Nachos, or tortilla chips covered with cheese or cheese-based sauce, is a traditional Tex-Mex dish from northern Mexico that has gained popularity as a snack in recent years. More elaborate versions add more ingredients to the base preparation and can be served as a main dish.
Though easy to whip up at home, there is a world of difference between gooey-cheesy-spicy-crunchy-salty-delicious nachos…and soggy nachos. To avoid soggy nachos, and get something delicious, follow the given steps:
Choose your chips wisely:
A thick, sturdy restaurant-style tortilla chip is the one to be used when it comes to homemade nachos, because a thin chip may be crunchy and crisp, but it will not be able to take the weight of all the toppings. Whether you opt for an expensive brand chip or an artisanal, small batch brand, be sure that it is hearty and heavy.
Pick the perfect combination of cheese:
When picking cheese, the price should be the least of your worries. Choose a combination of cheeses after taking into consideration both flavor and its melting factor. Do not choose packaged, pre-shredded cheese as these contain stabilizer which hinder their melting, instead shred your own cheese. Shredding cheese, rather than chopping or tearing it, has the added advantage in that it tends to melt faster, which means your nachos will be perfectly gooey without being charred or overdone.
Layer like a pro:
One layer of chips and toppings will taste good, but a double layer makes it even better. For maximum crunchy texture, start with a layer of chips that completely covers the bottom of your tray. Then, slather it with any toppings that need to be hot and/or melted, like beans, shredded meat, and cheese. Finally, do it all over again with another layer of chips and another of toppings. Once you reach the top, add a layer of cheese. The cheese will give you a bubby and golden look while keeping the underneath layers moist.
Keep everything bite-sized:
Nachos are meant to be messy, but not so messy that they are impossible to eat. So make sure that every element of the dish is bite sized; shred the chicken finely, cut the steak into small pieces and break ground meat into smaller clumps.
Separate your hot and cold ingredients:
Remember that hot items go in the oven and cool items outside. Your meat, chips, and cheese are delicious when hot so they should be placed in the oven together, while fresh herbs, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or avocado should be kept out and used just before serving.
Experiment with flavors:
Everyone loves a classic cheese, bean, meat, and salsa dish, but also many are excited to experiment on new recipes. So when experimenting, stick to the basics and add a bit of your favorite flavors, for instance, tamarind chutney.
Do not forget the cleanup: Cleanup can be condensed into two words: Aluminum foil. While melted cheese is delicious, it is also the most difficult to scrape off a baking sheet.To avoid the hard work, line your rimmed baking sheet with foil, and when the feast is over, all you have to do is crumple and toss it in the trash.