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Make Your Own Nachos!

DIY Nachos from www.jasonscooking.com

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First things first: Yes, this recipe includes the white cheese dip that you get in Mexican restaurants!

I LOVE nachos! They’re definitely my favorite Mexican food and are probably in my top 10 favorite foods in all the world. Ironically, when I went to my friends’ wedding in Cabo, I had a total of zero nachos. Weird, huh?

I first made a Make Your Own Nacho Bar for a super bowl party that I threw years ago. They were surprisingly easy to make, and making enough for 6 people is the same as making enough for 20 people. If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing party food, give the Make Your Own Nacho bar a shot. This is one of the things that my friends and I make a lot when we go out of town and need to make a big meal for a bunch of people.

The RecipeRecipe
Make Your Own Nachos!
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
The Basics
  • 1 lb Ground Beef, Turkey or Chicken
  • 1 Package Taco Seasoning
  • ⅓ Cup Water
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Sliced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ lb White American Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1 tsp – 1 Tbs Diced Jalapeños
  • ⅔ Cup Milk
  • Tortilla Chips

Tasty Topping Suggestions
These are the toppings I use when we make a full-on nacho bar at home. Feel free to add to or subtract from this list as needed/desired. Don’t feel like you need all of this stuff every time you want to make nachos.
  • Spanish Rice, Cooked
  • Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
  • Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • Fresh Jalapeños, Sliced
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
Instructions
Make the Meat
  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef or chicken and pour off any fat.
  2. Add the seasoning packet and ⅓ cup water to the meat and cook for 3 – 5 minutes until the water reduces and thickens. Remove from the heat and cover until ready to serve.

Cook the Peppers and Onions
  1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and then the peppers, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until everything is tender and the onions are translucent.

Make the Cheese
  1. Cut the white American cheese into cubes and put into a microwave safe bowl (I use a glass measuring cup). Add the butter, jalapeños, and milk and microwave on high in 1 minute increments until the cheese is melted, stirring between each round of microwaves.

Make your Nachos!
My suggestion for the perfect nachos is chips, meat, onions and peppers, white cheese sauce, lettuce, sour cream, cheddar and cilantro, but you can do whatever you want. That’s the beauty of the Make Your Own Nacho Bar!
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

A Make Your Own Nacho Bar turns into a Make Your Own Taco Bar or a Make Your Own Burrito Bar by simply adding taco shells or appropriately-sized flour tortillas!

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

Freeze cooked meat and cooked peppers and onions in separate bags for a quick and easy nacho/taco/burrito kit!

Fun FactsFun Facts

Cilantro is the planty part of the coriander plant. The spice coriander, used in curry, comes from the same plant!

Categories
Appetizers Featured Recipes Snacks

Bacon Pimento Cheese

Bacon Pimento Cheese

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Growing up in the south, pimento cheese was always around but I never tried it because I thought it was like pimento loaf which is gross looking. Needless to say, I was super upset that I’d eschewed this tasty treat when I finally tried it a couple of years ago at Empire State South.

This creamy, cheesy, bacony spread is as good on crackers as it is on a sandwich. If you’ve never tried pimento cheese, I highly recommend you take a few minutes to mix up a batch. Your taste buds will thank you regardless of what your belt may say.

The RecipeRecipe
Bacon Pimento Cheese
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 4 oz Jar Chopped Pimentos, Drained
  • 8 oz Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 oz Swiss Cheese, Shredded
  • 6 Pieces of Bacon, Cooked Crisp and Crumbled
Instructions
  1. Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, and cayenne pepper until thoroughly combined.
  2. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is evenly distributed.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Shred your own cheese! It’s quick and easy and you need the oil from freshly shredded cheese to help bind this together. The pre-shredded stuff is engineered to not bind together. Mmmmmm…engineered cheese.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

The longer this spread hangs out in the refrigerator, the more time the flavors get to mingle. Don’t go crazy (and if you see mold toss it out) but this spread will last for a while in cold storage.

Fun FactsFun Facts

Pimento cheese sandwiches were a very popular lunch staple for working-class southerners because it was easy to make and the ingredients were inexpensive and readily available.

Categories
Appetizers Featured Snacks

Homemade Chex Mix

Temperature250°Time1 hour

snack_070214_chexmix

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I started making my own Chex mix because I didn’t like most of the stuff that was in the pre-made Chex mix.  There were too many pretzels, wheat chex and other weird fillers and not enough of the stuff I wanted in my tasty snack mix.  Actually the good people at the Chex HQ (which I imagine looks like a giant piece of Chex) and I differ on most of the ingredients in the mix.

The great part about making your own Chex mix is you can add whatever crackers, cereal, candy, and snacks you want.  My main mix is Corn Chex, Cheez-Its, and Cashews – every batch I make has those three ingredients in it.  I’ve started adding pretzels for Michael (although I forgot to get them for this batch) and I’ll put in bagel chips if I have some on hand.  Pita Chips, Mixed Nuts, Goldfish, and even Ritz Bits Sandwich Crackers would be good additions.

The other part of the mix is the butter and spices that you pour on top.  I used the recipe on the box as a jumping off point and added more Worchestershire (because you can never have too much), some mustard powder and some cayenne but feel free to play around with some of your favorite spices.

The RecipeRecipe
Homemade Chex Mix
 
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Homemade Chex Mix is easy and you only have to put the stuff in your mix that you normally pick out of the pre-made mixes.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • 1 12 oz Box Corn Chex
  • 1 13.7 oz Box Cheez-It
  • 1 8 oz Bag Bagel Chips
  • 1 8.5 oz Can Whole Cashews
  • 6 Tbs Butter, melted
  • 3 Tbs Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¾ tsp Onion Powder
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250⁰
  2. In a really large bowl, mix Chex, Cheez-Its, bagel chips, nuts and anything else you want to include in your Chex Mix.
  3. In a separate, smaller bowl mix melted butter, Worchestershire Sauce, and all of the spices.
  4. Pour ½ of the butter mixture over the snack mixture and toss well to combine. Repeat with the other half of the butter mixture. Your goal is to get the sauce evenly distributed throughout the snack.
  5. Put the mixture into a large roasting pan and cook for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Add pretzels, use different nuts, or use different types of Chex if you like. Your mixture is up to you!

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

This snack should be eaten not frozen.  Enjoy!

Fun FactsFun Facts

Chex mix was not an original idea, but rather one of the many popular snack mixes created for TV watching. For example, a Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1950s includes a recipe for a snack mix made with Kix cereal.