Move those nachos outside, on the grill
When I was a kid, one of my go-to, fend-for-myself meals was nachos. Heap tortilla chips, refried beans, olives, meats, cheeses and whatever else struck me onto a giant dinner plate. Sprinkle a most liberal amount of cheese over everything, then pop the whole thing in the microwave for a minute. Done! And delicious.
It didn't occur to me until I was an adult that there was any other way to make nachos. And I was blown away by the difference between nuking my nachos and baking them in the oven. Texture alone was remarkably improved. No more soggy chips that turned rubbery by the end of the meal.
And it didn't occur to me until this summer that I could take my nacho evolution even further by moving them out of the oven and onto ... the grill.
The point, of course, is not merely to use the grill as an outdoor oven, though in summer sometimes that is justification enough. But rather to use the power of the grill to impart a delicious smokiness to the nachos. And that is why the corn and the steak that eventually land on the nachos first get cooked on the grates.
Of course, nachos are a personal matter. We all have our set of must-have toppings. So, use my list as a suggestion and run with the technique.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for the Associated Press.
Corn and Steak Grilled Nachos
Before turning on the grill, make sure the baking sheet you plan to use fits on it with the lid down. If it doesn't, you can divide the ingredients into multiple smaller pans, even metal cake or pie pans. The smaller pans also can be cooked in batches, if needed.
Start to finish: 45 minutes
3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, plus extra
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
9 ounces beef sirloin, thinly sliced (can substitute pre-sliced “stir-fry” beef)
1 ear corn, husked
11-ounce bag corn tortilla chips
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1⁄2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1⁄3 cup pepperoncini, stemmed and thinly sliced
1⁄2 small red onion, diced
In a medium bowl, whisk together the adobo sauce, tomato paste, oil, garlic powder and salt. Add the steak and mix to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.
When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium-high.
Rub the corn with a bit of canola oil, then set it on the grill. Cook the corn, turning often, until lightly browned on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the corn to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, use an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to coat the grill grates with oil. Add the steak and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Leave the grill on, but reduce the heat to low.
Arrange the tortilla chips in an even layer on a rimmed baking. Spread the steak evenly over the chips.
Cut the corn kernels from the cobs. To do this, stand the ear on its wide end, then use a knife to saw down the length of the sides. Scatter the corn kernels over the steak and chips, then scatter the cheese over that. Set the baking sheet on the grill, cover the grill and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Remove the baking sheet from the grill, then scatter the tomatoes, pepperoncini and diced onion over the other toppings. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 520 calories, 32 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 50 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 890 milligrams sodium
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Jefferson Hills councilors get results of audit
- Forward supervisors skeptical Pangburn Hollow Road will be repaved this year
- Clairton joins Live Well Allegheny campaign
- Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
- Steelers notebook: Receiver Bryant inactive for game vs. Chargers
- Pittsburgh police investigate fatal Mt. Washington shooting
- Kittanning grad Miller finds team in junior hockey ranks
- Penguins notebook: Left wing rotation puts Perron with Malkin
- Tesla investors leery as shares, targets plummet