Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos

1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 TB fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 TB canned pickled jalapeno chile, drained
1/4 tsp salt
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes drained

1/2 cup canned refried beans
1 ounce pepper Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
1 TB chopped canned pickled jalapeno chile

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
12 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
2 TB tomato paste
1 tsp brown sugar
1 medium canned chipotle chile, chopped
plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp fresh lime juice

1 9 1/2 ounce bag tortilla chips
16 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 jalapeno chiles, sliced into thin rings
Sour cream (optional)
Diced avocado (optional)
cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. For the Salsa: Pulse the onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, and salt in a food processor until roughly chopped, about five 1 second pulses. Add the tomatoes and pulse until chopped, about two 1 second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a fine mesh sstrainer and drain briefly; place in a small bowl and set aside.

2. For the Beans: Pulse all the ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

3. For the Beef: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, breaking the meat into small bits with the wooden spoon and scraping the pan bottom to prevent scorching, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain grease if there is any. Add the tomato paste, sugar, chile, and adobo sauce and cook until the paste begins to darken, about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a simmer, and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and transfer the mixture to a plate lined with several layers of paper towels. Use more paper towel to blot up excess grease.

4. To assemble: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread half of the chips on a large, oven-safe serving platter or a 13 x 9 baking dish. dollop half o the bean mixture over the chips, then spread evenly. Scatter half of the beef mixture over the beans, top with 2 cups of the cheese and half of the jalapenos. Repeat with the remaining chips, beans, beef, cheese and jalapenos. Bake until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Top with the salsa and garnish with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro leaves if desired.

From Best of America's Test Kitchen, 2008

1 comment:

sasha said...

wow, that looks absolutely awesome, love your presentation :)