Last week I had to face the sad fact that the Patriots were once again in the Super Bowl. This meant that I would once again have to see Bill Belichik’s rumpled visage transformed by it’s biannual grin. (Bill Belichik can only be happy for the first six seconds when he’s holding the Lombardi trophy. By the time the players start giving victory speeches he’s already planning who he’ll cut for next season.)
Between the Patriots and my guilt from enjoying the product of a morally destitute league, I doubted my ability derive any joy from this game. I decided, instead, to focus my efforts on Superbowl foods.
For too many Superbowls, I have greatly expanded my hors d’oeuvres variety at the expense of quality. Guac, salsa, and potato chips, that’s well and good. Adding hummus and a crudite, that’s pushing it. A cheese plate, smoked meats and corn muffins — now none of these foods go together and I’ll have to lock myself in the bathroom during the third quarter.
This year I knew I couldn’t allow myself the excesses to which I am naturally inclined. I would choose one and only one snackable dish, and I would execute it at the highest level. My choice was nachos.
First things first, if you aren’t making your nachos on a baking sheet, get with the times. Baking sheets provide great surface area and they are the best platform for sensible chip engineering. Additionally, making them on parchment paper makes cleanup easy, and transfer to another plate effortless.
I’ll make this simple and digestible by describing my nachos in terms of layers (but you should understand that these ingredients were repeated at various points based on chef’s intuitution):
Layer 1: Refried Beans (thinned out with water until they take on a mexican restaurant consistency)
Layer 2: Corn chips
Layer 3: Tomatillo chicken thighs (slow cooked for eight hours using this fine recipe)
Layer 4: Black beans
Layer 5: Delicious, delicious homemade nacho cheese
With the base fully realized, I piled on guacamole, homemade pico de gallo, and pre-shredded mexican cheese (I thought it would melt well, but in retrospect I should have shredded my own).
The final touches? Why not some pickled jalapeños, radishes, black olives, cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, annnnddddd sour cream from a fun squirt bottle.
They almost made up for that comeback.