there!

In addition, I was asked to mention that those who’d like a reminder when new recipes are posted can sign up for email updates by simply entering your email address in the blue box on the right side of any page on my blog. There are never more than two weekly emails – and I don’t sell or share email addresses with anyone.

Many readers ask if I’ll ever run out of recipes, and believe it or not, after all these years I still have a long and growing list. Beyond my personal creations there are countless gems from family, friends, readers and local restaurants, along with compelling stories in the works about some remarkable people among us.

So as I sign off one last time (and wipe a wayward tear), I raise my coffee cup to you in profound gratitude for your time, feedback and genuine interest over all these years. I look forward to continuing our conversations online and around town. Now enjoy the nachos!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Patty Otto

    Ann, so sorry to see your column disappear! I’ve clipped many of your recipes. I will keep Fountain Ave as a favorite! Bon appetit,
    Patty O.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Patty! Thank you for your kind words. I’ve received so many lovely emails this morning and am truly sad to say goodbye to such a loyal group of readers. I just added the original goodbye letter I wrote for the newspaper (under the recipe on this post), as it’s a bit different than what was published and for those who may have simply missed today’s paper. It was a wonderful seven years!

      Reply
  2. Jim

    You were my go to place as I learned to cook & bake better after my wife died 6 years ago. I routinely made your Sunday recipe for family and friends. I still have several jars of homemade Vanilla.

    Thanks!

    Jim Riccio

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      It is comments like yours, Jim, that make this job of mine worth doing. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I bet your family and friends cherish that time with you on Sundays!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I am so sad, too, Kelly, but truly look forward to welcoming many of my fantastic LNP readers to this space. Hopefully, we can have just as much fun and even better dialogue here. (And I love that your teenagers approved!❤️)
      Oh, if you haven’t already, please feel free to enter your email in the little blue box on this site. That way you’ll receive email links to new recipes - only 2 per week and I never share or sell the email addresses!

      Reply
  3. Christine Rosser

    Dear Ann, I first found you online and was later thrilled to see you in the Sunday News. I’ve tried a number of your recipes and never been disappointed. I too will miss seeing you every Sunday. Somehow I have grown to feel as if I know you as a friend. Thanks so much for the many inside stories that accompany your recipes. That made it so personal and fun!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      The feeling is completely mutual, Christine! I feel such a special connection with my readers, and I really hope many of those who can no longer find me in the paper will find their way here. It would be wonderful to start a fresh, new dialogue through the comment section of the posts where we can all enjoy the comments, suggestions and feedback from others. Above all, thanks for being one of my longtime, loyal readers…I’m so lucky!

      Reply
  4. Marie Newlin

    Dear Ann, you were one of the last reasons I picked up the Sunday paper. About a year ago I started going to your web site on line. You are my go to when I want something good and different. My family loves your recipes and I always say “it is from the Fountain Avenue Kitchen”, they gobble it up! Thanks so much, Marie

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Your comment makes me so happy, Marie. Thanks for letting me know and for being a regular in this space. Please feel free to comment and share feedback on any of the recipes going forward. It will be a treat to have that kind of dialogue among readers in a fresh, new way!

      Reply