November 3, 2015


Artist's rendition: Me getting terrible restaurant nachos
Nachos are a sore spot for me. Because they're so so very awesome. But nobody ever makes them right, and it pisses me off. I don't know. I grew up with relatively easy access to awesome nachos, and while I know that not everybody shared that experience, they should at least be familiar enough with the concept to not microwave cheese on top of a bag of chips and try to sell it to me for $8.95. This has been more angry ranting and less fun banter with the voices in my head than usual, so let's all watch this to even out again. We all good? Cool. Back to nachos. The point of nachos, at least to me, is to be able to get a little bit of everything in each tiny bite. Not to have a giant disk of chips held together with congealed cheese that you have to rip apart, getting beans everywhere and grossing out everybody at your niece's Bat Mitzva, or Quinceanera, or whatever. The point is, your clothes are stained, your family is ashamed of you, your date left an hour ago, and it's the fault of sub-par nachos.


2 15 oz cans of Pinto Beans
1 Standard Issue Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
8 oz Cheddar Cheese
3 Jalapeños 
3 Cups Milk
1/3 Cup Vegetable Stock
3 TBSP Butter
3 TBSP Sour Cream
3 TBSP Flour (You need 3 of a lot of things in this recipe. Try not to let it worry you. It's in no way a hint to some sort of greater conspiracy affecting your life. Almost definitely)
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 TBSP Olive Oil
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
An unspecified amount of salt
Tortilla Chips. All the Tortilla Chips (You can use your favorite store bought chips if you like. Or, if you have the will of the warrior, slice up some corn tortillas, fry them in oil, and then toss a little salt on them. Because it's super easy, crazy awesome, and your therapist said you need to try new things)

The first thing you're gonna need to do is make some refried beans. Because Nachos without beans, while technically pretty authentic, are just little edible plates of sadness. So chop up your onion, and throw it in a pan with your Olive Oil and an ASHP (average sized human's pinch) of Salt over medium heat. Saute` the onion for about 5 minutes, until it starts to get soft and golden. Add in your Garlic, Cumin, Chili Powder, and Cayenne, and Saute` another minute. Add in your Pinto Beans along with one more ASHP of Salt, and let it cook for another couple minutes before adding in your Vegetable Stock. Bring the whole mess to a boil, and let it go for another 5 minutes. Now it's time to get an authentic rustic texture, by taking the back of a spoon, and individually crushing your pinto beans for approximately 3 lifetimes (Bonus points if you use this as an opportunity to express some of the anger you've felt over the years at disappointing nachos, which led to a disappointing life). You want a thick and creamy consistency, but you still want whole beans floating around in there, letting people know what it is they're eating, and generally taunting you about the amount of time you've spend smashing beans compared to the amount of unsmashed beans looking up at you with their stupid bean faces.

Next you're gonna make a cheese sauce. Because of course the cheese should be in sauce form. Any other thought you might have had is blasphemy. Do you want to go to Nacho hell? No? Then stop asking questions about the cheese sauce. It's pretty simple. Essentially, you're gonna take the Flour, Butter, and Milk, and another AHSP of salt to make a thick Bechamel sauce. Too lazy to read that link, but somehow not too lazy to read this? Here's a brief overview: melt the butter in a pot, whisk in the flour slowly, and let it cook for a minute. Then add in the Milk slowly, whisking like crazy until your arm wants to fall off, but can't because of your dumb skin. Got it? Good. Chop up 2 of your Jalapeños, and throw them in the sauce. Then melt in your cheese, in a couple batches so that it actually incorporates and doesn't just end up in a cheesy mess on the bottom of your pot. Keep it cooking over low heat until it threatens to boil but isn't actually boiling yet, and then turn off the heat. Jalapeño Cheese Sauce!

Normally I say something like "they taste even better than
they look. Which is clearly impossible here. I'm gonna
go with "as good." They taste as good as they look. 
Now it's time for the assembly. It's important (To me. And now, because I'm forcing you, to you!) to be able to get a little bit of everything with each bite. So lay down a thick layer of Tortilla Chips on whatever you're gonna be eating these things off of/out of. Then drizzle a layer of your Jalapeño Cheese Sauce (!) over it, followed by a loose layer of your beans. Then add on another layer of chips, followed by another layer of beans, and another layer of cheese sauce. Why does the order of the beans and sauce reverse here? Because it's better that way. What's with all the questions? Do you want to go to Nacho purgatory? Then don't question the order of operations. Throw your Sour Cream down in the middle of your pile of awesomeness, chop up your final Jalapeño, and sprinkle it over everything. And that's all there is to some incredible nachos. And the best part is, you can make enough to share with your friends for the price of an individual portion from a restaurant. Just kidding! The best part is that they're awesome. Eat them all yourself until you get sick.


  1. Those look amazing! Also, try a potato masher for the beans, it's way less stressful and time consuming... Want to make us a batch of these when you come visit? :)

    1. Potato masher sounds like a good idea. Now I just need to buy a potato masher. And sure, I'll make you all the Nachos you can stomach.