Nachos with Queso Fundido
I serve this dish all the time at house parties, for both adults and kids. These super sophisticated nachos are built with several components, all made from scratch and delicious on their own. When served together, they will blow your mind. I wouldn’t ask you to go through all of this work if you couldn’t use these elements in other dishes: the queso fundido makes a great dip; the seven-pepper salsa is a great rub for steaks, pork or chicken; the tomatillo-and-avocado salsa is superb spooned over grilled fish, shrimp or lobster. You get the drift.
The Best Nachos of All Time
- 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups seven-pepper salsa (recipe below)
- 8 ounces queso Oaxaca or fresh mozzarella, grated (about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 cups)
- 8 to 10 ounces tortilla chips (1 medium bag)
- 1 cup avocado-tomatillo salsa
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
- 2 limes, quartered, for serving
- 5 dried ancho chiles
- 3 dried pasilla negre chiles
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 habanero pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 3 dried arbol chiles
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Make the Queso Fundido: Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the chorizo into the skillet and cook, breaking the meat up with a spoon, until the meat is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the salsa, lower the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until any liquid evaporates, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and continue stirring until all of the cheese has melted.
Scatter the chips on a serving platter. Ladle about half of the queso fundido over the chips. Spoon a cup or more of the avocado-tomatillo salsa round the pile wherever the queso didn’t land.
Sprinkle with the cilantro, tomatoes, onion and olives. Sprinkle the cotija cheese over the top. Serve with lime wedges.
SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the ancho and pasilla negre chiles. Leave the chiles in the water for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cutting board. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, remove the stems and seeds.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the poblano, jalapeno and habanero peppers on the baking sheet and broil about 4 inches from the heat, turning frequently, until charred all over (remove the peppers as they are blackened and transfer to a boil; the smaller ones will be done first). When all of the peppers are charred, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and seed them.
While the peppers steam, place the tomatoes, cut-side down, on the same baking sheet and broil until charred all over, about 5 to 7 minutes. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and core them.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the arbol chiles and toast until fragrant, about 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board and, when the chiles are cool enough to handle, remove the stems and seeds.
In a food processor, combine the roasted peppers, reconstituted chiles, toasted arbol chiles, cumin, garlic and lime juice. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt, add the cilantro and pulse until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use; the salsa will taste its best after resting for a day.
Recipe from ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey.