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Hey, did you know that the Superbowl is this coming Sunday? If it weren’t for Deflategate would any of us know who’s playing in the Superbowl, other than the fans of those two particular teams? I doubt it. For me the only reason to watch to Superbowl is for the commercials. Oh, and the food. When else is it acceptable to watch a football game you care nothing about only for the commercials and the food? I’m gonna say never. I only pay attention to the football game when MY team, the New Orleans Saints are playing. Yes, so that means I’ve only paid attention to the football once. What’s your point?

You know who would be all over the Superbowl, but only if his team, the Denver Broncos were playing? Hector. So many of you are now asking yourselves, “Who the heck is Hector?” Remember a few months ago when I posted the recipe for Stuffed Shells and I talked about my online book club and how were reading anything by Kristen Ashley, but especially her Rock Chick Series? If you don’t, go back and read the post about Ren’s Stuffed Shells (I just changed the name to Ren’s Stuffed Shells!). But anyway, I digress. Hector is the Hot Bunch rescuer of our heartbreakingly sweet damsel in distress, Sadie in Rock Chick Regret, the seventh book in the series. Hector is big and bad and a former DEA agent now working for a PI company full of HOT badasses. Sounds like a pretty good story to me. I’d read that. In fact I have, many times!

IMG_2379While this is probably something that Hector could make, he didn’t make these nachos. He’s more of a standing next to the grill drinking a beer kind of cooking guy. You see, in Rock Chick Regret, our girl Sadie is staying with her two best friends who happen to be a gay couple named Ralphie and Buddy. Buddy’s the cook. One night while Hector is at Buddy and Ralphie’s visiting Sadie, Buddy decides to make nachos for Hector because they’re “the food of his people” and Sadie is whisked away from Hector’s arms to “smush up avocados for guacamole” much to Hector’s chagrin. This is what I imagined Buddy’s nachos to be like and I’m sure they were delicious. Mine were, that’s for sure. And make sure you pair it with a Fat Tire beer. It’s what Hector would do (and so would I).

IMG_2386Hector’s Nachos

  • 1½ pounds ground beef (see notes) or other protein of choice
  • 1 small or ½ large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeñno, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1½ tsp Chipotle Morita red chile powder (see notes)
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika(hot or sweet depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lb medium cheddar cheese, monterey jack or combination of both, grated
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips
  • pico de gallo
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • sliced or pickled jalapeños

Preheat oven to 375˚. In a large sauté pan, brown ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain if necessary (see notes). Add onion and jalapeño to pan with beef. Sauté until onion and jalapeño are soft. Add spices and sauté until spices are fragrant and have slightly browned. About 4-5 minutes. Add water and cook over medium heat until most of the water has evaporated. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of tortilla chips on the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other oven-proof dish. Spread half the meat mixture over chips. Layer about one-third to one-half of the cheese over meat mixture. Spread another layer of chips over cheese and repeat with meat and cheese. Place in oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before adding toppings. Now you can add any toppings you like! You’ll notice from the picture that there is no guac on my nachos. That’s because I don’t like avocados. Ew. I’ve tried, but no can do. Sorry. But if that’s your thing, then by all means, add it or anything else you like! Be creative. If you like refried beans on your nachos I’d add them to the top layer between the chips and the meat before it goes in the oven. ¡Disfrute! (that means Enjoy! in Spanish…at least that’s what Google Translator told me. I apologize it that is wrong!).

IMG_2388

Notes:

  • I use 100% grass fed beef purchased by a local farmer. It’s very lean and I rarely have to drain anything. If you’re using ground beef from the supermarket, especially if it’s 80/20, you’ll need to drain it completely. You can add a little olive oil or avocado oil before you add your onions and jalapeños.
  • I used ground beef, but you can use whatever type of protein you choose. Have tons of ground deer (it’s been a good season)? Use that. Ground turkey, pork or chicken? Sure! Why not? They’re your nachos, make them however you choose.
  • I’ve found the best way to drain ground beef is the Easy Greasy. Instead of round holes that the beef can fall through, the openings are narrow slats that keep all the beef and none of the fat. It’s a great product invented by a mom. She had a problem with drainers/colanders, so she made her own. Kudos to her! It has great reviews on Amazon!
  • The chipotle morita red chile powder is hot but not HOT. It has a 2500-5000 rating on the Scoville Heat Unit scale. Also, because it’s chipotle it has a very distinct smoky flavor. I love smoky flavors but I know that’s not everyone’s thing. You can also regular chili powder if you don’t like smoky flavors. If you do love smoky flavors like I do, but you can’t get chipotle morita in your area (and don’t have time before the Superbowl to order it from Red Stick Spice), you can always use the chipotle in adobo sauce, just NOT the whole can! I would add HALF a pepper (chopped) and a tablespoon of the adobo sauce and taste. You can always add more, but once you’ve gone too far it’s too late. Another option is to make the Aji Colorado sauce. This sauce is from my first LWA post, Chicken Tacos.
  • Again, if smoke isn’t your thing you can use Spanish or Hungarian paprika. I won’t tell. Just make sure it’s quality paprika.
  • Looking for a dessert to take to your Superbowl party? How about some peanut butter cookies with a Hershey’s square (or kiss) in the middle? Not your thing? What about some caramel layer squares or Milky Way cake?
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