Welcome once again to National Tortilla Chip Day. While we all think of Tortilla Chips as Mexican, the chips are actually American – sort of. While chips have been around for a while, produced by hand, the mass production began in Los Angeles.
Rebecca Webb Carranza and her husband operated a deli and tortilla factory in Los Angeles. To mass produce tortillas, the Carranzas utilized a machine. Their El Zarape Tortilla Factory was among the first to automate the production of tortillas. Corn and flour disks poured off the conveyor belt at a rate 12 times faster than production by hand. The tortilla machine discarded any misshapen tortillas. These were tossed away. It was a waste of tortillas.
Then in 1940, for a family celebration, Rebecca decided to take the discarded tortillas, cut them into triangles, deep fry them and then toss the chips with salt. Her chips were a hit, and so they began to sell bags of tortilla chips at their deli for a dime a bag. It wasn’t long before the tortilla chip production of their deli took off.
In 1943 Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya created a dish utilizing hand-made chips. He sliced some corn tortillas into wedges, then were topped with shredded cheese and slices of jalapenos. Ignacio then popped his creation in a hot oven to melt the cheese and served it up to some hungry Army wives. They took his dish, Nachos, back to America. It was only a matter of time before the mass-produced Tortilla Chips and Nachos merged to create a favorite dish loved on both sides of the Rio Grand.
Spicy Nachos with New Mexican Cheese Sauce
Spicy Meat Toppings
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 lb lean Ground Beef
1/2 lb Chorizo
3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup Beef Stock
1 (4 oz) Hatch Green Chilies
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut onion from root to tip. Reserve half the onion for another purpose, peel and chop remaining half and set aside.
In a large cast iron skillet, crumble ground meats. Scatter onions over the meat. Cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Add taco seasoning to the meat mixture. Stir in beef stock and green chilies. Cook another 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly.
Keep warm until ready to assemble.
New Mexican White Cheese Sauce
10 oz Oaxaca Cheese
1/4 cup Ghost Pepper Nacho Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup Milk
2 tablespoons Nacho Jalapeno Peppers, minced
4.5 oz chopped Green Chilies
Shred Oaxaca cheese, place in a saucepan over low heat. Add milk.
Heat mixture until the cheese has melted. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to avoid clumps and to help sauce be smooth.
While the cheese melts, finely mince the jalapenos. Mix jalapenos with green chilies, set aside.
Once the cheese is melted, stir in the ghost pepper cheese sauce and chili pepper mixture. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little more milk.
Keep warm until ready to use.
1 large can Black Beans
6 cups Tortilla Chips
Drain and rinse black beans, set aside.
Spread half of the chips out on a large oven-proof dish or rimmed baking sheet.
Top chips with half of the meat topping, half of the black beans and half of the cheese sauce. Repeat with a second layer of chips, meat, beans and cheese.
Bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
While nachos bake, prepare the finishing touches.
2 firm Roma Tomatoes
2 Green Onions
1 cup Salsa
1 cup Sour Cream
Nacho Jalapeno Peppers as desired
Seed and dice tomatoes, set aside. Snip green onions, set aside.
Remove nachos from the oven. Scatter diced tomatoes and green onions over the top.
Place some Jalapeno Peppers in the center for an attractive garnish. Serve remaining finishing touches on the side to use as desired.
Serve and enjoy. Perfect with Margaritas.