Who doesn’t love nachos? They’re the versatile Tex-Mex wonder-food that hits a lot of sweet spots. Making a great plate of nachos is a mix of great ingredients and layering. Don’t forget that word, folks, “layering.”
Nachos has it all. They bridge the service gap between being the perfect bar food, family dinner, and fast lunch all at the same time. Few foods can achieve such broad culinary heights. The secret here is a blissful matrix of crunchy, gooey, crisp, and soft textures with umami, cheesy, tangy, acidic, sweet, and savory flavors. You can also shove them in your mouth quite easily.
The thing is, as with all foods with so many factors involved, the opportunity to mess things up is high. Choose the wrong chips and welcome to soggy town. Choose the wrong cheese and you’ll be abandoned at the table. Go cheap on the protein and you might as well pack it in. So here are some hard and fast rules for making the perfect plate of nachos.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHIPS
We’re not making Chilaquiles here. And while I love me a good breakfast with a heaping plate of tortilla chips smothered in red sauce, stewed meat, and melty queso, that ain’t nachos.
Nachos require a sturdy corn chip. Toasted Corn Doritos work well here. The heavy dose of corn and saltiness is the perfect savory base for nachos. Santitas are another great option. Tostitos tend to be a little thin. You want a chip that has heft and a high soaking-up-all-that-salsa point. Corn chips tend to crisp up nicely due to all the oils in the chip adding a crispy roasted dimension that helps a plate of nachos shine.
Plus, a sturdy corn chip is strong enough to hold up to the weight of the toppings. The last thing you want is a thin tortilla chip that shatters every time you dig into your nachos. That’s just the worst.