Nachos are one of those things that I’ve always loved. Who wouldn’t love melty cheese and corn chips? But I felt bad about how incredibly unhealthy they are. Furthermore, I feel they can be an abomination to Mexican cuisine. So I have taken to making a fresh, flavoursome and healthier version of the old Tex-Mex favourite.
There are some things I cook that I plan for at the farmers market. Then there are those that I cook based on random ingredients in the fridge. We discovered the most delicious chips a few weeks back. Choku Bai Jo sell Thomas Chipman’s chips, they are organic and made with local ingredients. The potato chips are incredible, and I’ve tried the sweet potato ones too. I saw the corn chips this week and wanted to give them a go. It was worth it. They are yummy. I had a few handfuls as a naughty snack and was inspired to make nachos with the rest. I like to scatter a small tin of four bean mix through the corn chips and cheese before putting them in the oven. I had some lovely cherry tomatoes in the fridge, and beautiful sweet salad onions. Avocadoes have been on special all week and I had some home grown chillis in the freezer. I whipped up a couple of lovely salsas. I made one for myself with the tender heart of a celery, a totally underrated part of the vegetable. When the time came to make one for a vegetarian friend of mine, I’d used the celery heart and four bean mix, but put a few chickpeas into the salsa instead, for a healthy vegetarian meal.
This is meal that’s fun to share between two from one plate, but you can cut it back on the chips and serve it for one very hungry person. Or you could share it as a fancy snack for four people.
|to taste||mozzarella cheese, grated|
|125||gram (tin)||four bean mix|
|1/2||cup||sour light cream|
|1||small salad onion|
|2||small red chillis (optional)|
|1/2||teaspoon||red wine vinegar|
|1||teaspoon||extra virgin olive oil|
Cut the tomatoes into six wedges and then half them across the length. Finely slice the salad onion and celery heart. Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl and allow to marinade.
Preheat the oven to 160oC. Place a thin layer of corn chips on an oven proof plate (about 1 chip deep). Scatter over about a third of the beans over the top, and then a third of the cheese. Repeat two more times, finishing with a layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or till golden.
Meanwhile, mash the avocado, salt and lemon juice and scoop into a small serving bowl. If you’d like, garnish with a few slices of red chilli. Scoop the sour cream into a similar serving bowl and garnish with a little finely sliced parsley (I also used a little black lava salt for effect).
Remove the nachos from the oven and serve (I don’t have a trivet, so I simply rest the hot plate directly onto a cool one from the cupboard) with the salsa, guacamole and sour cream. To eat them, pull a chip from the stack. Using teaspoons scoop some sour cream, guacamole and salsa onto the chip. The sour cream and guacamole should make a solid foundation to hold the salsa. Enjoy!