The Art Of Making Nachos

This October marks the 70th season of the National Basketball Association. Through mid-April, throngs of basketball fans will pour into arenas across the country and watch as their favorite teams engage in some truly fierce competition. Along the way, these same folks will enjoy plate after plate of nachos, concoctions of crispy tortilla chips drenched in golden cheese and spicy jalapenos. However, you don’t have to drive out to your local sports arena – or even be a basketball fan for that matter – to enjoy some tasty nachos. Here are a few tips and tricks for making nachos worthy of even the hungriest of sold-out crowds:

Choose your chips
The kinds of chips you choose can often make or beak your plate of nachos. Before you consider corn or flour, you want to make sure you have thick enough chips. Too thin, and the chip will crumble into a soggy mess under the weight of the other ingredients. Too thick, however, and the chips can distract from the greater nacho experience. You also want to consider the size of the actual chips. You need ones that are large enough to hold the ingredients but not too big for your mouth, either. Now, as for the matter of corn versus flour, its mostly a personal preference. However, be aware that corn chips are gluten free, and that just might be enough to sway some people.

How many toppings?
Some people enjoy a nice, light nacho, one where the ingredients don’t overpower the actual chip. Meanwhile, some folks much prefer a plate of nachos that are dripping with ingredients to the point where the chip is little more than some added crunch. To properly satisfy everyone at the dinner table, it’s best to strike a balance of ingredients. To do that, you should treat each layer individually. Lay down a line of chips, pile on the ingredients, start with another layer and then repeat as necessary. Additionally, part of that balance is about having as many flavors as possible. That means including something savory like meat or beans, a bit of greenery – provided by onion and cilantro – and plenty of spice, namely salsa and jalapenos.

It’s the little things
For so many people, nachos are an easy dish – just throw some guacamole, sour cream, cheese and salsa on some chips and voila, an awesome snack. However, it’s often the little things, taking those precious few minutes to add extra effort, that turn good nachos into truly great nachos. Once the nachos are mostly assembled, one easy step is to melt the cheese inside of the oven for a few minutes. Just be sure to to layer on any greens, like salsa or guacamole, after the plate’s out of the oven. Any time you use sauces, always drain away excess liquid; this is the most effective way to ensure none of the other ingredients get soggy and that all flavors interact properly. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment: Use different kinds of meats, like chorizo, and cheeses, like gouda.

No doubt your nacho-making skills will come in quite handy during culinary academy.

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