Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Nachos are the ultimate Tex-Mex offering

Nachos may be the pinnacle of the Tex-Mex inventiveness. 

The original dish, known as totopos in northern Mexico, was just fresh made tortilla chips, and a cheese sauce, but man oh man, what the American influence has done. It has become so popular that many Mexican restaurants start you out automatically with a variant of the original. 

The list of delicious things that can be added to nachos is endless, but there is almost always cheese. Here is a point of contention: many Americans have come to expect a canned variety of nacho cheese, but it is pretty horrible stuff, especially if you consider the availability of wonderful melting cheeses in most grocery stores these days.

I think a minimalist approach is best. Use the best-quality ingredients that you can find, fresh fry-your-own tortilla chips, and avoid anything processed or not fresh.

Try this recipe on your friends, and let me know how it works out.


1 package fresh tortillas (see the refrigerated section of any Hispanic grocery)

1 cup grated Gruyere, or sharp white American-made cheddar

1 cup fatty ground pork

Red pepper flakes

1-2 chopped jalapenos 

Small bunch roughly chopped cilantro 

Pre-heat oven to 350 f. Sauté the ground pork in oil, and a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes, drain and set aside. Cut the tortillas into triangles, and deep fry in hot oil, drain and set aside. Now work quickly, plate the tortilla chips, top with the cheese, jalapeños and pork. Bake until bubbly and hot, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.