The Freshman Cook: Nachos, Nachos, Nachos!

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The side dish for this week of my favorite Las Vegas eats is Nachos. When I first moved to Las Vegas in 1980 I used to go to the Peppermill Fireside Lounge with friends. It is still located on the strip next to the Silver City Plaza on the east side of the boulevard. It’s a dark, old school lounge. There used to be a lot of them in Las Vegas. Thank goodness the Peppermill is still here! It has a 100 item menu, and it has some of the best food I have ever had.  One thing about the food~you can’t eat it all. Big servings! What is also great about the Peppermill ~ the bar. I can remember slipping into the Peppermill when the temperature was a balmy 100 degrees. Not too hot~ except I was just getting off of work and it was 4:00 am!! To cool off and have a great time, I would order the Creamsicle, an ice cream specialty drink. But the Nachos were my favorite food at the Peppermill, and here is my recipe for what I think is pretty darn close to theirs.

Nachos, Nachos, Nachos!

1 lb. dried Pinto Beans

8 slices Bacon

2 Jalapeno Peppers

1 Onion

2 Garlic Cloves

1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Nacho Chips

Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

1 Roma Tomato

1/2 lb. Ground Beef 1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/2 Avocado

Pour 1 lb of dried Pinto Beans in a medium size pot.

Add 8 cups of water to the pot.

Bring the water to a boil, and let boil for 2 minutes

Reduce the heat to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, and cover with

a lid that allows some of the steam to escape. Keep an eye on

your water level. If it gets too low, add more.
After 1 1/2 -2 hours, set the beans aside.

Start the ground beef browning.

Once it is all browned, set aside on the stove.

Chop the 8 pieces of bacon.

Set aside.
Cut the onion in half. Only use half right now. Cut the half into slices. Chop the slices.
Toss the onions in a fry pan with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the bacon also and cook both over high heat for 5-7 minutes.
Chop the 2 cloves of garlic. Chop off both ends. Peel. Cut the garlic down the middle. Depending on the size of the clove, you may want to cut the garlic 3-4 times, lengthwise. Chop the garlic by slicing through the lengthwise cuts.
Wash and then chop off the top of the jalapeno. Sometimes the tops are wide enough to be used. This one is not. Cut down the sides, around the center. You should end up with 4 pieces. Throw the center spine away. Rinse all the pieces to get rid of the seeds. You can keep the seeds if you like it really hot. Slice the pieces of the pepper.
Turn the slices sideways, and chop.
Add the garlic and jalapeno to the bacon and onions. Cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked bacon, onions, jalapenos, and garlic to the pot of beans, and stir. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to the pot of beans. Stir. Cut the other jalapeno like you did the one earlier. This one is to put on our nachos. Chop the end off of a roma tomato.
Cut the tomato in half.
Slice each half in fourths.
Chop the fourths into small bite sized pieces.
These are what’s called a “rough chop”. That means that the sizes to not have to be all the same. Chop the other half of the onion. Cut the onion in slices like we did earlier.
Chop the slices.

Fill a small bowl with cold water. Swish some stems of cilantro around in the water to clean them. Dry with a paper towel.
Chop the cilantro in to small pieces. Spread the chips on to a plate.
Spread the cheese on the chips.
Top the cheese with the hamburger.
Add the bean mix. They are actually called Cowboy Beans! Add the raw onion, the tomato, and the cilantro.
Pop in the microwave until the cheese melts, 20-30 seconds.
Cut the avocado in half by going through the skin and around the seed. Slice the avocado in the skin, then turn and slice the other way. It will look like little squares. Pull out of the skin with a spoon. Sprinkle the avocado pieces around the top. Place a scoop of sour cream in the center. Enjoy! Thanks for joining me today. This recipe takes a long time to make, but it is soooo worth it.  It can be done in stepto make it easier to do. The beans can be made the day before, the prep on the onions, the jalapenos and the garlic can be done earlier and then refrigerated until you are ready. I hope you enjoyed this Nacho Nacho Nacho recipe!! Please join me tomorrow for this weeks dessert~ Carrot Cake!

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