Fully Loaded Tex Mex Nachos {recipe}

In most normal places, when September rolls around, the air gets cooler, the days get shorter, and slowly but surely, summer slips into autumn. Not so in La La Land. September and October are warm enough to have a night-time wedding reception outdoors without heatlamps. Our fall season doesn’t really get started until November. We have “winter” for about two weeks in February, and that’s only because we want to stay cozy inside, curled up next to our wall-switch-to-turn-it-on fireplace when it rains. Then the weather turns right back into spring and summer.

I’m not complaining about seventy degree average weather year-round. I just miss autumn.

Autumn smells different. It feels different. There are a few times when something in the air, even in LA, triggers some autumn memory of my childhood days back in Michigan and Ohio. No matter that the faint smell of smoke and something burning is actually the wind carrying smoke over the hill from wildfires in the valley (40% contained! – what the hell does that mean, anyway?) – it still reminds me of raking leaves into giant piles and burning them.

And when I think of fall, it reminds me of going back to school. There is no “back to school” season here in LA. If I had kids (knock on wood for that “if”) I guess I would know it was time to go back to school when I wake up to their grubby little faces at the butt-crack of dawn imploring me make their lunches. By they way, when I have kids, they will have badass lunches that they could trade on the cafeteria black-market for some serious allowance-enhancing spending cash. No, now I only know it’s “Back to School” because there are tremendously crowded sales at Bloomingdale’s and a huge spike in the daily commute time with school buses, crossing guards, and Bruins jamming up the g*dd**n !@#$% Sunset exit off the 405 in their Daddy’s Range Rovers.

LA’s going back to school sucks.

Back-to-school everywhere else, though, means getting thicker tights to wear with your pleated skirt and riding boots. It means trying out for the fall semester school play. It means band practice (not me, I wasn’t a band-dork), field hockey practice, writing campaign speeches for the school election, and for me, it means trying on my cheerleading uniform to make sure it still fits.

Back then! Trying it on back in high school! I still have my uniform, but I swear I have not tried it on since *ahem* last fall. It still fit. *blush*

I was a cheerleader, and that is what I miss so much about fall. High school. Cheerleading. Practice. Pep rallies on Friday nights. Football games. Tailgating. Victory parties. Ok, and imaginary flirting with the star quarterback whom I had to tutor in what I prefer to call the language of love, but everyone else called AP Spanish. He was the beauty with the number 10 on his jersey and I was the brains that scored a perfect 5 on all my AP test.

Cheerleading and The QB are probably a good explanation of why I wake up early on weekend mornings in September and October to watch football. But as much as highschool is a reason why I first fell in puppy love with football, what has turned that crush into a true, committed love now, though, is game day food. Oh, alright, and Peyton and Brett don’t hurt either. *rowr*

I don’t tailgate because, well, like happy hour and pro football, LA just doesn’t do it. But I love to watch the boys on a big screen from the comfort of my own warm, soft sofa, fully decked out in my pjs and fuzzy pink slippers. I love football, but not enough to don a green and yellow parka in 40-below with the windchill. And definitely not enough to endure cold, soggy fries and vinyl nuclear waste nacho cheese for twenty seven dollars at the concessions stand. I love game day food at home. Dragon fire Buffalo wings. Potato skins drowning in sour cream and bacon. Nachos.

It’s no secret that I love and cherish nachos until death do we part. Benito’s nachos are good with their thick crunchy chips double-fried in animal lard and topped with only an afro of curly cheese and fire-breathing salsa, but I also love making nachos the Tex-Mex tailgating way that I’m used to. We’ve got a few weekends before the college bowl games. And few months until the Super Bowl. But I’ll be ready. Just you wait and see.

I’ll be serving up nachos and Corona Lights in my high school cheerleading uniform.

Recipe: Fully Loaded Tex Mex Nachos

This is stupid. Why am I typing out a “recipe” for nachos?

As if throwing a pile of tortilla chips on a plate (I prefer the thick, heavy yellow corn tortilla chips for which Tostito’s version is called “Gold”), glopping on spoonfuls of full fatty refried beans, blanketing it with Jack and Cheddar cheeses, tossing it under the broiler for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese then attempting to smother the oozing cheese with enough “stuff” requires “directions.”

Stuff to throw on top: chopped fresh red onions, tomatoes and cilantro (or you can just mix those three things together and call it “Pico de Gallo”), sliced black olives, jalapeños, sour cream, and salsa. If all those things are off the shelf that’s okay, but not the guacamole. Let’s not get all trailer-park now.

The guacamole has to be homemade.

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  • djjewelz

    Oh boy…this post isn’t complete, but I smell the cheese already! ;)

  • Anonymous

    Nachos aren’t really supposed to be artisanal, certified organic creations, are they? It’s really about the melted low grade cheese (not Norbert’s best Wensleydale) flavored with canned black olives (not hand harvested, single estate beauties from Crete), firm tomatoes (not heirlooms which will juice all over everything and make it soggy) and jalapenos, drinks,and jalapenos, and drinks, and jalapenos, and drinks…

  • sarah

    sorry they’re not gourmet nachos, lacheesemonger. but then again, if they’re fancy like that, what would be the point? thanks, anonymous ;)

    there is a time and place for everything.

    heirloom tomatoes for dinner. nachos with peyton and brett.

  • Robyn

    Those look so good! And I’ve jsut eaten dinner! Nothing better than fresh tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and black olives with a bit of cheese and tortilla chips! Yes!

  • Michael

    Yeah, this is the way to do it! Football-stadium style nachos rule. Just give me some cheese sauce and jalapenos…

  • sarah

    aww. heh-row chronicler and michael! long time since i’ve seen either of you around these parts!

    glad that you stop by when i’m serving up nachos ;)

  • grace

    i love nachos, even the ones that aren’t tasty! LOL! there’s just something about nachos that make me love them, no matter what shape, form, color, etc. only, without the olives, please. (;

    btw, i thought the AP tests go up to 6?

  • grace

    nevermind! there’s no 6. i’ve just now learned that i earned a perfect 5 on my AP english lit test, and i’ve been out of high school for almost 3 years now! LOL! maybe i need to go back……

  • Anonymous

    Sarah,

    Great timing of your post.
    It’s a bye week for the Bears.

  • BruinAlum

    Hey Sarah! My friend just clued me in to your site, and I love reading your beautiful writing! And next time you don’t have time to make your own nachos, you should try Benitio’s “Super Nachos” (with your choice of meat)! Its not on the menu, but if you order it, they’ll know what you want! It is delish!! I remember them fondly from late nights after partying in W.LA. I look forward to your next posts to keep me hungry!

  • Michael

    Sarah – I do read your site quite a bit, I just don’t post that much. Hope all is well with your new stage in your career.

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