Saturday, July 19, 2008

(Not Your Average) Nachos

So, what do you do with your extra brisket...or any other tender leftover meat?

We came home with a nice load of cooked and sliced brisket from a luncheon the kids and I attended yesterday, so I thought I'd show you a summer dinner no brainer. Nachos...a more manly version!

I don't know about you, but the taste of those taco seasoning packets don't really do it for me, so I've never been crazy about nachos that use taco flavored ground beef. Nope! I much prefer the pure taste of slow-cooked, smoked brisket. Something you can shred...and taste all the smokey goodness (Let's just SAY it's good for us). Using lots of spices was really only started in ancient times to mask the bad flavor of rotting meat, right? Well, with such modern conveniences as...REFRIGERATION...we don't need to partake in that nonsense anymore. Okay? So toss those silly packets and make your brisket. And don't slather it with all that barbecue sauce either! Down here in these parts we usually only use the sauce as a condiment with sliced brisket.

Mmmmm--just like fajitas, quesadillas, and (in cooler weather) tortilla soup--I could go for these nachos just about any day of the week! I could even do without the meat if I didn't have it handy. I always have the other ingredients at the ready anyway! For the real gift (at least in our house)--it's also gluten free! What's more? If you use CRACKER BARREL or KRAFT "natural" sharp cheddar cheese, it doesn't even have a measureable amount of lactose either!! This is just really making my day!


Ingredients:
Leftover cooked brisket (maybe 1/4 pound for covering one baking sheet), shredded
(You could also use shredded leftover pot roast. Extra fajita chicken would also be fabulous! I'm a reasonable girl--use what you've got!)
Tortilla chips, whatever kind y'all go for
1 to 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I go for MORE!)
1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives, (chopped a bit more), optional
1/4 cup onion (green or red are great!), finely diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 large avocado, finely diced [and tossed with
1 tsp. lime juice]
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, minced
Sour cream, optional
Pico de Gallo, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Spread out the tortilla chips all over a (roughly 12 x 17-inch ever-so-slightly-greased) baking sheet. Lining it with aluminum foil makes for a quick clean up. Make sure you cover most of the pan overlapping the chips a bit as necessary so you don't end up with a bunch of gooey cheese all over the pan instead of all over your nachos! Evenly distribute the shredded meat, onion, olives, and cheese over the chips.

Bake until the cheese is melted, about 7 minutes...but check around 5 minutes (because you care about your nachos, don't you?).

With loving care, sprinkle the rest of the ingredients (tomatoes, avocado, & cilantro) on top of the hot nachos, and serve to your manly (or just hungry) guests with sour cream and pico de gallo, if you like.