Monday, July 20, 2009

Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos

This recipe is from The Cook's Country Cookbook, by the same people that did the other cookbook Steph and I love. Seriously, everyone needs at least one cookbook from America's Test Kitchen.

1/2 cup canned refried beans
3 tablespoons shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tablespoon chopped canned pickled jalapenos

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium canned chipotle chile, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 (9 1/2 ounce) bac tortilla chips
4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 jalapeno chiles, sliced into thin rings

  1. Adjust an oven rach to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. FOR THE BEANS: Pulse all of the ingredients in a 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 simmering. Cook the onion 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 a wooden spoon and scraping the pan bottom to prevent scorching, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. 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 sever layers of paper towels. Use more paper towels to blot up excess greace.

  4. TO ASSEMBLE: Spread half of the chips on a large serving platter or a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Dollop half of 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, 2 cups of cheese, and jalapenos. Bake until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with salsa and other desired garnishes.
This was a really good meal, but warning, it's SPICY! Since I'm on a kick to cut red meat out of our diets, I used ground turky breast instead of ground beef. It still tasted really good.