Monday, August 2, 2010

On Name Days and Nachos....

On the 31st we celebrated the feast of a great saint, Ignatius Loyola. A former soldier from the Basque Country, he ended up dedicating himself to Christ and founding the Jesuits. I once lived with a family in Madrid where the father was named Ignacio and one of the daughters, Ignacia. The 31st held a great celebration in their honor, complete with authentically delicious Spanish food.
What many Americans may not know is that the standard nickname for Ignacio is Spain is Nacho (Nacha for girls). While I do not know how that came to be, nor how nachos came to be the name for tortilla chips covered in some sort of delicious, Mexican-inspired topping, I think we need to have some nachos in the honor of this great saint. And those named after him! Given his stature, my mother has suggested an octave in his honor.
I, personally, would also suggest some sangria to wash it down, though beer works, too (or at least for those allowed to drink such things….)
My family and I have come to love black bean nachos. They’re a bit lighter and healthier than the more traditional meat variety, but still very tasty! (Warning: children may skip dinner if they eat enough of these!)

Black Bean and Corn Nachos

• 4 cups tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
• 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 cup corn (frozen, thawed, or cut off the cob)
• 1/2 cup salsa
• 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla, Chihuahua, and/or asadero cheese (8 ounces)

If you want them spicy:
• 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh or canned sliced jalapeno peppers, drained

For garnish/ extra dipping:

• Salsa
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• Sour cream

Arrange tortilla chips in one layer, overlapping slightly, on an 11- or 12-inch ovenproof platter.
In a medium saucepan combine black beans, corn, and the 1/2 cup salsa; cook and stir over medium heat just until heated through. Remove from heat; spoon bean mixture over chips.
Sprinkle cheese and jalapeno peppers (if desired) over bean mixture on chips. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately with additional salsa, if desired. Makes 10 servings.

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