• I remember awhile back, UK Man asked me about nachos. I probably replied with the boring version we usually make, namely, tortilla chips with cheddar cheese melted on top. Mmmm. I think I need to head to the kitchen right now.

    Here is much more robust version.


    ¼ pound slab or thick-cut bacon, diced

    • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 ½ pounds ground beef, like chuck or sirloin
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, hot or mild
    • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • 1 12- to-16-ounce bag corn tortilla chips
    • ½ head iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded
    • ½ cup pickled jalapeños
    • 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
    • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
    • 3 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
    • 2 limes, cut into eighths, for garnish

    Sauté onions, add ground beef and spices. Drain.

    Crisp the bacon; drain and blot.

    Assemble the nachos on a half sheet pan: Put a layer of tortilla chips on the pan and cover with about 1/3 of the meat mixture, then add about 1/3 of the lettuce, 1/3 of the jalapeños, and a handful of the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. Top with more tortilla chips, more meat, more lettuce, jalapeños, and cheese, then make a final layer of chips, meat, bacon, jalapeños and cheese. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and slide the sheet pan into the oven to bake until the cheeses have melted through, about 10 to 12 minutes.

    Top cooked nachos with the sliced radishes, avocados and tomatoes, and dot the tray with teaspoons of sour cream. Scatter the cilantro over the top and serve, accompanied by limes and hot sauce.

    [OK. I’m clueless about Cojota cheese, don’t like cilantro, and can’t fathom radishes on nachos.

    My advice is to ignore those 3 and carry on!]