Be sure to shred the cheese yourself; preshredded strands are often coated in an anticaking agent that could make the sauce grainy. You'll want to build the nachos on a sturdy base--nothing too thin and fragile, as the chips need to stand up to those tasty toppings. We love Lundberg's hearty Original Sea Salt Rice Chips, made with whole-grain brown rice.
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
6 ounces brown rice tortilla chips (such as Lundberg Sea Salt Rice Chips)
2/3 cup diced peeled avocado
How to Make It
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in jalapeño peppers. Let stand 25 minutes.
Combine 2 tablespoons cilantro, lime juice, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add tomato and next 4 ingredients (through beans); toss gently to coat.
Place cheese in a medium saucepan; sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to combine. Add milk. Cook over low heat until cheese melts and mixture thickens, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add hot sauce, stirring with a whisk.
Drain jalapeño mixture; discard liquid. Arrange chips in a single layer on a large platter. Reserve 1/2 cup bean salsa; arrange remaining salsa evenly over chips. Drizzle with cheese sauce; top evenly with avocado. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup bean salsa, remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, and jalapeños. Serve immediately.
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Especially with my teenager. I do need to come clean and admit we used Juanita's tortilla chips and I used sharp full fat cheddar for the cheese sauce. I also substituted red pepper flakes for the hot sauce in the cheese sauce. The jalapenos were pretty hot and I made sure to clean out the seeds. Next time, I'd only use one pepper as it was plenty. Will make again.
Well...sounds delicious but didn't quite work out for my family. The jalapenos were only OK. I usually buy pickled jalapenos in a jar and we ended up tossing out the homemade ones and just using the ones from a jar. My husband is a picky eater and hates onions, so I omitted onions from the salsa. It has potential but the lime juice was overpowering. I kept adding more tomato and nothing toned down the acidity. So we ended up not eating that either. The cheese sauce - which the recipe says to cook on low - took forever to thicken. It didn't even start to thicken until I turned the heat up to medium low. I tasted it before adding the Tabasco and it tasted like watered down nacho cheese sauce. Once I added the Tabasco, the flavor was so off-putting...we scraped that, too! I like the flavor of Tabasco but it didn't work for us in this sauce. I wouldn't make this again but if you're adventurous and good with tweaking recipes as you go...you could probably turn this into something tasty.
The bean salsa was amazing, the jalapeños were ridiculously hot (we couldn't even eat them, and the cheese sauce was grainy (we used the cheese they recommended and made it just like the recipe said). We ended up tossing the cheese sauce and just melting cheddar cheese over the chips, then topping with the salsa. Minus the cheese dip and jalapeños, this recipe would be a 5.
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