Cooking with Colm O'Gorman: Fully loaded nachos

"There are a few elements to this, but they are easy enough, can be made in advance and then assembled and finished off in ten minutes... it is divine"
Cooking with Colm O'Gorman: Fully loaded nachos

I miss going to the cinema. I miss the big screen experience and the total escape the world it can provide. We have had lots of movie nights at home over this past year. Technology has been a blessing. Imagine this past year without online streaming and a good TV or home cinema system? It cannot rival the real thing, but it helps. The snacks though can be better at home though. The popcorn is fresher, and you can always add some flavours like a little chilli or cinnamon to make it even better, and best of all are these homemade loaded nachos. The cinema bought version cannot compete. This is not just a snack, more a meal in itself and perfect for a Friday night movie at home.

Crisp fully loaded nachos with spicy beef and black beans, a fresh salsa, guacamole, melted cheddar, sour cream, pickled jalapenos and a delicious jalapeno cheese sauce that is to die for. The sauce is my daughter’s creation. We use vintage white cheddar in a white sauce finished with chopped pickled jalapeno peppers. It is divine.

There are a few elements to this, but they are easy enough, can be made in advance and then assembled and finished off in ten minutes. This recipe serves four.

Spicy Beef and Beans

  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 2tbps rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp flaky sea slat
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 1 ear of corn on the cob
  • 400g tortilla chips

Salsa

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 20g fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Juice of a lime

Cheese Sauce

  • 20g butter
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 150g grated vintage cheddar
  • A handful of pickled jalapeno peppers
  • Salt and pepper

Guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ small white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Flaky sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

To Serve

  • Sour cream
  • Grated vintage cheddar
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Fresh coriander
  • Lime wedges

Warm a frying pan over high heat. Stand the cob of corn on one end in a bowl and using a sharp knife, carefully slice away all the kernels. Pop the corn into the dry hot pan, do not use any oil, and cook over a high heat, tossing them regularly until they begin to blacken a little. Do not overcook them, you want them a little charred but still crisp and juicy. This will only take a few minutes. When they are done, set them aside.

Finely slice the onion and grate three cloves of garlic. Heat the oil in the pan you used for the corn and then add the onions. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until they are soft. Add the garlic and cook for another two to three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beef. Cook for another few minutes and then add the cumin, chill powder and the oregano. Cook until the meat is well browned, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and warm them through. Set aside while you make the rest of the dish.

Next, make the salsa. Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing the stalks. Do the same with the chillies, leaving in the seeds if you want the salsa to be hot and spicy. Roughly chop the onion, the garlic, and the coriander. You should use the stalks of the coriander as well as the leaves as they have lots of flavour. Pop everything into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Do not puree them, you want them finely diced for a good texture. You can dice them by hand if you prefer. Pop everything into a bowl, add the cumin, lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lime juice or seasoning as needed.

Time to make the cheeses sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium/low, add the flour, and stir it until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter and forms a smooth paste. This will only take a minute or two. Now add the milk and turn up the heat. Stir continuously as you bring the mixture to a soft boil. As the milk heats, it melts the paste and makes a smooth, creamy sauce. This will take about five to ten minutes. Do not boil the sauce, instead reduce the heat as the sauce thickens and add the cheese. Stir it in well until it melts. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Roughly chop the jalapeno peppers and add them to the cheese sauce.

To make the guacamole, simply mash the avocado, add the onion, very finely chopped, and the garlic, finely grated. Season with salt and pepper and add the lime juice and the coriander. Mix it well.

Heat your oven to 180c and put the tortilla chips on a non-stick baking tray. Bake for about three minutes, this will avoid them getting too soggy when you add the toppings. Warm the spicy beef and beans through. Spread them over the centre of the tortilla chips and then add the blackened corn and a generous amount of grated cheddar. Put the tray under a hot grill until the cheese is melted and bubbly, being careful not to burn the tortilla chips.

Serve up with a few scoops of the guacamole, some sour cream, even more pickled jalapenos, lime wedges and a little chopped coriander. Warm the cheese sauce through and serve it and the salsa on the side in a few little bowls.

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