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Texas Nachos
January 13, 2014

When my wife, Annie, and I were dating, Texas Nachos and margaritas on the rocks at Chi-Chi's became one of our favorite outings. Since we really couldn't afford doing such stuff on a regular basis, especially after we got married, we began experimenting on a Texas Nachos recipe of our own. After just a few tries, we were able to come up with a quick, tasty recipe for the treat that comes pretty close, I think, to what the restaurant served, and possibly even better!

Texas Nachos

While this dish is certainly quick and easy, it's not exactly cheap to make. When I last checked prices for all the ingredients, the total came to about $20, although one may not use all of each ingredient.

Amazon
Amazon

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (optional - garlic, onion, and peppers)
  • 1 oz. pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
  • 16 oz. jar picante sauce (mild, medium, or hot to suit your taste)
  • 15-16 oz. can chili beans (again, mild, medium, or hot to suit your taste)
  • nacho cheese sauce (Gehl's Nacho Cheese Sauce - half to a full pound)
  • large bag (13 oz.) taco chips (Tostitos Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips)
  • lettuce
  • sour cream (possibly optional, but if you use hot cheese, picante, or beans, it helps to take the fire away a bit:-)
  • guacamole (optional, but good)

Let's Get Started

Warm chips at 200 degreesPreheat your oven to 200o F. Shake out your taco chips onto a cookie sheet or into a large, glass baking dish and let them warm a bit in the oven. We like the large, restaurant style of taco chips, but scoops or whatever is your favorite will do. Keep an eye on the chips so that they don't brown excessively, but warming them up a bit really improves the dish.

Browning ground beefIn a large frying pan, brown about a pound of ground beef, sprinkling half to a full package of powdered taco sauce over the beef as it browns. If you have time and the supplies, you might want to start by sautéing some chopped garlic, onions, and/or bell peppers in a bit of vegetable or olive oil.

Once the ground beef is browned through, drain the grease from it, if necessary, and add a jar of picante sauce. Also add a half to full can of chili beans. Some folks like to rinse the beans before adding them, but I find the sauce around them adds a bit of zing to the dish. You may want to rinse out the picante jar and/or the bean can with a bit (around a fourth cup) of water to add to the mix. I generally do, as both the picante and chile beans are pretty thick. Let the sauce simmer on low as you get everything else ready.

Warm nacho cheese sauce in microwaveWarm your nacho cheese sauce in the microwave (or on the stove). We've become partial to the Gehl's Nacho cheese sauce. We used to get it fresh in small (1 lb +) tubs from local groceries. It now is available in a preserved, dry pack that doesn't mold like the fresh stuff was prone to do. But any nacho cheese sauce should do.

Tear some lettuce for the mix. Prepared lettuce salad mixes can add a bit more color with their red cabbage and carrots.

Once your sauce has simmered a bit and your cheese sauce is hot, you're ready to put together Texas nachos. We sometimes just set out all the various toppings on the kitchen counter, letting the family build their own plate of nachos. But for a really attractive party dish, use a large, glass serving dish, layering chips as a base, dribbling the ground beef mix and cheese sauce over it with a bit of sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce here and there, and repeat once or twice.

Either way, you should have an attractive and delicious party snack.

Put your own together Nacho Cheese Party Dish

Since this recipe really doesn't include much of anything from our garden, I held off posting it for a long time. But it really is too good not to share. Texas nachos night quickly became a family favorite at our house when our kids were growing up.

And if you're fortunate enough not to be on "the twelve steps," a good margarita on the rocks really goes well with this dish.

From , the Old Guy at Senior Gardening

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