Latin Twist: Nachos


Okay all you last-minute Larrys! Wondering what tasty treat to make on July 4th for that maybe-inside, maybe-outside fiesta? I’ve got two syllables for you: na-chos! Of course these are PERFECT with a selection of red, white, and blue cocktails, all shared right here!


Nachos—those ubiquitous tortilla-topped snacks—are a fun and festive snack to eat, and chances are you can make them right from ingredients you have at home. Today, my friends, I’m sharing not so much a recipe, but a concept: how about broadening your nacho horizons? This Latin Twist post, mis amigos, is designed to inspire you to think about how you can make your nachos your own!

First, some background: According to Wikipedia, Nachos originated in 1943 in Coahuila, Mexico, which is just over the border from Eagle pass, Texas. Apparently the name nacho  (which is a typical Spanish nickname for Ignacio) comes  from the guy who may have first created them: Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya. Like many of you home and professional chefs, Anaya was creative with what he had available in his kitchen!

So today I invite you to take Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya’s dish and custom-design it for your friends and family. Basically—and bare with me because yes, I’ve said this before—tortilla chips are like canvases: you can paint them with whatever you’d like because they complement so many flavors. And, like canvases—literally—they are a great background for lots of color.  Here’s just a partial list of what you can put on top of your tortilla chips:

Cheese (of course!)
Black beans (preferably home cooked)
Shredded meat (beef, pork, or chicken)
Tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn
Jalapeños (picked or fresh)
Cilantro or parsley leaves

Two types of nachos

Would love to hear how you paint your tortilla chip canvases! In the meantime, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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