Nana’s Recipes: Pure Texas Nachos


Abi Skipp/Flickr Creative Commons

Anyone who’s read these blogs for any amount of time knows how proudly Texan I am, and when it comes to food Tex Mex is the name of the game around these parts. “Tex Mex” is kind of a misnomer I suppose. Here in Texas we call it “Mexican Food,” but what we call Mexican Food is derived more from what Tejanos were cooking, that is the Spanish and Mexican folks who were living in Texas before the revolution. They had taken traditional northern Mexican and Indian dishes and adapted them to what was available or would grow in Texas. Nachos seem to be one of those dishes very very closely associated with Tex Mex, and Tex Mex nachos are very specifically prepared.

Legend has it that Nachos were invented in Piedras Negras, which is just across the river from Eagle Pass. The story has several ladies from Texas going to a club in Piedras Negras for drinks late in the evening and asked the barman for a snack. As the kitchen was already closed, he melted some cheese onto some tortilla chips and added a slice of jalapeño to each and presented them with his compliments. Allegedly the barman’s name was Ignacio and the common nickname for Ignacio of course is Nacho.

So to make Pure Texas Nachos, you need to rustle up a bag of fresh corn tortilla chips, grab some Longhorn Cheese, and fresh jalapeño. To do these nachos their proper Texas justice, melt the Longhorn cheese — add a portion TO EACH INDIVIDUAL CHIP, don’t just slop the cheese all over a pile of chips… those are called “Lazy Nachos,” or even “Yankee Nachos.” So anyway, add a potion of melted Longhorn cheese to each individual chip, and add a slice of jalapeño to each chip as well. The goal is to not make the chips soggy or limp, so add cheese to taste as well as what the chips will support. Some folks like to add refried beans, salsa, guacamole, or sour cream t0 suit their own tastes, just remember to keep it simple.

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