I wasn’t. I mean I wasn’t ready snack-wise.
I am definitely ready for some football and some football weather but when I realized the first pre-season game was being broadcast this past Sunday night I went into “snack-panic” on Sunday afternoon. What could I throw together? What ingredients did I have on hand to roll out some football-worthy snacks?
Beef nachos were forming in my head for “football night in America!”
Of course I would need to avoid running to the store at all costs since that was more effort than I was willing to put out. So I checked the cabinets and found corn chips. I checked the fridge and knew we had some cheese. Happily I found had a 1/2 lb of ground beef in the fridge too. I knew I could chop up some onions to brown with the beef and also those green peppers kicking around the crisper. Why not! But what about some seasoning and/or salsa? Can’t have nachos without some of that on hand. Or can you? As I checked the cabinets I found no salsa – so I improvised. I added a hefty amount of cumin to the browning beef, along with salt and pepper. I also added a half of a can of Chipotle peppers. Those spicy wonders would give a kick!
But I needed a little more tomato action. I decided to grab a can of diced tomatoes I had on hand; opting to save my precious few garden fresh ones to enjoy in a non-cooked way. I opened the can and to my surprise I had opened a can of diced tomatoes WITH oregano, basil and balsamic vinegar already in it. One of those crazy purchases I forgot I owned. That wasn’t going to mix well with the Tex-Mex flavors I had going! Desperate for a tomato product from the cupboard and not finding any plain diced, no sauce and no canned whole tomatoes – I made a bold decision.
I opened a can of Campbell’s tomato soup!
This product has stood the test of time through many a casserole and cabinet stew alike. I used about a half of a can just to get the browned beef, onions, peppers, cumin and chipotle the right consistency and tomato base.
No matter what you put on top of your nachos, here is my secret for crispy cheesy chips every time…
I like to broil the cheese onto the plain chips first.The cheese gets all melty and provides a moisture barrier between the chips and the spicy meat mix. The chips stay crisp once the meat mix goes on. Most folks put the spicy meat mix on first, then the cheese and put the whole thing under the broiler – the problem with that, is the chips get soggy under there while the cheese is melting up on top.
Then once you add the spicy meat mix, if you feel you must, add more cheese on top. (and I often do) Add it real quick and broil for like 30 seconds more.
Oh and final tip… only one layer of nachos keeps it crisp too. If you are feeding a crowd just use a huge sheet pan or do it in batches. It doesn’t pay to layer the chips and spicy meat mix – the chips get soggy.
My husband never knew about the Campbell’s soup but he loved the spicy beef nacho’s.