When Dan is out of town and I’m forced to fend for myself for dinner, I often plan ahead to turn our leftovers from earlier in the week into something different for my solo meal. For some reason, I find the need to transmogrify leftovers, otherwise I won’t eat them. Maybe it’s my way of pretending that I cook. So, here are the Chicken Nachos that I “cooked” while Dan was away.
Ingredients for our Chicken Nachos are pretty much whatever you like on nachos — I used leftover chicken, refried black beans, cheese, tomatoes, green onions, jalepeno, black olives, avocado and salsa for garnish. (By the way, “Clint’s Texas Salsa” is a brand that our dear friend Becky introduced us to years ago, and it’s one of the best jar salsas around. We usually mix the medium and mild together – it’s spicy! You can find it in most grocery stores).
Lay out the tortilla chips on a cookie sheet, using mostly flat chips. Dan taught me a cool trick for applying the beans to the thin tortilla chips without breaking them. Put the beans in a plastic storage bag and squish them down into one corner, leaving a tiny bit of space at the end of the corner. Cut off the end of that corner of the bag so you can squeeze out the beans onto the chips — sort of like applying frosting with a pastry bag (or so I’m told).
After squeezing out the beans (ew), dice up the leftover chicken and sprinkle on top. Be sure to remember Dan’s tip about cutting up all the produce first and the meat last, or be prepared to wash your cutting board multiple times. And remind me to do that next time.
Add the cheese. On this night I used a combination of monterey jack and cheddar. One of our favorite tips about cheddar cheese is to use the lowfat sharp cheddar, which has more flavor than the regular lowfat cheddar.
Nachos in the oven at about 325 degrees. Cook them until the cheese reaches the desired level of melti-ness.
An easy way to dice avocado is to cut it in half, take out the pit, then use the knife to cut just the avocado meat in a grid pattern (careful not to cut through the skin and/or your hand which is holding the avocado). Then spoon out the pieces. I like to add a little lime juice and salt to the avocado before using it, to bring out the flavor. Or maybe just because I like salt. (For someone who doesn’t really cook, I sure am full of the cooking advice on this post. Full of something anyway).
Once the chips/beans/cheese base for the nachos are done, add the toppings and enjoy!