Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nachos for a Crowd - Family Nacho's

It seems we are all looking for new ideas for supper. One of my favorite blogs is called "Homemaking on the Homestead" and I found this recipe for "Nachos for a Crowd" on Crystal's blog. My pickier daughter decided this SOUNDED GOOD to her so I added it to my meal plan for this week and made it last night. IT WAS WONDERFUL!

I had already cooked some pinto beans (we love those with everything from taco's to rice & cornbread) and put some in the freezer in med-size containers, so I had them ready to go. I imagine you could use canned pinto beans and even a combination of one can of pinto beans and one can of refried beans would be good, because the recipes calls for you to mash half of your cooked pinto beans as you add it to the cooked hamburger. Anything like that would work.

We both LOVED this recipe! We decided it would be great to take for potlucks, to have for a dip when you have friends or family over, and also to freeze ahead for later. My daughter ate her Family Nachos on a warmed tortilla. I had mine over a bed of tortilla chips, and sprinkled with lettuce and fresh tomatoes.

This was REALLY, REALLY good! If you have ever eaten Nachos Belle Grande at Taco Bell, this was a similar dish!

I don't have a crowd at my house very often, so I'm calling them "Family Nachos" Here's how I made Family Nacho's AT HOME MY WAY:

Family Nachos (originally "Nachos for a Crowd" by Crystal Miller at the Homemaking on the Homestead)
  • Cooked Pinto Beans: 3 cups dry pinto beans (soaked overnight) + 12 cups water+1 T salt - OR 3 cups cooked beans in juice (not drained) (OR 2 cans of pinto / refried beans)
  • 1 - 2 lbs. hamburger (I used 2 pounds because we really enjoy the meat.)
  • 1 ½ cups salsa
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I only used half a packet and it was great.)
  • cheese, as desired (I used cheddar, and grated it myself, about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can olives. sliced (I did not use) (optional)
  • lettuce and fresh tomatoes, as desired, chopped ,green onions, sliced (optional)
To cook the beans: Rinse, removing any stones from the beans, soak in a big bowl of water overnight (covered by at least 3 inches). Drain the beans, dump into a big pot, and refill with water (Crystal says to use 12 cups - I just make sure there is about 3 inches of water on top of the beans.) Add the salt. Start the beans in the afternoon or the day before.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until beans are soft and cooked. Stir occasionally as they cook to loosen them up and keep them from sticking. Set pot of beans aside.

To make the dish: cook up hamburger in a large frying pan until done, drain any grease if necessary. Add salsa and mix. Now take a slotted spoon and begin scooping out the beans and adding them to the hamburger (I used approximately 3 cups of beans - with some juice). You want to have the beans a little bit soupy when you add them (but not too much). As you add the beans, mix and smash some of them. Dump this bean/hamburger/salsa mixture into an 9 x 13 pan.

In a small bowl mix the sour cream and taco seasoning together. Spread this over the top of the bean/hamburger mixture. I dropped it around and then spread like a frosting.

Sprinkle as much (or as little) grated cheese as you desire over the top of the sour cream.

Now sprinkle the olives, tomatoes and green onions on top of the cheese (I omitted this step as my daughter doesn't like the olives, tomatoes, or green onions. I saved the tomatoes, olives, and green onions to sprinkle on the top of the nachos at serving time.) Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or things are melted and bubbly.

Serve this with or over tortilla chips, on warmed tortillas, taco shells or over a big green salad, topped with the lettuce and tomatoes!

I think this would be a great dish to take to a friend. Most kids would love this!


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