Nachos Blanco

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!