Renovate Your Nacho Plate: Keep the crowd-pleasing concept, but try a new take on the flavors
One of my favorite foods to share with friends is a big messy plate of nachos. The usual combination of corn chips, spicy salsa, beans, and melty cheese is always a crowd-pleaser, but since I’m a chef, I can hardly ever leave well enough alone.
So when culture’s editor asked me to reimagine the nacho, to shake up the concept, I jumped at the chance to bring a new twist to an all-time winner.
I realized that the essential elements of classic nachos are not so much tied to the ingredients themselves as to their function in this finger-friendly, unfussy dish. This means that what you need is a crunchy base layer as a vehicle for the toppings and cheese, with flavorful accents to jazz up the whole thing. Playing in the kitchen with this idea to guide me, I discovered a multitude of possibilities. The recipes I share here are the best among them.
Bear in mind that while I’ve provided instruction for everything—from homemade chips to making ricotta from scratch—the idea is to have a good time. Feel free to improvise, substitute for convenience, and generally tweak these ideas to your liking. They’ll be great whether you make everything from scratch or use store-bought ingredients to assemble your- self. Either way, you’ll be assembling a first-ever flavor experience for yourself and your guests.
Written by Monica Byrne
Photography by Michael Harlan Turkell