November 6th is National Nachos Day! Even though nachos are such a simple dish, consisting of tortilla chips or totopos covered in melted cheese, they are a relatively recent invention. They were created in Piedras Negras, Mexico in 1943 when the wives of ten U.S. soldiers from Fort Duncan visited the Victory Club restaurant after closing hours. With the kitchen already closed, employee Ignacia “Nacho” Anaya assembled a quick meal from what was left in the kitchen — fried corn tortillas covered with melted cheddar cheese and pickeled jalapeno peppers. Word of the new dish spread and patrons began asking for “Nachos Especiales.” Today nachos are served as a side, an appetizer, or even a main course. They can be topped with an endless list of ingredients like beans, beef, chicken, guacamole, peppers, lettuce, lime, olives, onions, pickels, and sour cream. Variations include “loaded nachos” (nachos which are topped heavily), barbecue nachos, and kalua pork nachos (popular in Hawaii).
Chris and I are always looking for an excuse to eat Mexican food. We used to frequent our favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants on a regular basis, but it’s been awhile since we visited Carlos O’Kelly or Pancho Villa. But when we did go out for Mexican food nachos were one of my favorite dishes, outranked only by fajitas. I like my nachos served with cheese, pico de gaillo, black beans, sour cream, guacamole, a little sprinkling of jalapenos, and maybe a little chicken if I’m in the mood. Chris likes his pretty much the same way, though he prefers more jalapenos and steak in place of chicken. Either way, it’s a tasty meal, and one he’s tried to replicate at home occasionally by baking up a cookie sheet full of delicous nachos with shreded cheese and covering them in our favorite ingredients.
In honor of National Nachos Day we considered making nachos at home. It’s really an easy task but we talked ourselves out of it with a variety of excuses, the best of which was the fact that we might be too tired after a day full of chores and gutter cleaning. So when Chris went out to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the work week he stopped at Moe’s Southwest and ordered a big to-go box full of steaming nachos covered in melted queso, black olives, onions, pico de gaillo, steak, and jalapenos. Unfortuantely, he forgot the sour cream and guacamole but that might have been for the best — it took him about thirty minutes to get home and on other occassions the addition of these wet ingredients has made the nachos soggy.