BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Ever since I threw together these //BBQ pulled pork nachos// a couple years ago, I have been wanting to do a BBQ chicken version. I typically prefer BBQ chicken over BBQ pork. So I wanted to put a new spin on it.

These nachos feature my favorite //pickled red onions//, spicy pickled jalapenos, and a mild, smoky cheese sauce. And of course, once you top everything with fresh scallions and cilantro, the flavors are complete!

Here is my pledge to you: I will never stop making nachos. But, this was one of the last nachos ideas I had on my list.  There are a couple others, but I am working on perfecting them.  What kind of nachos would you like to see up here? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

BBQ Chicken Nachos

For the cheese sauce:
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups milk, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce, if desired

For the nachos:
1-2 cups shredded BBQ chicken, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop
Pickled red onions
Pickled jalapenos
Creme fraiche or sour cream
Minced cilantro
Chopped scallions
Tortilla chips

For the cheese sauce:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk quickly to combine. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warmed milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Once it thickens, lower the heat to low. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Add shredded cheese and whisk gently until completely melted. Finally, add hot sauce and whisk to combine. Feel free to add more or less to your heat preference.

For the nachos:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread tortilla chips onto a sheet pan in an even layer and place into the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the chips start to get warm.

2. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Drizzle with cheese sauce. Layer on the shredded chicken, and drizzle with more cheese sauce. Then top with pickled red onions and pickled jalapenos. Drizzle with creme fraiche or dot with sour cream. Then sprinkle minced cilantro and chopped scallions on top. Serve immediately while it’s warm!

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Cheesesteak Hoagie Nachos

cheesesteak hoagie nachos

So, you guys!  I’m pretty excited.  Def about these cheesesteak hoagie nachos, but first:

Several posts back I mentioned how I wanted to get back into this blog thing after being away for so long because my life took over my life.  Well today I discovered that Facebook is *actually* good for something (I know, I can hardly believe it myself) – somehow I found a food bloggers group, and then I found a food photographers/videographers/bloggers group, and then I found a girl boss bloggers group…. So I joined all these groups and guess what?  One of them (//Food Blogging, Photography, and Videography//) has been promoting a project called #365Recipes.  The group admin created this awesome little book with a calendar of the entire year of 2017, and every day has a different ingredient on it.  It’s supposed to inspire you to create a recipe based on the ingredient on that day.  Sound familiar?  Kind of like my #52NewEats and #12NewTreats projects!  So I eagerly printed out the book and read through it and tonight I will be highlighting all the recipes I want to do!  #goals  This will all FOR SURE help me breathe new life into this blog.  Also, the community, from what I’ve seen so far, seems pretty awesome and supportive and helpful.  So, sorry German Shepherd Dedicated Owners FB group, you might have to take a backseat for a little bit.  😉  (But not for long bc puppy pictures and head tilts.)

Also, guess what today’s #365Recipes challenge was?  NACHOS.

Guess who just made a fantastic new nachos recipe on Superbowl Sunday?  THIS GIRL.

Was it fate?  I THINK SO.

So let’s talk about cheesesteak hoagie nachos.

You may remember my //cheesesteak nachos//, which were also pretty damn good, but these are different.  If you’re not from Philly, I shall explain.

A cheesesteak hoagie typically has shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, onion, and mayo.  I love a good cheesesteak hoagie.  But, I can really only get them if I’m eating at the restaurant that’s making it.  A cheesesteak hoagie isn’t too yummy when it’s takeout – the lettuce gets all hot and wilty (ick), so do the tomatoes (ick).  The thing I love about a cheesesteak hoagie is the contrast between the hot, cheesy beef, and the cool, crisp veggies.  So at some point some time ago this idea for cheesesteak hoagie nachos started tumbling around in my head, and I decided to make them for Superbowl Sunday, when my whole family would be around to try them and critique.

The response was pretty positive!  They turned out really damn good!

My favorite part?  As I was assembling them, the smells that drifted up into my face were exactly that of a cheesesteak hoagie.  So I knew I had hit it right on the mark.

I hope you try this recipe!  You are going to love it!

Cheesesteak Hoagie Nachos
Serves 4-6

3/4 – 1 lb skirt steak
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
3-4 slices Cooper Sharp or other deli-style white American cheese* (see Note 1)
3/4 lb deli-style white American cheese, cut into chunks* (see Note 2)
6 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup water
Tortilla chips
Shredded iceberg lettuce (about 1/4 of a head)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup sour cream
2-4 tablespoons Chipotle Tabasco sauce, or your favorite hot sauce (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Prep the steak. Trim skirt steak of excess fat. Slice against the grain, very thin. When you have finished slicing against the grain, run your knife down into the steak with the grain, about 1-2 inches apart, to make somewhat bite-sized chunks of beef. Spread into a single layer on the cutting board and season with salt and pepper (generously, but don’t go crazy).

3. Begin making your American cheese sauce. (While waiting for this to cook, you can work on the steak in the skillet as well.) Add the American cheese chunks to a microwave-safe bowl and add milk and water. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds at a time, until all the cheese chunks have almost melted. Be careful not to burn the sauce; be sure to stir frequently in between heat cycles. When the chunks are about 80-90% melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and continue to stir until all cheese has melted.

4. Make the cheesesteak. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. When the skillet is hot, add the sliced steak. You want to sear the meat but don’t burn it, so if it starts smoking too much, turn the heat down. Move the steak around the skillet with a spatula, making sure it is cooked on all sides. When all sides are nicely browned, turn the heat down to low. Spread into a single layer, and lay the slices of American cheese on top. Cover and allow to melt.

5. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and spread tortilla chips in a single layer. Warm in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

6. Make chipotle crema. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and Chipotle Tabasco sauce. Add as much hot sauce as you’d like. I believe I used about 3 tablespoons in mine but I wasn’t measuring precisely. This is a to-your-taste thing. You don’t have to put hot sauce in the sour cream at all! When combined, pour into a Ziploc bag and snip off a bottom corner, so you can drizzle onto the nachos.

6. Assemble the nachos! Once the cheese has melted on the skirt steak, stir it around so that the cheese is spread all throughout the chunks of steak. Drizzle some of the cheese sauce onto the tortilla chips. Top with cheesy beef. Drizzle on some more cheese sauce. Add shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Drizzle on the chipotle crema. Finally – obviously – devour!!

1. So I realized after the fact you don’t really need 2 kinds of American cheese to make this recipe. I just happened to have Cooper Sharp slices (my favorite) AND I had picked up a couple tubs of American cheese “ends” from the deli, which were just chunks of American cheese. I’ve never made the cheese sauce with Cooper Sharp – I’m not sure how it would turn out, but if you try it, let me know! I always use regular Land o’ Lakes American to make this cheese sauce.

2. I also realized after the fact that instead of using cheese slices for the cheesesteak meat, you probably could have just doused it in some of the cheese sauce. Doy. You will have plenty of cheese sauce to do just that if you’d like. The cheese sauce also doubles as a great queso – add some diced pickled jalapenos and some of the pickled jalapeno juice, yum! It’s also great to use as a dip for French fries or tortilla chips – so since you will have some extra lying around, might as well nomz it up! The leftovers keep pretty well in a sealed container in the fridge. When you reheat it, just add a little bit of milk and stir it frequently during reheating.

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#52NewEats :: Week 2 :: Nachos Blanco

So ya had to know it was only a matter of time before one of the new recipes I wanted to try was a nachos recipe, right?  🙂

This week’s recipe comes to you from Sunny Anderson a la Food Network fame.  I watched the episode these nachos were featured on, oh, I don’t know, a thousand years ago, and IMMEDIATELY printed up the recipe and stuck it in my binder because I NEEDED to make them RIGHT AWAY!!!!  (And then I never made them for a thousand years.)

These nachos weren’t so bad – I really liked the consistency of the cheese sauce: it was smooth and silky, and it tasted good, but for me it needed a little kick.  I decided not to add anything to the cheese sauce though, because I thought the salsa might end up being pretty spicy.

So here are my thoughts on this recipe:

🍴  The cheese sauce recipe calls for vegetable oil + butter.  I don’t cook with a lot of vegetable oil in my house (I normally use coconut oil or olive oil), but I didn’t want to sub it with something else because I like to try and remain true to a recipe the first time I make it, and adjust afterwards.  When this cheese sauce was done, it did taste good, but I noticed some kind of aftertaste – and I thought it might have been the vegetable oil.  That might have been my fault, because I’ve had this veg oil for a bit and it might not have been good anymore.  If I make this recipe again, or attempt to use this cheese sauce again, I would try replacing the vegetable oil with more butter instead and see how that turns out.  I think the vegetable oil may have contributed to how shiny and silky this sauce turned out to be though.  So I’m not sure.  I will just have to experiment!

🍴  The recipe calls for you to dollop bits of the salsa around the nachos after they have been assembled.  This looked and smelled like it might be a pretty spicy salsa to me though (I think I got an extra hot batch of jalapenos, my eyes were tearing up as I cut them open), so I decided to do something else to spread the heat out a little bit.  I poured the salsa into the skillet and added the shredded chicken, and simmered it for a few minutes to warm it all up together.  This ended up working out nicely – we had some leftover chicken and there are a bunch of uses for leftover salsa chicken!  Taco salads, enchilada filling, quesadilla filling, taco filling – get creative!

What I’ve written below is how I prepared the recipe, but you can find the original //here//.  Enjoy!

Nachos Blanco
Serves 4-6

1 bag white corn tortilla chips
1 pound shredded chicken* (see note)

3 green jalapenos, halved and seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 handful of cilantro (just grab the bunch and rip some off the top)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cheese Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onion
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the jalapenos, garlic cloves, and onion on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss together to combine. Move the garlic cloves underneath the halved jalapenos. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the jalapenos and onions begin to char and turn black.

2. When the vegetables are finished roasting, remove from the oven and scoop all ingredients from the baking sheet into a blender. Add the cilantro, chicken stock, and lime juice. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. Leave the oven on.

3. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, vegetable oil, minced onion, and a couple grinds of salt and pepper. Cook the onion until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Add the heavy cream and whisk together until thickened, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Add the shredded cheese and whisk together to combine. Keep warm.

4. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the salsa and shredded chicken. Stir to combine. Simmer until warmed through, then turn heat to low while you prepare to assemble the nachos.

5. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread tortilla chips on top in a single layer, and warm the chips in the preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes, just until they are warm to the touch. Remove from the oven. Scatter shredded chicken over top of chips evenly. Then pour the cheese sauce over top evenly as well. Then devour and enjoy!

* I like to poach my chicken in the crock pot and then shred it. Place 1 pound chicken breasts in the crock pot and season with salt and pepper. Cover with water or chicken stock. Cook on low for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from crock pot and shred!

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Pinch of Yum Nachos

Pinch of Yum Nachos

As my first blog post, I think it’s only right that I post a recipe that was inspired by the blog that inspired me to start this blog!  (Did you catch that?)

Pinch of Yum is one of my favorite food blogs.  Without even knowing it, I had a bunch of her recipes already pinned on Pinterest.  You know the good ol’ Pinterest motto, PIN NOW READ LATER! except I hardly ever really READ LATER, mostly I’m just constantly looking for new slutty food pics to add to my collection.  Anyway, one day, I was combing through my food board looking for something new to make and I came across her recipe for Healthy Mexican Casserole with Roasted Corn and Peppers.  I read the blog post and it made me laugh.  Like, a lot.  Because part of her blog post was about memes and I have a similar, weird obsession with memes (especially the ERMAHGERD girl and the ermahgerd pet memes that followed) and as I was reading, I was thinking YES I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!  Also, she said she was inspired to create this recipe by my favorite frozen bowl by Amy’s.  So it was kind of a no-brainer.  I had to try this recipe.

The night I made it, I was so inspired by the technique of dry-roasting the veggies.  I had never heard of this technique before.  I love fajitas – but one of my complaints is that often, the veggies get too oily or never really seem to get charred.  They just kind of get limp and eh.  So as I was roasting away, I was all turned on at the idea of truly charred veggies without having to hold them over an open flame and peel the skin off and blah.  I was already in love.  Then I finished up the recipe and served it to my husband who said – literally – “This is good.  THIS is GOOD.  THIS IS GOOD.”  I totes agreed with him and was soooo excited to eat the leftovers at work the next day.

So the next day I had a particularly rough day at work.  Work sucked.  Balls.  But I got to lunch time and I was giddy at the thought of nomzing on this casserole.  As I sat at my desk to eat, I decided to peruse the rest of Pinch of Yum.  Not only did I find a bunch of recipes that looked familiar from my Pinterest board, but her blog posts are really funny.  And Lindsay is really likeable and I’m sure we’d be friends in real life.  I think I spent the rest of the afternoon reading her blog and getting inspired to start my own food blog.  (I even emailed her with tons of fangirl praise and she totally emailed me back and I was fangirling all over the place at work.)  The wheels started turning in my head, about all the food I make and all the food I love.  And I started thinking about how if I was going to be a food blogger, then I’d have to be creative and start coming up with some recipes on my own, like all the time.  And I started thinking about all the recipes I love and how could I change them up to make them mine and how could I get creative with ingredients and the very first answer was staring me right in the face.

I loved this roasted veggie casserole so so much.  Therefore, I must find a way to make it into nachos, naturally.  Because nachos are like the perfectest food ever and I am kind of a nacho queen and wouldn’t it be great to have more nacho recipes in my back pocket???

Guess what I made shortly thereafter?

Pinch of Yum Nachos

Pinch of Yum Nachos

These nachos.  Theeeeese nachos are like oh my gosh.  They might even be healthy.  Maybe?  Right?  Well they say to eat your colors and they also say to eat your veggies and I think when you eat these nachos you will feel like you met the FDA requirements of color and veggie intake for the day.  Seriously it’s like a whole food pyramid right there on the tray.  So feel good when you eat these.  Everything is homemade and therefore healthy.  In my book anyway.

By the way, can I just get a high five for resisting these nachos long enough to take pictures of them?  Kthx.

Pinch of Yum Nachos
Servings: 4-6 (depends on how much you feel like sharing)

Nacho Base
Tortilla chips
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 can refried black beans
Chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder), to taste
Cumin, to taste

Nacho Toppings
2 scallions, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
Pickled jalapenos (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Nacho Cheese Sauce
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 tablespoons chipotle Tabasco (or regular Tabasco, or any hot sauce you prefer), or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Start by making your Cheese Sauce: Warm milk in the microwave for 2 minutes. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour. Let the flour bubble and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk, and whisk continuously until you feel it thicken. Once it starts to thicken, turn your heat down to low. Whisk in the cheddar cheese. When all the cheese has melted, whisk in the hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Taste as you go. This cheese sauce can take a lot of hot sauce, it will depend on your preference. Keep on low heat until you are ready to assemble your nachos.

3. Roast your Nacho Base veggies: You will have to do this in batches. Heat a good non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. (I do not use oil for this; however, if you are scared of ruining your nonstick pan, use a little bit of oil to barely coat the skillet.) Add enough of the veggies to form a single layer in the skillet, and sprinkle them with chipotle chili powder and cumin. Let them sit and sizzle for a couple of minutes to develop a nice char, then stir them around. Let them rest again to develop more delicious char. Repeat stirring and resting until you are satisfied with the char on your veggies. When done, pour into a bowl and season with a little salt. Repeat the whole process until you are out of veggies. Keep the bowl in a warm place (I like to keep it on my stovetop towards the back).

4. Warm your refried beans: Scoop refried beans into a pan and heat over medium-low heat until warm. They should be easy to stir and not too stiff.

5. Warm your tortilla chips: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour tortilla chips onto the baking sheet and arrange into a single layer. Pop into the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, until warm and crisp.

6. Assemble the best nachos ever: Build your nachos to your preference, or, build them as I do. Start by dropping dollops of refried black beans all around the chips until satisfied. Then pour your nomzy cheese sauce all over the place. Then goes the roasted veggies. Then all your toppings – tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream. (Don’t skimp on the sour cream. It’s heaven.)

**NOTE**  Nachos are totally customizable.  If there is anything in this recipe that you aren’t jazzed about, take it out, swap it with something else, or add whatever strikes your fancy.  This is the combination of flavors I have come to salivate for, but feel free to use your own creative juices and really make these nachos your own.

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