“Pandora’s Box” Fully Loaded Gourmet Nachos

By Jackie DeKnock  ,   

October 21, 2015

A lip smacking quasi-Mexican finger food! Make your own Toasted Tortilla Chips—the foundation of nachos! Oh sure, you can purchase the salty 'cardboard' chips passed off as tortilla chips at grocery stores, but these homemade chips are by far the way to go and they’re a much healthier version!

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Budget Rating Scale:

  • Yields: Serves 6 (actually 2 as you’ll be hungry)!


Toasted Tortilla Chips

4 6-inch fresh corn flour tortillas

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sea salt


Hand-made toasted tortilla chips (or a bag if you don’t have the time)

Medium salsa

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 red or green pepper, finely diced

2 spring onions, finely chopped

Sliced olives

2/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese (traditionally a crumbled mild white fresh Mexican cheese is used) or shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Meat Topping

1/2 pound crumbled, shredded or finely diced meat, such as ground beef, chorizo sausage, pulled pork, shredded chicken (or a combination)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Freshly ground black pepper

Jalapeno peppers fresh and thinly sliced (or jarred pickled jalapenos, sliced)

Sour cream

ESCORT: Chunky Avocado Guacamole

3 ripe plum tomatoes, diced

Minced pickled jalapeno or Serrano chiles to taste (remove seeds for less heat)

Minced garlic (optional)

½ medium red onion, diced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 large, ripe avocados

Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste

Sea salt to taste

Pinch freshly ground pepper & ground cumin

ESCORT: Pico de Gallo/Salsa

3 cups diced plum tomatoes

¾ cup finely diced white onion

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced pickled serrano chilies or jalapeño peppers (remove seeds for less heat)

1/8 teaspoon sea salt


Toasted Tortilla Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Brush tortillas with oil, sprinkle with salt and cut the tortillas into quarters and then into eighths (a pizza cutter works really well). Scatter tortillas in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes 5 Minutes or until nicely crisp and slightly browned (keep watching as they tend to brown quickly).

Assemble Nachos

Place a layer of tortilla chips on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Put a dab of your favourite salsa (maybe you'll make your own Pico de Gallo salsa, recipe follows) on each chip and top with other sliced/diced ingredients.

Cover all chips with half of the Feta cheese.

Prepare Meat Topping

In a frying pan, heat oil, add onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Heat spices, but be careful not to overheat. Add the shredded meat and cook through thoroughly.

Now add the second layer of tortilla chips and place ingredients of your choice on top, then sprinkle the meat topping and sprinkle remaining cheese on top, season generously with black pepper and finish with jalapeno pepper slices (if you like them).

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake the nachos for around 5 to 8 minutes 5 Minutes till the cheese is bubbling and the tips of the nachos have browned.

Remove from oven and cool just a minute. Your nachos are now ready!

Transfer onto a platter and serve nachos immediately with a variety of dips - you can try out sour cream, guacamole or salsa (DIY recipes follow).

ESCORT: Chunky Avocado Guacamole

Combine the tomatoes, chiles, garlic, onion and cilantro. Set aside.

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Run a knife around the pit, then twist the halves in opposite directions and pull the halves apart. Then firmly strike the pit with your chef's knife blade (the knife lodges a few millimetres into the pit), then gently twist the pit to dislodge it, then lift it out). Cut each half into large chunks. Add to tomato mixture and stir gently to combine.

Season the guacamole with lime-juice and salt, pepper and cumin.

ESCORT: Pico de Gallo/Salsa

In bowl, stir together tomatoes, onion, coriander, lime juice, jalapeño pepper and salt. Let stand for 30 minutes 30 Minutes. If you find that there's too much liquid, simply strain the salsa. Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Gourmet Safari Rating Scales

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= Everyday deliciously simple. Pretty quick, just get the food on the table pronto!
= Put your heart into it! Takes a little more time ‘n TLC!
= Go the extra mile! Gourmet – takes time and/or special ingredients and/or technique – worth the extra effort for the impressive WOW factor!
= You walk on water! You must be a Chef!

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We’ve designed a handy budget rating scale for you to guide you (and your wallet) through the recipes. Recipes are graded from the ‘high-end caviar-type budget’ to the ‘lower-end spam canned meat type-budget’.
= Spam (aka low budget)
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= Filet Mignon (aka higher budget)
= Caviar (aka expensive…but you’re worth it!)


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