1¼ pounds ground beef
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 16-ounce* can refried beans
½ cup warm water
½ pound yellow tortilla chips
3 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, four-Mexican cheeses, or combination)
3 green onions
1 jalapeno pepper
½ cup black olives, drained and chopped** (optional)
½ cup sour cream
1 cup salsa or pico de gallo
* = It might be hard to get exactly one pound. Manufacturers of canned are notorious for gradually shrinking the sizes of their products. It’s much easier for them to make money by shrinking sizes than by raising prizes. Boo.
** = Some people love black olives. Others hate it. Are our special forces forcing olives on prisoners to make them spill important information? It’s hard to say; no one’s talking.
Serves 12, 6 if served as an entree. Takes 40 minutes.
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Add ground beef, chili powder, cumin, and pepper to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Add ground beef to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat or until meat is no longer pink. Stir occasionally. Drain grease. Add beans and water. Stir until well blended.
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread tortilla chips evenly over foil. Sprinkle tortilla chips with grated cheese. Top tortilla chips evenly with ground beef/bean mixture. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese melts and starts to brown. While nachos bake, dice green onions. Seed and dice avocado and jalapeno pepper. Remove sheet from oven. Top nachos evenly with sour cream, avocado, green onion, salsa, and jalapeno.
1) Sometimes great inventions take place slowly. Here, progress occurs only after much brainstorming and experimentation. Such is the case of heavier-than-air flight. Your flight to see your Aunt Minnie most likely took place in a heavier-than-air jet. BoeingTM and AirbusTM have manufactured thousands of heavier-than air passenger planes.
2) Some inventions, like nachos, happen in a day.
3) Señor Ignacio Anaya opened up his restaurant, “Victory Club”, one fine morning in 1940, little dreaming that was destined for greatness and that he would change the trajectory of humanity forever.
4) A regular customer–We know her name! Her name was Mamie Finan, oh dear lady, blessed by fate!–came into his Anaya’s establishment. She had three female friends with her. This quartet had crossed the border from Eagle Pass, Texas to do some shopping in Piedras Negras, Coahuilla and had gotten quick peckish.
5) “Senor,” said Ms. Finan, “we’d like to try something different today. Would you be a dear and make us a totally new snack?”
6) The worthy restauranteur went to the kitchen. What to make? What to make? He saw freshly made tortillas. Then the culinary gods struck Anaya’s brow with cosmic inspiration. He fried those tortillas and cut them into triangles. He topped the triangles with shredded Colby cheese. He quickly heated the cheese-topped tortilla triangles. Anaya was on a roll. Adding sliced jalapeño pepper provided the crowning touch to his ground-breaking pièce de résistance.
7) Mamie Finan dubbed this culinary wonder, “Nacho’s Special.”
8) Why? Because Señor Anaya’s first name was Ignacio. The nickname for Ignacio in Mexico is Nacho. But the dish didn’t have be called ‘nachos.” It could have just as easily been named one of the following:
anayas – from the restaurateur’s last name
mamies – from Ms. Finan’s first name
finans – from her last name
victory clubs – from the name of the restaurant
piedro negrans – from the name of the town
coahuillans – from the name of the province
piedro negrans coahuillans
But I think we all agree that Nachos was the best choice.
10) Other dishes are named after people as well. Some of these culinary delights are:
Napoleons – named after the French emperor Napoleon.
beef Wellingon – named the English general who defeated Napoleon
franks – named after Frank. We don’t know he last name because he never routed any enemy army.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.