It's that time of year again and we're making a nacho bar with toppings galore! We start out by making one of the easiest, and tastiest things I've made, the elote corn salad. I'm bringing this one back because it utilizes Sno Pac's organic corn, and as an Iowan, it's some of the best corn you can buy. Also, we sell it ;) That aside though, this is an extremely easy recipe that goes with practically any Mexican style food you can make and it takes only a few minutes to make. Just heat the corn, toss with lime juice, cotija cheese, salt, and pepper and you're done. Cotija is kind of like parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you could throw the corn in pan and fry it a bit to add more depth the salad, but I lean more towards making it quick and easy, especially for these nachos.
That's the beauty of nachos, you don't need to get super fancy because there's so much going on with all the toppings, the flavors become more complex with the toppings you use. In addition to the elote, we also are making a simple queso with some pureed jalapeno and seasonings. I only used 1 jalapeno for this, so it wasn't spicy at all, but if you like spicy I would suggest pureeing a jalapeno, a serrano, and maybe a chipotle pepper to give it some oomph. If you've never made roux before, it's the base for all kinds of cheese sauces. Mac and cheese, queso, the list goes on and on. Actually, if you wanted to make nacho mac and cheese all you'd have to do is add the beef to the queso and serve over cooked pasta. Might do that for another video. For now though, a roux can be a slightly intimidating thing to make but it really is quite simple. Melt the butter, add your flour and cook over medium heat. It is easy to burn, so medium heat is the safest choice. Make sure you stir, and eventually whisk, constantly. From there, all you do is add your milk, bring to a simmer, then add your cheese and seasonings in batches. If we add the cheese in batches it should prevent a lumpy queso.
After that it's just the taco meat and whatever toppings you like! Pico de gallo, elote, plain corn, sour cream, olives, the choice is yours. There's probably a million other things I could've put in this video that would make an awesome nacho bar, but I think we've got the bases covered and we bring a couple unique things to keep it interesting.
My last note, and I'll note this in the instructions as well but, if your queso starts to thicken up place it over low heat and keep an eye on it. Stir it once in awhile and test it to see if it's as smooth as you'd like it to be. I would not suggest leaving it on low because here at the office, it got hot enough to bubble. This is a concern because it could burn, and nobody wants that. So, if you have a way to just keep it warm, I would suggest that instead of leaving it over low heat. You could put in a slow cooker on the warm setting, but I haven't tested that so I can't guarantee that won't burn.
That's it for me this week, check out the vid below if you want to see me make this or keep scrolling for the full recipe!
Ingredients for the Elote:
1 package of Sno Pac Corn, divided in half
1 tbsp cotija
1/2 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
Ingredients for Queso:
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 medium jalapeno, pureed
6 oz oaxaca cheese
6 oz cheddar cheese
Ingredients for Taco Meat:
2 lbs Midamar Ground 93/7 Ground Beef
3 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
2 jalapenos, sliced
pico de gallo
remaining corn from Sno Pac
1) Combine all ingredients for the elote salad in a mixing bowl, toss to coat or stir with a spoon and set aside.
2) Melt butter in a pot, once melted add flour and stir continuously. Cook over medium heat until the flour smell dissipates, about 2 minutes. Add milk and whisk constantly, bring to a simmer and let simmer until slightly thick. Add seasonings and jalapeno, once combined add cheese in batches. Once all cheese is melted remove from medium heat and keep warm. If Queso gets cold and thick, place over low heat and stir constantly. Once smooth remove from heat and keep warm.
3) Place ground beef in a large pan and cook, drain fat, add seasonings and mix to combine.
4) Serve meat and queso with desired toppings and enjoy!