National Nacho Day is a real thing, and it's happening today. If you're doing a little happy dance right now, we totally understand, because here at the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we love food holidays. Especially when they involve massive amounts of cheese and chips.
For National Nacho Day this year we thought we'd do something spectacular and build the ultimate nachos. You can watch us assemble this masterpiece in the video above. And when we say ultimate, we mean everything you've ever wanted on a plate of nachos, plus some you never knew you wanted until now.
This bad boy is a platter of chips, nacho cheese, stellar queso from Bar Ama downtown, quesadillas, taquitos, carnitas, mozzarella sticks, Buffalo wings, hot peppers, jalapeños, bacon guacamole, fried kale (for some color, of course) and to top it all off, a grilled rib eye steak.
Phew, anyone sweating yet? And of course, feel free to add your favorite beans, salsa and sour cream. This impressive mountain of all that is good in the world is a great way to celebrate National Nacho Day, but it would also make a pretty amazing addition to a Super Bowl spread too. Or really, just dinner.
And with all good food, you need a cocktail to wash it down. We prepared a bacon-infused bloody Mary with a nacho cheese and tortilla chip rim and as a garnish, jumbo olives stuffed with cheese, battered in tortilla chip crumbs then fried to crisp perfection. As soon as you take a bite, hot cheese oozes out of the salty olive. See the full recipe below:
Bacon Bloody Mary ... National Nacho Day-style
6 cups bacon Bloody Mary mix (recipe below)
9 to 12 ounces vodka (or tequila if making Bloody Marias)
Queso, for rimming the glasses
Crumbled tortilla chips, for rimming the glasses
Cheese-stuffed fried olives, for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine the Bloody Mary mix with the vodka, stirring to combine. Rim each of 6 glasses with queso and crumbled tortilla chips and fill halfway with ice. Divide the Bloody Mary mixture among the glasses, and garnish with the deep-fried olives. Serve immediately.
Cheese-Stuffed Fried Olives
Large green Spanish cocktail olives, with pimento or any other fillings removed
Cheddar cheese, cut into cubes or small pieces
Finely-crumbled tortilla chips
Stuff each olive with cheddar cheese. Dip in the beaten egg, then dip in the flour mixture to coat. Dip each olive again in the beaten egg, then dredge in the crumbled tortilla chips to coat. Deep-fry the olives in oil heated to 350 degrees, until the outer coating is golden-brown and crisp. Drain the olives on paper towels before using.
Bacon Bloody Mary Mix
5 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored and seeded (or 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes)
8 slices bacon, chopped, browned and drained of fat
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
6 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Tabasco for Bloody Marys, Tapatio for Bloody Marias)
4 to 6 teaspoons grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 martini olives and 2 tablespoons olive juice
In a blender, puree the tomatoes with the bacon, lemon juice, Worcestershire, chiles, garlic, Tabasco, horseradish, salt, pepper, celery salt, cayenne pepper (if using), ginger, olives and juice (this may need to be done in batches). Adjust seasonings and flavorings to taste. Refrigerate until needed; the mix tastes best made 1 day before using. This makes a generous 6 cups Bacon Bloody Mary Mix.
If you've got your own suggestions for the ultimate nachos, we want to hear them. Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @latimesfood on Twitter.
Video by Stacey Leasca