Nachos are a snack of necessity at the core.
In 1943, the wives of soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan crossed the border into Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila to go shopping. When they had finished, they were hungry and stopped at the Victory Club for refreshments. Unfortunately, the kitchen had already closed, and so the maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, put a dish together with the ingredients he had at his disposal. He cut tortillas into triangles, melted cheddar cheese over then and topped them with jalapeño peppers.
The soldiers’ wives were delighted with the dish, and when asked what it was called, Ignacio replied, “Nacho’s especiales.” The term was passed around in english until it was confused as “special nachos”, forgetting that “Nacho” was the man’s nickname and not an actual dish.
One Dish, Many Different Takes
Nachos are the type of dish that take very little thought or effort to make, but they leave room to add more and more elaborate additions. The elemental dish is cooked down to just tortilla chips and melted cheese. Given those two ingredients, anything else is up for negotiation.
Flavored chips like Doritos. Different types of cheese, or substitute “nacho” cheese. Peppers, onions, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, black beans, or ground or shredded meats all come into play. Whatever goes on the nachos, it must ultimately remain a finger food. And if that’s the case, you’ve still got Nachos.
A Dish of Convenience
Because nachos are so easy to eat, they’ve become a favorite of casual gatherings all over America. Nachos can be served in all kinds of casual and quick venues. Convenience stores, restaurants, and bars of all types offer nachos. In fact, one of the mainstays of modern nachos, a combination of a hard tortilla chip and a cheese sauce, has become known as “ballpark nachos” for its popularity it sporting event refreshment stands.
Bring Relaxation With You
With that said, the ability to serve nachos, even in an outdoor setting, leads back to a sense of recreational Americana. It means to say that the host and company are in for a relaxed, casual event without pretense or unnecessary pomp. It could really only be improved with a couple of cold beers to pass around!
To facilitate your informal outdoor gatherings, we offer this dutch oven nacho dip recipe.
- 1 Lb ground beef
- 1 Lb hot pork sausage
- 1 Package hot taco seasoning mix
- 1 Tsp cumin
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ Cup water
- 1 Small can jalapeno peppers, drained
- 1 Can refried beans
- 8 Oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 Oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Jar salsa
- 1 Bag tortilla chips
- Set your Cast Iron 5 Quart Round Dutch Oven over hot coals.
- Brown the ground beef, pork sausage, onions, and garlic.
- Drain off grease.
- Add taco seasoning, cumin, and 1/4 cup water.
- Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Over the meat, layer evenly the beans, cheese, jalapenos, and salsa.
- Bake at 325 for 30 minutes with 3/4 of the coals on top of the dutch oven.
- You can scoop straight from the pot with tortilla chips, or spoon the dip into individual bowls.
Expect to serve 4-6 people.
Have you been entertaining friends in your yard or at the campsite and used this recipe? Let us know how it turns out in the comments below!
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