Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner, which can only mean one thing: nachos. Lots of nachos. And considering we love crunchy, cheesy, spicy things and meals that take only T-15 minutes to make, nachos are obviously the most perfect food to grace this green Earth.
But if you’ve had bad nachos, you know how borderline blasphemous that experience can be. Soggy heaps of chips barely covered with cheese that didn’t even melt properly, studded with way too many olives and – what’s that – watery salsa? No bueno.
Here’s how to avoid offending the nacho gods: Spread an even layer of indie chips on a baking sheet. Thoroughly cover with shredded cheese and heat in a 375° oven till melted (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from oven and top with an assortment of fiery fixin’s.
Here are some of our favorite small-batch picks worthy of your next nacho party:
White Corn Tortilla Chips made by Tortilleria Mi Nina – Boston chef Jamie Mammano got the recipe from his mother-in-law in Tijuana, Mexico. He grinds non-GMO white corn, water and lime using hand-carved volcanic stones – a traditional labor-intensive process known as “nixtamalization.” The mixture is then rolled into tortillas, which are baked, hand-quartered and fried to make chips. These make for the very best nacho base.
Original Cheddar made by Plymouth Artisan Cheese – Everything you want from a simple, sharp Cheddar. Not too strong, but super flavorful – the ideal representative of classic American cheese making. Shred using a grater, and don’t skimp – you want to be sure to get a nice cheesy pull every time you go in for another bite.
Aji Pepper Salsa made by Zukali – This awesome fresh-tasting salsa features aji panca, a Peruvian chile you'll want to get to know. It's like chipotle's meek cousin – lightly smoky, slightly spicy, with a lovely fruitiness. After removing the nachos from the oven, use a spoon to drizzle it on top. Pro tip: Start light to avoid soggy chips (oh, the horror).
Pineapple Habanero Medium Hot Sauce made by Adoboloco – This textured hot sauce has a sweet, fresh pineapple flavor and a lingering chile burn. Use it to make “Hawaiian Nachos” with pulled pork, pineapple chunks, red onion, cilantro and shredded Mozzarella. Insert Hawaii joke here?
Pickled Padron Peppers made by Lemon Bird Preserves – The masters at Lemon Bird smoke these petite peppers over alderwood, then pickle them with vinegar, Hawaiian sea salt, smoked salt and smoked paprika. Cut into slices and sprinkle some on the nachos for a crunchy kick.
How are you getting your nacho on? Show us @MouthFoods using the hashtag #MOUTHwatering!