Lemons Lemons are one of my favorite flavor enhancers but you need to be careful of the white pith. If you cook the pith, it turns very bitter. Cooking the rind or pulp is fine but never use the pith or seeds. I remember discovering this disturbing fact cooking chicken piccata for the first time. I thought I could enhance the flavor by cooking lemon slices in the sauce but instead I got a bitter taste I couldn't correct with sugar.
My Favorite Pan My favorite pan is a twenty dollar cast iron pan. I remember vividly how my step-father coveted his iron pan and warned us about not using soap to clean it. Seasoned and maintained properly, an iron pan can last forever. It is better than any non stick pan and far more durable. It's thick base holds heat better than any pan in my arsenal and prevents food from burning by dispersing the heat.
No matter how good a meal is, you don't want to eat it three days in a row. I'm always searching for ways to use leftovers in different dishes to breath new life into them. While you can use any leftover protein with this dish, it was designed around reusing the flap meat in my Tangy Steak Fajitas recipe. But you could use leftover chicken or pork. If you discover some great combination, leave a comment below. I'm always looking for new ideas!
This recipe is pretty simple because the meat is already done if you have leftovers from my Tangy Steak Fajitas recipe. The hardest part is mixing the Guacamole Topper, which really isn't that hard with just eight ingredients. It's a variation on my infamous Guacamole Del Rio, designed to compliment a dish instead of overpowering it. In other words, the Guacamole Del Rio has bold flavors that serve well as a standalone dip while the Guacamole Topper is more subdued, letting the avocado shine through more.
If you are rushed for time, you can just lay down a bunch of chips on a jelly roll pan, shred sharp cheddar cheese on top, add the chopped meat and melt it for a few minutes in a 350 degree Fahreneit oven. I just like the sophistication of the nacho bite. Takes a little more time but you don't have to pull all the chips apart that have melted together. To each his own :)
The melted cheese should be bubbling a little when you take it out of the oven. My wife's favorite part is that cheese that melts off the chips and crisps up on the pan. The cutest thing is watching her covet her crispy cheese.
Now you are ready to top the nachos with pico de gallo, Jalapenõ Slices, sour cream and guacamole. If you don't have a Piping Tool, you can spoon your sour cream into a ziploc bag and cut off the end. It just makes the presentation nicer. Another trick is to use a fork to distribute the pico de gallo. This allows a majority of the liquid to drain off so you don't get soggy chips.
Make sure to buy a lot of chips and cheese as these didn't last more than 5 minutes at my house. Other toppers could be green onions, black olives, hot sauce, beans, Three Bean Chipotle Chili or any add on you've seen at a restaurant.
Melt Cheese & Meat
Place a layer of chips on a jelly roll pan and add shredded sharp cheddar cheese and any leftover protein like the flap meat from my Tangy Steak Fajitas recipe. 4 to 5 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven set to bake should be be perfect.
Get your guacamole ready ahead of time using the recipe on this web site titled Guacamole Topper.
Pipe on sour cream and add sliced jalapeños, pico de gallo and guacamole.