As many of you know, I write a lot of my posts weeks or even months in advance of actually posting. That means when I say “last night” while it may been last night as far as writing is concerned, the reality could be weeks ago as far as posting is concerned. Take today’s post for example. It’s mid February as far as real time is concerned, but it will be the end of March before posting. Why? In the case of this recipe, the last day of March is National Tater Day. I spend the better part of any afternoon reading recipes for Taters. Could be mashed, or baked or fried. What I was craving were cheesy, spicy taters. Hubby is a big fan of Tater-Tots. It’s only in the last year that I have come to embrace the Tater-Tot in the same way he does.
With the holiday binge eating behind us, and the sweet indulgence of Valentines over (thank God), I’ve been working hard to get back into the routine I had after my heart surgery. A smart breakfast (like white egg spinach omelettes), a sensible lunch (like a salad) and a dinner that offered a larger portion of vegetables than anything else. Some people, like my sister, have eaten healthy their entire lives. And just for the record, it is possible to eat too healthy. The real key to good health is balance. Don’t try to live on buttery popcorn. Don’t eat spinach leaves 365 days a year either.
Anyway, as I searched through countless recipes and pictures and places of inspiration for the perfect “Tater” day share, my brain kept screaming out all sort of strange things. There’s a jar of Nacho Cheese sitting in the pantry. Wouldn’t you rather have some Nacho Cheese than another big serving of salad? Huh, yeah. And maybe chorizo. Oh, and what about that bag of Tater-Tots in the freezer.
What was planned for the evening meal was Pork Chops in a Red Wine Reduction Sauce, Roasted Red Potatoes kissed with fresh Rosemary, Steamed Asparagus and a Tossed Salad with a simple dressing. The more I thought about Tater Tots, the more I realized I wasn’t in the mood to set a pretty table. I wanted something messy. And what can be messier than tater tots dripping with cheese?
Gather all the goodies and get ready for some awesome eating!
Tater-Tot Chorizo Nachos
32 oz Tater Tots
Cooking Spray as needed
Salt to taste
1 lb Chorizo Meat
1 Jar Nacho Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup Nacho Style Jalapeno Peppers
1/2 cup Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
2 Green Onions
1/4 cup Cilantro
Sour Cream, as desired
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Spread the Tater Tots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Spray the tops of the tots lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Place the tots in the heated oven to bake for about 20 minutes or until golden on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside.
While the tots are baking, brown the chorizo sausage in the skillet, breaking into small pieces as the meat cook.
Meanwhile, slice the green onions and set aside. Chop the cilantro and set aside.
When the meat is cooked through, drain well and keep warm until the tots are ready.
Chop some of the jalapeno peppers. Place cheese in a microwave safe bowl, top with jalapenos and warm in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes.
Remove Tater Tots from the oven. Sprinkle half of chorizo meat all over the cooked tots.
Pour the warm nacho cheese over the tater tots. Spread the cheese with the back of the spoon to cover all the tots. Sprinkle with remaining chorizo.
Sprinkle Mexican cheese over tots. Scatter jalapeno peppers. Place in the oven to melt the cheese, about 3 minutes.
Remove from oven, scatter with green onions and cilantro as desired.
The best way to serve up this mess is with a great big spoon. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and enjoy!