One of my favorite jobs was at Pizitz Department Store in Brookwood Village. I was a sales clerk in the children’s department and although the job was fun, lunch on “payday” Friday or Saturday at El Chico’s was absolutely the best part of the job. Actually, nachos and a virgin strawberry margarita…Not just any nachos, individual tortilla chips with a mound of seasoned beef, covered with cheese and baked until the cheese was all melted and then topped a sliced of jalapeno pepper. They also centered a scoop of sour cream and guacamole in the middle of the platter. Their virgin strawberry margarita was a frozen concoction of strawberries and limeade in a sugar rimmed glass, topped with whipped cream. If you ordered the big one, it came with a black and red garter! This was pretty cool for a 19 year old in the big 80’s!
Usually, I make the messy nachos with everything piled up on a platter. For some reason the El Chico’s version came to mind when thinking about Saturday’s game day platter. This will definitely be a big game…Alabama & LSU!
I’ve provided directions for making the seasoned beef but, if you’re in a pinch, feel free to use 1lb of ground chuck prepared with your favorite taco seasoning mix.
P.S. I’m sooo having a strawberry margarita too!
|After getting your seasoned beef ready, arrange single layer of chips on a baking sheet.|
|Top chips with a teaspoon of seasoned beef.|
|Cover with cheese and bake.|
|Serve topped with a slice of jalapeno pepper|
makes about 24
1lb ground chuck(I like 80/20 or 85/15 for this recipe)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
24 restaurant style corn tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheddar/jack cheese
In a bowl, completely mix ground chuck with water. Transfer to a heavy skillet and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until meat has browned through and water still remains. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, and salt to beef and stir to incorporate. Cover and reduce heat to low, allowing mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and continue simmering for 10 minutes until water has evaporated. Allow to cool for about an hour before building nachos.
When ready, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tortilla chips in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place a teaspoon of beef mixture on each chip and cover each with cheese. Bake for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is completely melted. Transfer to serving platter and top each with a slice of jalapeno. Serve immediately with sour cream and guacamole.