Cheese and carbs; forever my biggest weakness. If it is not mac ‘n’ cheese then it is lasagna or some other delightful combination. Today it just happens to be some super simple but delightfully tasty cheesy nachos that also come in at a super cheap price point with minimal effort required making it a winner all round.
The version that I did on this particular day does not happen to be vegetarian but you can easily either skip putting certain ingredients in or use vegetarian alternatives. A lot of generic Cheddar cheeses are vegetarian but if you are trying to avoid meat products and want to go for a slightly more unusual cheese then it is always best to check the label first!
For this particular day I used two portions of mince, totalling approximately 150g, a tin of baked beans, a tin of chopped tomatoes, some dried mixed herbs, usual seasoning, sweetcorn, some in need of using carrots and copious amounts of cheese. You can easily omit the beans, mince and vegetables though if you want this to be a more simple meal, side dish or snack as well as reducing the cost of the dish.
The mince, carrots and sweetcorn (as it came from the freezer) all got fried off in a pan before having the other ingredients, apart from the nachos, added to the pan and mixed together. The nachos, we just use a bag of Sainsbury’s Basic tortilla chips, are best laid in a big over tray as the more even and less thick the layering of them is the better. Once the tortilla chips are in place the mince mixture can be poured on top and the cheese can be sprinkled on top. You can mix everything together if you want things to properly merge together rather than being layers but if you are using all of these ingredients that can make it quite a messy way to serve and/or eat.
You could put the oven under the grill at a high temperature but I was a little concerned about the exposed chips from catching. Instead I opted to put it in the oven at approx 220°c for 15-20 minutes just to get all the ingredients piping hot and the cheese really well melted and gooey (without it starting to do that fading away thing that cheese can sometimes do if under the grill).
Having a solid layer of nachos at the bottom meant that this could be served onto plates using a fish slice and it taking all the loaded ingredients on the top with them. If you mix the ingredients through you might need to save a few from the bottom of the tray by scooping them out with the fish slice afterwards – this is not a huge issue if you have a non-stick tray or don’t have fears regarding losing precious cheese to a pan as it cools back down.
Sure loaded nachos that are super simple is hardly going to set the world alight but it certainly fills a hole in the stomach, adds a little smile to the face and provides a nice big comforting hug. I love adding different things to my nachos and trying to find the perfect cheese to make them fantastically stringy and packed with flavour, what is your favourite ingredients to mix with them?