“If you build it, they will come.” The most epic nacho platter, that is. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, we are breaking down how to craft the perfect nachos with El Segundo Sol’s Executive Chef/ Partner Terry Lynch, a nacho connoisseur. We also are listing some of the most amazing nachos throughout Lettuce restaurants that you can chow down on.
Let’s start with a little nacho 101. Did you know…
That nachos aren’t really a traditional Mexican dish? That’s right, they are considered more Tex-Mex.
This Tex-Mex tradition has us drooling, so let’s start cooking. When creating the perfect nachos, Chef Lynch suggests starting from the bottom up. Here are the basic nacho components:
First the chips.
They’ve got to be fresh. They’ve got to be corn; and they’ve got to add a crunch.
Then the cheese.
Cheese has to be melty.The Segundo Nachos are a mix of Mexican cheeses: Mexican Jack, Mexican Manchego, Queso Panela. In a perfect world, you would end up with some cheese on every chip.
Onto the chiles.
My pick would be serrano but I also love the smoke of chipotles so some chipotle en adobo smashed on your nachos would be awesome. Jalapeños are also a great option.
How about some protein?
If you definitely want protein, grilled steak is truly the best. You can also do slow-braised pork on top.
Don’t forget the guac.
Guacamole is still probably one of the most instrumental condiments that separates the good nachos from the awesome. Here are a couple of recipes for creating chef-quality guacamole at home.
Alternative ways to cook them?
I think the best nachos are prepared over a wood fire. I build a fire, then assemble the nachos in a metal wok and stick it above the fire. All things melt, but the cheese gets a little burnt here and there – I love that. Then I scatter the cheesy mess with fresh chiles from my garden.
And the best nachos he has ever had…
I used to live on Martha’s Vineyard, and in one little town they had a tiny bar called Fishbones that was right on the marina. They had these Lobster Nachos that were stacked with super fresh lobster, laced with cheese and chiles.
Craving nachos yet? Here are some of our favorite nachos that you should get into ASAP.
Bub City: BBQ Brisket Nachos – House-fried corn tortillas with atomic cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, Bub City’s Hot Sticky Sweet and 18-hr smoked beef brisket
El Segundo Sol: Segundo Nachos Piled High – cheese, sour cream, and guacamole (add chicken tinga or beef)
The Segundo Nachos have a mix of Mexican cheeses (Mexican Jack, Mexican Manchego, Queso Panela) that gives the dish the right amount of melty creaminess. Then, topped with our Pico de Gallo, sour cream from Mexico which has more of a tart flavor, house-made guacamole and topped with fresh chiles and cilantro.
Hub 51: Pulled Chicken Nachos – guacamole, tomato salsa, cheddar and Oaxaca cheeses
R.J. Grunts: Buffalo Chicken Nachos – corn tortilla chips covered with chopped Buffalo chicken melted cheeses, lettuce and tomato and zesty ranch sauce
Tokio Pub: Barbecue-Braised Pork Nachos – just-made chips, fresh cilantro, house-made barbecue sauce, roasted tomato salsa, sour cream, and guacamole
Stripburger: The Nacho Fries – are a traditional nacho build but on top of fries complete with melted atomic cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, jalapeños, sour cream, cilantro