While I was perusing my friend Bee's blog, over at a Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine (congrats on the new domain name, chica!), I noticed her most recent post was a Cinco de Mayo recipe. Panicking slightly, I looked at my calendar and realized it was, in fact, almost May 5th. Where has this spring gone!? With the strange weather we've been getting in Rochester, my brain has not really wrapped around the fact it'll soon be summer.
But it's true, and I must forge ahead. So being inspired by Bee, I frantically searched for a fun Mexican dish to make to celebrate this fun holiday. Five minutes before I left work to go grocery shopping I stumbled upon this recipe for chorizo, bean, and cheese nachos from Emeril, over at FoodNetwork.com. It is layered like a lasagna and baked, and the rings of onions on top gave it a cool polka dot effect that I thought was cute 🙂
Despite my mother not liking sausage, I tend to use it in quite a few of my recipes. I love how versatile it can be! You can cook it whole and shove it in a bun, you can slice it and saute it, or you can crumble it and use like ground beef. Chorizo is different from regular sausage, and it has a distinctive taste that comes from the vinegar and paprika. There are many varieties, so for this Cinco de Mayo dish, make sure you purchase a Mexican chorizo (Spanish chorizo is very different).
You will need:
- 1 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- homemade tortilla chips, or large, restaurant style corn tortilla chips
- 1 1/2 cups grated pepper jack
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
- 1 small white onion, sliced into thin rings
- 5 large jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and chopped, or to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Being the adventurous cook I am, I decided I would attempt to make my own tortilla chips. I mean, all you do is cook wedges of tortillas in hot (360°F) oil, and maybe sprinkle with some seasonings, and that's it. Well, as you can see by the picture, they turned into some weird tortilla balloon things. Not sure why they inflated, but once I realized they weren't going to pop and explode oil all over me, I just went with it. I ended up squashing them down before I layered them into the nachos, and they tasted great!
Brown the crumbled chorizo in a large skillet with the garlic and cumin, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. To the leftover chorizo fat in the pan (I strangely did not have any), add the pinto beans, chili powder, salt, and about 1 cup of water (more or less depending on how watery the beans are). Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, smashing the beans with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, until you get a gross looking mushy bean soup. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 450°, and start assembling your nachos. First, lay down a sheet of chips, and then spread half of the bean mixture on top. Add half of the chorizo, sprinkle with shredded cheese, and layer the jalapeños and onions. Repeat.
Bake at 450° for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and it is hot throughout.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and sour cream, and serve over the nachos.
Pair it with a margarita or a nice cold cerveza, and dig in! Happy Cinco de Mayo!