Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Beef Fajita Nachos Compuestos #FoodieExtravaganza

Crunchy fried tortilla triangles topped with refried beans, fajita beef, cheese and jalapeños, these beef fajita nachos compuestos can also be made with store-bought chips.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy fried tortilla triangles topped with refried beans, fajita beef, cheese and jalapeños, these beef fajita nachos compuestos can also be made with store-bought chips. This recipe can also be a main course, as it was for me years ago. You can totally add some shredded lettuce to make you feel better about making this a full meal.


Before we get going here, let’s familiarize ourselves with what nacho compuesto means. A basic nacho is a tortilla chip with cheese melted on top and a slice of jalapeño. Simple to make, so easy to eat. Compuesto means compound, so: things that are put together to create a different thing. It is a deliberate act, not a hodge podge of ingredients that may or may not go together. Those ingredients become something else. Like a chemical compound.

A proper nacho compuesto is a singular item. It should not be crowded or otherwise cramped unduly by its neighboring nachos. It sits nicely with them on the hot plate but can be picked up without disturbing, nay, even touching a neighbor.

That said, I am a complete fan of the sheet pan method of nacho making, but even then, I make sure that every chip gets some topping. Those restaurants that serve a big pile of chips heaped with toppings should have their nacho license revoked. No one wants the chips underneath so they are thrown away. What a waste.

When I was growing up in Houston, Texas, a plate of nachos compuestos was often my go-to order at any Mexican restaurant. They have many of the ingredients in a taco, in a much easier to eat format. Usually made with ground beef, the nachos compuestos of my youth were also topped with refried beans and cheese with a slice of jalapeño. Sometimes there were chopped tomatoes and onions or even salsa added after the nachos were cooked.

Today, I am hosting an event for my Foodie Extravaganza friends in honor of National Nacho Day. I’ve upped the ante on nachos compuestos by making them with fajita meat instead of ground beef. Make sure you scroll down to see the other creative nacho recipes the group is sharing.

Beef Fajita Nachos Compuestos

This recipe can also be a main course, as it was for me years ago. You can totally add some shredded lettuce if it makes you feel better about making this a full meal.

Ingredients
For the nachos:
1 lb or 450g trimmed skirt steak (weight after trimming of fat and sinew)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons taco seasonings
1 teaspoon meat tenderizer (Ajinomoto)
freshly ground black pepper
24 corn or corn/flour tortilla chips (or fry your own!)
1 can (16oz or 454g) refried beans
4 oz or 113g extra sharp cheddar
2 whole jalapeños, fresh or pickled

For the pico de gallo:
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
2 fresh jalapeños
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 roma tomatoes
Pinch fine sea salt
Pinch sugar
A few grinds black pepper

Method
Sprinkle the beef with the lime juice, taco spices and tenderizer, along with a few generous grinds of black pepper. Rub the seasonings all over. Use a meat mallet to pound the skirt steak.

Make sure you season and pound on both sides. This helps break down any tough bits and works the seasonings into the beef. If it’s all about the same thickness, it also cooks more evenly.

Place the beef in a Ziploc bag or reusable plastic container. Refrigerate until ready to use, but preferably at least one hour.

To make the pico de gallo, chop the onion and jalapeño finely. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle on the lime juice, salt, sugar and pepper. Chop your tomatoes in small cubes and mince the stems of the cilantro. Chop the cilantro leaves roughly. Mix the tomato and cilantro into the onions and jalapeño. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Slice the jalapeños for the nachos in rounds. Set aside.



At this point, I cut six corn and flour tortillas (called mitad y mitad here in Houston, they are made with both corn and flour) in quarters and fried them until golden in a little canola oil. If you are doing the same, make sure you drain them well on a layer of paper towels with a wire rack or newspaper underneath. Otherwise, store-bought chips will work.


Meanwhile, open the can of beans and give them a good stir to loosen them up.



To cook the fajita beef, heat a grill pan or frying pan over a high heat. Once it’s hot, place the pounded beef on it, a piece or two at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. We want this beef to sear and sizzle, not steam. When a nice brown crust forms on the bottom, turn the beef to the other side and leave it to brown as well.

Repeat until all of the beef is browned on both sides. I like to turn it to make some lovely crisscross grill marks. Remove the pieces of beef to a carving board as they are ready.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Lay the fried tortilla chips out on a large baking pan, in single file, making sure no points overlap.  I saved a space in the middle of my platter, leaving room for the pico de gallo in the middle. I have two identical platters so I split my two dozen putting 12 tortilla chips on each.

Spread a generous spoonful of refried beans on each tortilla.



Slice the fajita beef against the grain.



Top the chips with a couple of pieces of fajita meat on top of the beans. Next comes the grated cheese and finally, add a slice of jalapeño to each nacho.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy fried tortilla triangles topped with refried beans, fajita beef, cheese and jalapeños, these beef fajita nachos compuestos can also be made with store-bought chips. This recipe can also be a main course, as it was for me years ago. You can totally add some shredded lettuce to make you feel better about making this a full meal.


Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the meat and beans are heated through and the cheese has melted.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy fried tortilla triangles topped with refried beans, fajita beef, cheese and jalapeños, these beef fajita nachos compuestos can also be made with store-bought chips. This recipe can also be a main course, as it was for me years ago. You can totally add some shredded lettuce to make you feel better about making this a full meal.


Serve with the pico de gallo and some sliced avocado, if desired.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy fried tortilla triangles topped with refried beans, fajita beef, cheese and jalapeños, these beef fajita nachos compuestos can also be made with store-bought chips. This recipe can also be a main course, as it was for me years ago. You can totally add some shredded lettuce to make you feel better about making this a full meal.


Enjoy!

Check out all the other tasty nachos we are sharing today! How are you celebrating National Nachos Day? 

Pin these Beef Fajita Nachos Compuestos!

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy fried tortilla triangles topped with refried beans, fajita beef, cheese and jalapeños, these beef fajita nachos compuestos can also be made with store-bought chips. This recipe can also be a main course, as it was for me years ago. You can totally add some shredded lettuce to make you feel better about making this a full meal.
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