Wednesday, 8 September 2010

'Banging' Nachos

Nacho platters are becoming a big favourite with us, midweek, for a fast, slightly 'treaty' supper that doesn't break the bank (and see my recipe for Loaded Beef & Bean Nachos as well).  They are also a great way to get children to eat more pulses and vegetables.  I prefer to make my own tortilla 'chips' for these; I feel that the method I give here makes for a more filling base to the plate than a bag of bought tortilla chips provides, plus you can avoid all the extra added salt of the commercially fried chips.  Just take some corn or flour tortillas, cut each disc into six wedges and spread out on lightly oiled baking sheets.  Bake at 200°c for 5 minutes, then turn them and return to the oven for another five minutes.  You can make these in advance and keep them in a tin if you like, but  they aren't a great deal of effort even if you do everything for this meal just before you eat it.  

Making this sauce by mixing spices and herbs with a drained can of chopped tomatoes was something of a revelation for me when I first tried it out (necessity being the mother of invention, as they say) and I share it with you now. It gives you a lovely thick, spicy sauce just perfect for nacho-type dishes or just as a dipping sauce; no need to shell out for long-life jars of incredibly salty, yet suspiciously sweet, 'salsa' ever again!

Sausage Nacho Platter

6 flour tortillas, cut and baked as above
6 sausages
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp mild chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
400g can mixed beans, drained

100g sweetcorn, defrosted if frozen
4 fat spring onions, chopped
1 small red pepper, diced
150g Edam, grated

Skin the sausages and divide each into three.  Heat some cooking oil in a non-stick pan and fry the sausage pieces until well cooked through (about 3 minutes a side).  Meanwhile, drain the excess juice from the tomatoes, discard it and mix the chili powder, cumin and oregano in with the tomato chunks.

Spread the tortilla chips out across a very large plate, then top with the beans and the sweetcorn.  Scatter over the red pepper dice and the chopped spring onion.  Nestle the sausage 'nuggets' atop the vegetables, then dollop and drizzle the spicy tomato mixture all around the surface.  Cover everything with the grated Edam and pop the plate in a hot oven until everything is covered in molten, oozing cheese.  Serve with a crisp green salad on the side.
Cath xx

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