Saturday, November 10, 2012

Leftovers: Easy Nachos

Hurricane nachos

I have a big problem with eating leftovers. If something was really delicious the first time around, I'll eat it a second time. No matter how yummy it was (again), by the 3rd time, I'm usually sick of it. Most of the time I'll try to only make enough for 2 rounds, but not all recipes scale down so well. Therefore, I need to find creative ways to reuse leftovers to avoid wasting food!

The Pumpkin, Turkey, White Beans, and Greens Chili from a couple of weeks ago was one such recipe. I made it on a Thursday, and we ate it for dinner Thursday and Friday nights. Then, Hurricane Sandy arrived with a bang the following Monday, and I figured, "well, the rest of the chili will make a decent meal if we lose power, since we can heat it up on the gas stove." Can't be too picky about leftovers when there's a natural disaster in progress!

By dinnertime, though, we still hadn't lost power (we were lucky and never lost it), and my excitement about chili for the 3rd time was waning. What I really wanted was appetizers - mozzarella sticks, potato skins, nachos - that sort of thing. Hey, wait a minute... nachos?

I looked around the kitchen. We still had shredded cheese and Greek yogurt. We were running low on the Tostitos Scoops, but we had some leftover homemade habenero-lime tortilla chips that friends had brought over for dinner the night before. I found a can of sliced olives in a cabinet. And of course, the leftover chili was waiting to be heated up. Operation Nachos was on!

Hurricane nachos

Easy Nachos
Servings vary depending on whether snack or dinner servings

  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Chili 
  • Other toppings (sliced olives, chopped onions, scallions, salsa, jalapenos, etc.) 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Spread the tortilla chips evenly across the pan and sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted (the chips should smell toasty when they're ready to come out).

While nachos are baking, reheat your chili in the microwave or on the stove. When the chips come out of the oven, top with chili and your desired additional toppings. Dollop sour cream or Greek yogurt on top. Serve and enjoy!

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