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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 8, 2008: Nachos, Cindy-style

On Friday we had a nerdy night in, eating nachos on the couch while watching Dr Who on DVD. While half the point is to be slothful and self-indulgent, I don't think that nachos need to be a complete guilt trip. Chips and cheese are essential of course, but I like to fill out the middle with refried beans and chopped veges. It takes a little longer than the version I usually encounter at pubs - consisting of supermarket salsa, oily cheese and sour cream - but you can still prepare it within 30 minutes and I reckon you'll be far more satisfied with the result. To speed things up a little, you can layer up the diced veges raw rather than pre-cooking them.

This would be delicious with home-made salsa, but that would make it even more time consuming. Instead Michael picked out the Chilli Factory's capsicum salsa to serve on the side.

Nachos, Cindy-style

1 red capsicum
1 medium zucchini
~6 mushrooms
a splash of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
750g can kidney beans (or black beans, if you can find them), drained
a few shakes of powdered garlic
a few grinds of pepper
200g packet corn chips
1 cup grated cheese
salsa, to serve
sour cream or avocado, to serve (I know you want both, but you don't need that much fat. Really!)

Finely dice the capsicum, zucchini and mushrooms. Heat the oil in a large frypan and cook the capsicum over medium heat until soft. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for one last minute, then transfer the veges to a plate or bowl.

Throw the beans into the frypan and stir them around for a minute. Add half a cup of water, and give them a bit of a mash. Stir and mash and add extra water to get a consistency that you like - I like a bit of texture to remain, so I don't mash too much. Stir through the powdered garlic and pepper, then take them off the heat.

Get yourself a baking tray with walls about 2 inches high. Spread the chips in a layer over the bottom of it. Next layer the beans over the chips, then the veges on top of the beans. Finally, sprinkle over the cheese.

Put your nachos under the grill until the cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them because the time required is highly sensitive to the distance to the grill element and its temperature.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or avocado, forks and napkins.


  1. now those are my kind of nachos - if only your average pub would do them like thin I would be happy - but I would probably have to have both avocado and yoghurt (rather than sour cream) because I agree you want both.

  2. Yeah, I'd like to see beans in more pub nachos! I know you've got a few good chilli non carne recipes, and I reckon using some leftovers in place of refried beans here would also be fantastic.

  3. No, I REALLY DO need that much fat.. really.

    Going to cook this tonight. The Gnat is coming over. (Son's vegie G/F)

    They, in the first blush of lerve, think they're celebrating VD.

    You and I know better ;)

    Happy 42nd Anniversary of the Introduction of Decimal Currency Day, daw-link!!

  4. I hope Lima Bean & the Gnat enjoyed their nachos, PG!

    Decimal currency is a wonderful thing. Hooray for counting in tens! :-)