When I was nine years old, I went through a homemade nacho phase. We didn’t always keep tortilla chips around, but when there was a bag in the pantry, I’d layer a generous handful on a plate with shredded cheese and pinto beans. They’d go in the microwave them until the chips seemed toasted and the cheese bubbled. I’d top it with some Trader Joe’s salsa and call it a success.
Note: If memory serves, I only did this when my dad was the parent in charge, because I’m fairly certain my mom would have put the kibosh on any meal that used chips as it’s foundation. I think my dad went for it because I always made him a plate as well.
On Monday night, after a long drive home from Western Massachusetts, Scott and I were casting around for something to eat for dinner. We’d already had two restaurant meals that day and the idea of a third did not appeal. After running through the usual suspects (scrambled eggs, pasta with sauce, meatballs from the freezer), Scott spotted half a bag of slightly stale blue corn tortilla chips on top of the fridge and said, “what about nachos?”
His suggestion immediately reminded me of the nachos I used to make and I got to work. I pulled out the last jar of roasted corn salsa from 2012 (it’s one of my favorite recipes from Food in Jars) and another of black beans (from this post).
I grated some sturdy Kerrygold Dubliner cheese (they sent me some back in April while I was on the road) and layered it all on the baking sheet that fits into our toaster oven (I’m moved up in the world from the microwave of my youth). I set it to bake at 350 degrees F for about ten minutes, so that the cheese could melt and the chips could shake off the worst of their staleness.
It was a satisfyingly good and easy dinner and the perfect thing to eat after a road trip, while you’re watching the previous night’s Mad Men.