I am really super ready for summer to be over. Unfortunately, however, I live in the south where summer lasts from March though October so I’ve got a while for this heat wave to pass. Because our electric company raises their rates in the summer and because I am in an older apartment that is not air tight, my A/C bill continues to be through the roof even with the thermostat set between 80ºF and 82ºF.
So Mr. O and I tend to sit with all the lights off save one low wattage accent lamp with multiple fans blowing on us. It’s too hot to do much of anything so we’ve certainly become even more couch potatoes than normal. While sweating through an episode or 2 of NCIS in the evening, though, I do spend some time catching up on emails and recipes.
During one such online excursion, I came across a recipe for slow cooker enchilada sloppy joes that was basically ground beef, taco seasoning and a can of enchilada sauce. My mind, of course, translated several ingredients into homemade but I couldn’t quite understand the slow cooker part. The ground beef was already cooked and spending 8 hours in the cooker would make it more watery.
While I was contemplating the bun and trying to figure out a different way to serve that seemed less…. wrong, for lack of a better word, I had a vision of tortilla chips. Tortilla chips? Yes! Nachos! I could serve this as nachos! Perfect!
And that’s what I did. 🙂
I made my usual taco beef but did a thicker version of the enchilada sauce that did not need to be simmered. Then I added some canned chiles, some tomatoes, and some black beans and let it simmer for a few minutes to meld and thicken. After layering the beef mixture on the chips with cheese, I decided to let the meat mixture melt the cheese rather than turning on the Box O’ Hellish Heat.
I then added lettuce, tomato and sour cream to mine simple because that’s what I like on my nachos. Of course, I made way more taco-enchilada meat than either of us could eat so I had plenty for leftovers which we ate as tacos on flour tortillas.
This turned out to be incredibly satisfying in a number of ways, especially with the contrasting cold and creamy toppings. You get salty, savory, crunchy, creamy, cool, and refreshing along with a combination of indulgent and healthy. At least that’s the way I see it.
Oh, and by the way….
Happy Birthday, Mr. O! 🙂
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ¼ c water
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp jarred minced garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chipotle chile powder
- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 10 oz can tomatoes with chiles, drained well
- 4 oz can green chiles, drained well
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Large bag of tortilla chips
- Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, diced onion, sliced olives, etc.
- In a large nonstick skillet, cook the ground beef over med-high, stirring and crumbling the meat as it cooks, until most of the pinkness is gone, about 5-7 minutes. Drain away any excess grease, if necessary. Add the chili powder, 1 Tbsp cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, cayenne and water. Stir to mix well and let simmer for about 5 minutes while mixing the sauce.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, garlic, 2 tsp cumin and chipotle chili powder. Stir the sauce into the taco meat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, while getting your toppings ready, about 5-7 minutes.
- To serve: layer tortilla chips in a nearly single layer on each plate, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with cheese and top with some of the meat mixture. Repeat with another layer of chips, cheese, and meat. Top with your favorite toppings.