spicy tequila nachos

Donald and I are all about simple food, quick dinners, and making our own meals. Don’t get me wrong– we enjoy dining out as much as the next couple. But we really, really enjoy cooking.

And we don’t cook “neatly.” We try to keep the fridge cleaned out, but there’s usually something hiding in the corners that’s long gone. Today, we came back from the grocery store with a jar of hatch salsa verde (by the way, it’s hatch chile season around these parts, and I’m in heaven), only to discover that we had three opened jars of salsa in the fridge. This week’s theme will be Tex-Mex at Home as we try to rid ourselves of the salsa of the salsa overflow.

There are usually dishes in the sink, though I try to keep things neater, especially as our day jobs take up more of our time and emotional stress. There are always dishes in the drying rack, despite the fact that we have a dishwasher. Making coffee in the morning usually involves spilling at least one of the following: the coffee grounds, the brewed coffee, the sugar, or the milk. So sponges are kept nearby. We sweep constantly– for all the good it does us with two cats who refuse to stop shedding, no matter how much we beg.

So our meals are usually delicious, but not necessarily elevated or refined. Except these nachos. Despite the fact that we ate them straight off the foil-lined cookie sheet, these are some refined nachos. There is some experimentation and zestiness¬†here. We sauteed things, added booze, and reduced things. And then we used two cheeses, one of which was studded with the hatch peppers that are so popular right now. The only bad thing about these nachos is that I can’t even take any credit. All I did was remind Donald that we had a can of beans in the pantry, and he proceeded to make us a delicious, adventurous, spicy lunch while I sliced 5 pounds of strawberries (more on that later). So here they are: Donald’s spicy tequila nachos.

Spicy Tequila Nachos
Serves 2

You will need:

2 oz. tortilla chips
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we used a hatch quesadilla cheese, and a mild cheddar)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
4-5 small hot peppers
1/2 can refried black beans
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup salsa
1 shot tequila
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.

For the vegetables:
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tequila at the end and saute another minute. Remove from heat.

For the beans:
Heat the beans and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the beans are heated through. Add the salsa, salt, and pepper, stir well, and cook until the beans are reduced a little. They should be like a thick sauce. Remove from heat.

Assemble the nachos:
Spread the chips on the cookie sheet, close together but in a single layer. Using a spoon, dollop the beans on the chips. Top with the onions and peppers. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the whole sheet. Cook in the oven until the cheese is thoroughly melted, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately, with guacamole, sour cream, or salsa, if desired. Plates not necessary.

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