In college, Sunday through Wednesday was for studying, and Thursday night was for for fun! My friends and I had our weekly ritual and would head to a place called Bennigan’s every Thursday night. It was our hang out. We could all get cocktails and split a monster platter of nachos. For students on a budget, Nacho Thursday made us happy campers!
Now that football season is in full force, I’ve been reminiscing about Nacho Thursday and the fun times around the Bennigan’s table.
We have a local spot here in South Florida that serves up wings and loaded nachos, so I thought we should go out and try ’em. See if these could pass the test for some Real Deal good ol’ day nachos.
The experience was kind of like how your house seems massive as a child, then when you go back home to visit, it’s tiny. Instead of fully loaded nachos, these were “nothing to it nachos”. Literally, boring. I decided, heck, I’ll make my own. Let the football games begin while the nachos are popped in… bubbling under the broiler.
I used shredded chicken, a can of refried black beans, sharp cheddar on one half (since I’m dairy-free) and fresh cabbage sprinkled on top with a side of salsa. They were lovely, healthy, and a much better guilt-free alternative to most restaurant nachos.
No matter what you choose to pile on your nachos, follow this 3-step no fail baseline recipe:
- Go for thick, sturdy chips that will hold up well. Thin, restaurant-style tortilla chips will break or get soggy when loaded up with toppings. I use corn tortilla chips for their flavor and because they’re gluten free!
- Use cheese that will melt well like cheddar and Monterey Jack. I recommend you shred the cheese yourself, as pre-shredded cheese tends to be dried out—and most brands are filled with anti-clumping agents.
- Layer your toppings so that every bite is exciting! You’ll need depth (meat, beans), freshness (cabbage, cilantro, scallions), and acid (lime juice, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos).
This particular recipe can be changed or modified however you like! For instance, instead of tomato, use avocado. If you don’t have jalapenos, use salsa. Put chips on a plate. Add meat, beans and cheese. Put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove and add all remaining ingredients, squeezing the lime last.
I love home cooking, fresh ingredients, and things made with love because you know what you’re getting.
This is important when counting calories, too.
Nacho Thursday seems like a perfect way to end a busy work week. To the hardcore football fans, the weekday calendar doesn’t matter, even on Thursday night. But for me, Real Deal home sweet home is where my heart is happiest!!