The trick to great nachos at home is more cheese than you want to admit to putting in a dish, but I believe it is counter balanced by the "salad" on top. So think of this as a once in a while indulgence, not a dish to put in your bi-weekly rotation.
As with any dish, the better your ingredients, the better the end result. Do buy high quality tortilla chips - thin, organic - not rounds that are more salt than corn. Fresh avocados, tomatoes, cilantro and red onions are also on my must list. This is one of the few dishes that I reach for canned black olives and not the more pungent kalamata or briny green olives. If you like spice, get some pickled jalapeno slices and serve them on the side if all your eaters don't want some fire in their mouth. Personalize it, they're your nachos!
Fully Loaded Nachos
Serves 3-4 as a meal
10 oz good quality tortilla chips
12 oz cheese, shredded (cheddar, monterey jack, jalapeno jack, mozzarella, any mix will do)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
4 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
1 vegetarian chorizo link, cut in half lengthwise, chopped
1/2 can black olives, drained and chopped
diced pickled jalapenos
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl combine the tomatoes, cilantro and red onion and toss well, adding a pinch of salt. Set aside to mingle. Spread half of the chips in a glass baking pan and distribute 1/3 of the cheese over the chips. Sprinkle half of the chorizo pieces over chips. Pile on remaining chips and sprinkle on rest of the cheese and the remaining chorizo pieces. When oven is hot, bake chips for 5 minutes or until cheese is just melting but not browning. Remove from oven and sprinkle lettuce over top, spoon tomato mixtures on top. Lastly sprinkle on olives and avocado and serve with side of diced pickled jalapeno, hot sauce, salsa, and sour cream if desired.
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Rice Noodle Salad with Grapefruit Sriracha Vinaigrette at Post Punk Kitchen
Cauliflower Pizza Crust with BBQ Chicken Pizza at Closet Cooking
New Mexico Red Chile Tofu at More than Tofu