Hey, That’s Nacho Nacho That’s My Nacho

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  Romans 15:7

My cousin Troy and his beautiful bride Nickie work for the government, and they get postings in all sorts of exotic locales.  For about the past year they’ve been living in Doha Qatar, which when pronouned sounds like “dough ha cutter”.  Qatar is an Arab emirate (ruled by an emir) in the Middle East, sharing a border with Saudi Arabia.  It’s fascinating listening to the stories about how different it is there. 

For one thing, there’s very little greenery.  Grass or lawn is really hard to come by, and it’s a hot property. Apparently it’s not unusual for someone to take the lawn when someone moves out of their home. They actually had to have someone watch their house so no one would take their lawn!  And of course, there are different rules about how to dress – women cannot show their bare shoulders or their knees. And you can’t get any pork there – they have beef bacon instead of pork bacon.

So you can imagine how much they miss the food they grew up with, and the restaurants they love. There are fast food restaurants in Doha, but not great “sit-down” restaurants.  So when my cuz and his wife were here for 3 weeks, they had a list of restaurants they wanted to visit.  Nickie’s a foodie like me, but she’s young and slim.  She’s an awesome cook and I sure love talking to her about recipes and such. One of the places on the list was Green Mill, and we all went out to dinner there one night.  Actually, we were celebrating a rather momentous occasion – it was my Uncle Dave’s birthday!

I haven’t eaten at Green Mill for quite awhile, and, as usual, the food was wonderful (as was the company).  We had some appetizers, including these outstanding nachos.  They were made with pulled chipotle chicken and they were scrumptious. I’ve been craving them ever since and decided to try to make my own version. And they turned out to be really good!  I made the tortillas from scratch because they’re so much better that way (I love them fresh off the griddle with butter and sugar – kind of a corn version of lefse which is another favorite).  You can whip up a batch of tortillas in about 30 minutes or less, but since I screw around while I’m cooking it takes me longer to do stuff.

So thanks Green Mill for the wonderful inspiration; and thanks to Olha at Food.com  for the Chipotle Pulled Chicken Recipe.

For the tortillas, all you need is a tortilla press and some fine ground masa (corn flour).  You could use a heavy pan as a press if you like, but I really like the tortilla press and they’re relatively inexpensive – around $15.00.  If you’re going to make them frequently, it’s worth it to buy the press. Add a little salt if you like, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Mix about 2 cups of flour with about 1-3/4 cups of water.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt if you like. You may need more water.  You don’t want the dough to crack when you’re working with it -then it’s too dry.  But you don’t want it so sticky that you can’t get it off your fingers.  It should be the consistency of Play Doh.  Mix it together and knead it a bit.

Roll them into balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Cover them with a damp paper towel.

 Put a piece of plastic wrap over each side of your tortilla press, and place a round of dough on the bottom slightly offset toward the hinge.

 Press down, and put some muscle into it!

Yup, you did it!  Now peel that beauty off the plastic and put it on a hot griddle (I use my non-stick pancake griddle preheated to about 375°, but you could also use a frying pan over medium high to high heat). 

Let it get some nice brown spots.

Now let’s make the chicken.  Start with chicken breasts, chicken stock, salt, onion, garlic and cilantro.

Chop some onion and garlic (I like to use a garlic press because I’m lazy and I don’t have to peel the garlic!). Onions don’t have to be too fine.

Put the chicken breasts, chicken stock, onions, garlic, some salt and a few sprigs of cilantro into a pan and simmer for about 20 minutes until the juices run clear.

While the chicken is cooking, gather up some salt, oil, diced tomatoes (or whole, doesn’t matter), some chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, some garlic, and some onion. Ignore the cilantro, I just got carried away (I LOVE cilantro – isn’t it funny, it seems like people either love it or hate it, no real middle ground there – but the smell is heavenly!).

Finely chop some onion, crush the garlic, and cook all of it in a couple tablespoons of oil over medium heat, until the onions and garlic are translucent.

In the meantime, in a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, and chipotle peppers.  Now, there is one caveat.  I don’t like it when the peppers are so hot that you can’t taste the other flavors.  So I take the chipotle peppers out of the can, and scrape the seeds out.  That way I get spicy but not too hot.  If you like it hotter, leave all or some of the seeds in.  I also add a couple spoonfuls of the adobe sauce which is also spicy but adds a wonderful smokiness that I really enjoy.

Puree until smooth, and add it to the onion mixture. Cook over medium heat until it reduces by about half. It’ll get nice and thick.

Take the chicken out and discard the broth, onions and cilantro.  Let it cool for a few minutes.

Use two forks to pull the chicken.

Make a big pile!

Mix the chicken into the sauce.

Mmmm mmmm my my.

 Heat up some peanut or vegetable oil in a large frying pan.  When it’s hot, cut the tortillas in half and fry them until they’re light golden brown. 

 Drain them on paper towels. You can salt them a little when they are still hot (I didn’t, but you can!).

 Make some Pico De Gallo – use equal amounts of onion and cilantro, and slightly more tomato.  Add as much jalapeno as you’d like (again, with seeds, much hotter – your choice).

 

 Squeeze in some garlic – a clove or two…

Some fresh lime juice – 1/2 to 1 lime – and salt to taste.

Grate some pepper jack, monterey jack and cheddar cheese.

Place the tortilla chips on a pan (I covered it with non-stick foil – easy peasy clean up!) and pile on some chipotle chicken.

 Add some of each cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted.

Serve hot with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. Now you will notice there is no guacamole here. It was late, I was hungry and lazy and I chose to just eat slices of avocado.  Now this was good, but it would have been better with guacamole. Just so ya know.

Chipotle Chicken Nachos

Ingredients:

Tortillas:

  • 2 cups fine ground masa flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
  • water

Chicken:

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Chicken stock
  • 1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of cilantro
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

Chipotle Sauce:

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  •  1 – 28 ounce can of tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pico de Gallo
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 chopped jalapeno, with or without seeds depending upon your individual preference
  • 2 cloves minced or crushed garlic
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Nacho Assemblage Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each monterey jack, pepper jack and cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion

Directions:

Tortillas:

  • Heat electric griddle to 375°, or use a frying pan over medium high to high heat.
  • Mix together fine ground masa, salt and water.  Knead well.  The dough should have the consistency of Play Doh
  • Roll into golf ball sized rounds.  Cover with a damp paper towel.
  • Press balls of dough using a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap or using the bottom of a heavy pan covered in plastic.
  • Carefully peel the tortilla from the plastic and cook until golden brown. 

Nacho Chips:

  • Cut the tortillas in half.  Heat about 1″ of oil in a medium to large frying pan, and fry the tortillas until golden brown. 
  • Drain on paper towels.  You may add salt at this point if you like.

Chipotle Chicken:

  • Combine chicken breasts, roughly chopped onion, 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh cilantro, and salt in a heavy medium size saucepan.  Cover with chicken stock.
  •  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a heavy simmer.  Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or until chickn is cooked through (juices will run clear).
  • Remove chicken breasts from pan and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • When cool, use 2 forks to pull or shred the chicken.

Sauce:

  • While the chicken is cooking, begin sauce assembly.  Combine finely chopped onions and minced garlic in a frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of oil.  Cook over medium heat until the onions and garlice are translucent. 
  • Combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, cseeded hipotle peppers, adobe sauce and salt (if desired), in a blender or food processor and puree.  If you want the sauce hotter, use the chipotle peppers without removing the seeds and add additional adobe sauce from the can. You could also add additional peppers if desired.
  • Pour the tomato mixture into the pan with the onion mixture, and bring to a simmer.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced.  Add chicken and mix well.

Pico de Gallo:

  • In a medium size bow, mix together the chopped onion, chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes, minced garlic and chopped jalapeno.
  • Add the juice of 1/2 a lime (or more if you like) and season to taste with salt.  You can make this a couple hours ahead of time if you want to let the flavors blend a bit, but it’s also great right away).

Assemble the Nachos!

  • Heat oven to broil and line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.
  • Place tortilla chips on the baking sheet without overlapping, and add about 1-/2 tablespoons of chipotle chicken to each.
  • Put about 1/2 tablespoon each of monterey jack, pepper jack and cheddar cheese on each chip (or more if you like them extra cheesy!)
  • Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  When the come out of the oven, transfer to a plate and sprinkle with chopped green onion.
  • Serve warm with sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole (also salsa if you like).  By the way, these are pretty good cold the next day, too!

 

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