Nachos: for a simple starter
Recently we had our first dinner party of 2014. It just after the New Year and was our last celebration of the New Year. The past few years we have met up with a group of friends for New Years eve, for various reasons this year we didn’t have that New Years eve so Hana and I thought it would still be really nice to get the group together for an evening of good food, good drink and great company. After all if there is one thing Hana and I love to do it’s sharing some delicious food with friends.
Usually we would have to have a bit of a think about what we want to cook before having people over for a dinner party (dinner party always seems so middle aged and middle class to me!), but this time Hana already had some great ideas so there wasn’t too much planning to do. Hana had a few dishes which she was itching to make and having people over was the perfect opportunity to cook them, if Hana had baked a cheesecake for the two of us a bit too much would have ended up in my tummy!
Dinner party and nachos.
Nachos might seem more at home as a snack with a movie or as a good bit of pub food but don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t serve them as a starter for a dinner party. They may not be the most elegant dish but bring out a big pan of these loaded up with homemade guacamole, salsa and some good old squeezy cheese and you really can’t go wrong. I think a great starter, served just like this, is a fantastic way to bring people together at the start of a meal.
Hana’s one-pan nachos.
Serves 4 – Ingredients
1 medium avocado
Juice of 1 lime
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 spring onions, finely diced
4 medium tomatoes, seeds discarded and chopped
1 red chilli, finely diced (keep the seeds and it will be really fiery!)
1 clove garlic
Dash of chipotle sauce
Juice of a lime
Olive oil/ corn oil to taste
Store cupboard ingredients
Nachos – we used gluten free tortilla chips which were a mix of Spinach & garlic, beetroot & onion and carrot, tomato & sesame.
Sliced green jalapeno chillies
150g monterey jack cheese, grated
Squeezy cheese* (optional)
Bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
Dinner party nachos: Method
Make the guacamole first as it needs 20-30 minutes in the fridge. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mash it all together. It helps to use a potato masher with the avocado, then switch to a fork to blend the rest. Cover and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220c/ Gas 7 before making the salsa. Prepare the ingredients as directed above and add to a bowl. Gradually add olive (or corn) oil till you reach the desired consistency. Sometimes I use more and others leave the oil out completely. It’s up to you.
Take a big oven proof pan, like our frying pan and add a layer of tortilla chips, then a layer of the monterey jack cheese. Keep layering this, like a lasage till you finish with a layer of cheese. Scatter with the jalapenos and cook for a few minutes till the top layer of cheese has melted.
Once out of the oven top with four equal blobs of guacamole, then 4 of salsa and 4 of soured cream. Between these add the squeezy cheese (if using) and top with coriander (cilantro)
- Serve with friends and a cold bottle of larger each.
I think these are one of the most successful starters Hana or I have ever made. Everyone really enjoyed them and it was even said they were the best people have ever had. I think they were really good, and could almost be a meal in themselves!
Text and photos By Russell Bowes