These are loaded, meal-strength nachos. Perfect for a night in front of the TV watching your favorite horror flick. It has been a little dark and stormy here, and a nice campy zombie movie sounds great. Not hard core. These are nachos, after all.
Some of my favorite zombie-nacho movies? Dead and Breakfast. Not only does it star David Carradine, it is also sort of a musical! Zombieland. Arguably the best Bill Murray cameo ever. Dead Snow. Nazi zombies attack college students staying in a cabin in Norway. What?! You can’t go wrong with these. That is, if you enjoy more-than-slightly weird zombie flicks.
Back to the nachos. This is a free-spirit recipe: no real measurements involved. I’ll give suggestions, but you scale up to how many people you plan to serve, and how hungry you are. All ingredients are totally optional, but here is what we enjoy.
Chicken strips – pre cooked. I’m using Trader Joe’s.
Bacon – try Trader Joe’s Uncured Bacon Ends and Pieces. Giant, thick-cut slices and chunks.
Tater tots – Yes, I’m using Trader Joe’s again, but use your favorite. You will cook them in advance and crumble them up on top of your nachos
Olives – I’ve got a spicy blend that contains extra jalapenos!
Corn – if it is summertime, use any leftover ears of corn you may have grilled or boiled. Scrape off the kernels. In the winter, frozen sweet corn kernels work great too: heat some up with a little water on the stove and drain.
Jalapenos – Can’t beat Trader Joe’s Hot & Sweet Jalapenos, but today I’ve got sliced Hatch jalapenos. Also nice.
Roasted red peppers*
Cheese – LOTS of cheese. I like a blend. Today I’m using sharp cheddar, white cheddar, mozzarella, and Oaxaca. Pepper jack is also fabulous.
Chips – A blend of Sweet Potato Corn Chips and Doritos (Roulette, Nacho, Spicy Nacho, whatever spice level you like.)
Salsa – Your choice. Make your own!
Sour cream – I actually went light, here. Which is patently ridiculous given the other ingredients and massive cheese level, but I can pretend.
* Sadly, I didn’t have these ingredients today, but they are delicious on the nachos. I’m substituting in some chopped roasted garlic, and sliced cherry tomatoes.
How to make them:
At your leisure earlier in the day, bake the tater tots. Let them cool and store them in the fridge.
Heat up the chicken strips if they’re frozen. Let them cool a bit, then either shred with a fork, or cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Cook up the bacon. If you’re using that Trader Joe’s pack of ends and pieces, you’re lucky! They’re awesome. Cut them down to bite-sized pieces and cook them up in a large pan on the stovetop for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they all get done but don’t get overdone. Drain and set aside until you’re ready to top your nachos.
Grate your cheese ahead of time as well. We like a LOT of cheese.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. The paper will keep the nachos from sticking and make them easy to remove. Heat up the oven to 350F.
Spread the chips evenly over the cookie sheet. Liberally cheese your chips, saving some cheese for the top. Get cheese on every chip. Add in all the other ingredients you want, except the cilantro and avocado which you will save for a garnish. With the tater tots, crumble them up a bit before you sprinkle them on top. Unless you want whole tater tots. Which is fine. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. You may want to put the oven on convect for the last few minutes to achieve desired meltiness. That is too a word. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with your cilantro and avocado. Yum.
Settle down and enjoy with your favorite beverage and scary movie. If you’re feeling really guilty, make a side salad. (Or not!)