It’s the night before leaving town, you have a bag of tortilla chips, a piece of steak, grilled corn, and chile con queso to get rid of before going. The obvious solution is nachos. These were good enough that you might want to consider making the ingredients just for this purpose.
I’m not sure how the steak was made, it was a friend’s contribution to a cookout, but the marinade was garlicky. As for the chips, quality really makes the difference. If you live in the midwest, get “El Milagro”, from a tortilleria in Chicago. They are sold at all local Mexican stores here, and even at the local generic supermarket. Don’t use tostitos or anything like that.
Esquites (Grilled Corn):
- corn ears with husks
- as much butter as you think appropriate
- jalapenos, serranos, or habanero if you are brave
- salt if using unsalted butter
Combine butter, chiles, epazote, and salt if using in a food processor. Peel open the husks of the corn enough to smear the butter mixture on the ear, then close back up. Grill until cooked and the husks are a little charred.
Chile con Queso:
This is half the recipe I would usually make for a party, enough for the nachos pictured. You might want to double this if you are making it as a snack for a crowd with chips.
- 1/4 onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chile poblano, finely chopped
- 4 or more chiles serranos or jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cups shredded cheese (it won’t work right if you use preshredded), combination jack and cheddar, or just one
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- dash of heavy cream, to taste
- salt to taste
Melt the butter in a pan, or better, a dutch oven, until melted. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles. When the onion is transparent, stir in the flour. Let the flour turn golden, you are making a roux. Next stir in the milk until it thickens. Add the cilantro and tomatoes. Add the shredded cheese only a little at a time, stirring until each addition melts in completely. This is essential to achieving a pleasing texture. When all cheese is added, stir in salt to taste, and a dash of cream, according to the thickness you want. Serve with good tortilla chips, and wonder what you ever saw in that stuff out of the jar.
- tortilla chips
- chopped up grilled steak
- esquites, kernels sliced off cob
- chile con queso
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with chips, then add a layer of corn and steak. Pour chile con queso over top, bake in a 350 degree oven until the sauce spreads out over the chips and everything is hot.