5@5 - Five game-winning variations of nachos
February 1st, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Patrick Connolly is the Executive Chef at The Kitchen NYC. Patrick’s brother, Dan Connolly, is a starting offensive lineman for the New England Patriots.

Generally speaking, the Super Bowl is about three things: food, drink and excessive partaking of each (for a Sunday). This year is a little different for me as my youngest brother Daniel is the starting center for the Patriots (he’s the guy who hikes the ball to Gisele Bundchen’s husband).

Normally, I’d be spending the day in the kitchen then plopping myself on the couch with a sandwich the size of a coffee table just in time for a butchered rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by an American Idol. This year, however, I’ll be spending the day with my family on the heated streets of Indianapolis and plopping myself on a cool plastic seat in Lucas Oil Stadium.

So, as I lose my voice during yet another big championship game I’ve road-tripped to, I hope you will enjoy two or 20 cold beers, something nice between pieces of bread and a big ol’ plate of nachos. Perhaps Doritos and shredded cheddar in the microwave is your style? Or maybe you’re a nacho overachiever and pull off a nine-layer dip? But if you’re looking for something a little outside the box, may I suggest one of the following:

Five Nacho Variations

1. The ‘Wicked Pissah’ Lobster and Crab Nachos
Corn tortilla chips, crab meat, lobster meat, tarragon crème fraîche, capers, cornichons (gherkins) and a hard-boiled egg.

A shout-out to my adopted hometown and soon to be four-time Super Bowl champs. New England shellfish with tartar sauce on a bunch of corn tortilla chips (so as not to confuse anyone with a cocktail fork).

Tarragon Crème Fraîche
4 sprigs of tarragon
1/2 cup crème fraîche
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix the tarragon with the crème fraîche, zest and lemon juice, then refrigerate until ready to use.

2. The Steakhouse Potato Skin ‘Nachos’
Potato chips, potato purée, grilled NY strip, New York cheddar, sour cream and scallion.

Despite the Giants inevitable loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, their fans deserve to eat during the game as well. These are inspired by the great Keens Steakhouse or my Brooklyn neighborhood’s Peter Luger Steakhouse.

Potato Purée
2 large russet potatoes
1/2 stick butter melted
1/4 cup warm whole milk

Simmer the potatoes in water for 1 hour until tender. Peel and put them through a food mill (or food processor if you don't have a mill). Add the melted butter and warm milk to the potatoes and whisk until very smooth. Salt to taste, then cover with plastic and keep warm.

3. Los Nachos ‘à la Cubano’
Pork rinds, ham, dill pickles, Swiss cheese and honey-chipotle mayonnaise.

Behold the one-handed Cuban Sandwich. Not exactly the healthiest option, but whatever, it is the Super Bowl! And last time I checked, people in Miami were all attractive and they eat the heck out of this stuff.

Honey Chipotle Mayonnaise
12 oz jar of mayonnaise
4 chipotles in adobo sauce (sold in grocery stores, typically near the salsa section)
2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until all well combined (about 1 minute). Season to taste and refrigerate.

4. Bánh Mi Nachos
Pita chips, roast pork shoulder, pickled vegetables, spicy mayonnaise, cilantro

My absolute favorite sandwich is the Vietnamese bánh mi. Usually the best versions are found in the sketchiest back allies of Chinatown. Just because American football is a distinctly American sport doesn’t mean your food should be.

Spicy Mayonnaise
1 bottle Kewpie mayonnaise
1 bottle Sriracha

Empty the mayonnaise into a mixing bowl. Mix Sriracha in to taste. The darker the mixture, the spicier it will be.

5. The Spinach Artichoke Chip Nachos
Flour tortilla chips, marinated artichoke hearts, Mornay sauce (just a cheesy béchamel or white sauce), Parmesan and flash-fried spinach.

Of course your friend Dave is bringing his new yoga instructor girlfriend to the party who is, shockingly, a vegetarian. This version will satisfy the four-digit caloric value that is a prerequisite to all Super Bowl dishes, and you can probably convince your carnivore attendees that an artichoke is an animal.

Mornay Sauce
1/8 cup flour
1/2 stick butter
2 cups milk
3 oz Gruyère cheese, grated
Pinch ground clove
Salt to taste

In a pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir into the butter with a wooden spoon over medium heat for 5 minutes (this is a roux).

In a separate pot, warm the milk. Add the warm milk to the roux and continue to stir until smooth (this is a béchamel).

Add the pinch of clove.

Add the grated Gruyère and continue to stir until smooth. Salt to taste.

Previously: A look at some other amazing efforts in the world of nachos, the 3,999-pound plate of nachos and the rest of our Super Bowl coverage.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Events • Holidays • Sports • Super Bowl • Tailgating • Think

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. oh please

    Dear Doug,

    I just want you to know you are my hero. Your comment made me laugh.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  2. foodfiend

    Worst recipe ever. I tried the spinach artichoke chip dip. Sauce was too thin, the recipe started out listing Parmesan as an ingredient, but never said how much or what to do with it. Sprinkle on top?? Mix in the sauce?? What do you do with the atrichokes, never explained. What a waste of my time!

    February 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Ben Folds

      Almost as much of a waste as bitching on a message board.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  3. Spill

    These all sound like terrible nacho recipes. Nachos should never contain mayonnaise. The only one that sounds ok is the Steakhouse Potato Skin ‘Nachos’, but the thing about that is, there potato skins, not nachos.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  4. Eric

    Someone shoot Charlotte please.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  5. vp

    Those ALL sound completely disgusting.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  6. Frank Garrett

    These recipes sound terrible, where the hell did this guy goto culinary school?

    February 5, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  7. denim

    These recipes made me go "ew".

    February 5, 2012 at 3:40 am |
  8. erik

    loaf-pinchin goodness!

    February 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  9. Joanne

    Real supernachos from San Diego "Any" bertos – chips, carne asada, beans, sour cream, guac & cheese!! So delicious!

    February 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  10. nathaniel

    Holy Yum!!

    February 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  11. the breeze

    Tortilla chips with JUMBO LUMP CRAB MEAT,cheddar cheese,bay seasoning with some sour cream RULES

    February 2, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  12. workerdrone

    since we got a pats fan on our hands, allow me to post my "repeat of 07" recipe:
    stale chips of any kind from any bodega in boston
    "chowdah" poured over said chips
    sprinkle with brady's salty tears
    bake at 500 for 5 hours
    serve as fast as you can at the nearest wall when the pats lose

    February 2, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • giantsrock

      Sounds delicious-can't wait to try it.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  13. Texas Born

    The first place this went wrong was 'recipes for nachos'.

    February 2, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  14. monah

    A pile of chips with a goopy cheese sauce isn't a nacho, it's a poorly made chili con queso sauce poured over tortilla chips. A nacho is tortilla chips with refried beans spread on each one, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a jalapeno on each one. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cheese melts and you are done. Adding a bit of seasoned ground beef on top of the beans before baking is also great and a dollop of sour cream on each one after they come out of the oven is great. Yeah, it's a bit labor intensive but the chips don't turn to mush when you are half way done with a bowl of those things and each chip is nicely covered with an equal amount of toppings. James' recipe is a good example of a proper nacho, I just personally don't like adding taco seasoning to the ground beef as I prefer to season it myself. As for the recipes in the article: I'll take my tex mex nachos over those froufrou things the article calls nachos.

    February 2, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Laura

      I agree about the chip to topping ratio. I like to take those baked tortilla chips that look like little bowls, add refried beans to them individually, some cheese(cheddar or pepper jack), and melt those in the oven. Then I like to top with fresh pico de gallo. And an absolute must is some form of avocado, either a small piece of avocado or a nicely spiced guacamole.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Bobbi P

      Acutally, the first nachos were simply cheese and jalapenos served on tortilla chips. They were a quick invention of a chef who had last-minute customers and nothing left in the kitchen.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Bellaire Boy

      exactly right, Monah. Tex mex done the way it ought'a be.

      February 3, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Mary

      That is pretty much how I make my nachos...one at a time with re-fried beans, ground beef, salsa, cheese and jalapenos. Then I put them in the oven until the cheese melts. The nachos in this article are NOT real nachos.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  15. Chris, Austin

    Actually, I’ve given it some thought, and I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge Arturo and Patrick’s recipes. I’ve decided to take up their cause. Try this:

    One part tarr@gon creme fraiche.

    One part potato puree.

    2 Tbs. honey-chipotle mayonnaise.

    ¼ pound cr@b meat.

    ¼ pound lobster meat.

    4 chipotles in adobo sauce.

    3 oz. Vietnamese banh mi.

    1 bowl of pita chips.

    1 bottle Kewpie mayonnaise.

    1 bottle Sriracha.

    ½ cup grated Gruyere.

    Half gallon Napoleon Brandy.

    Place all ingredients into a silk-lined bag, and blend by riding around with the bag on the a$$ of Charlotte’s horses.

    Serve cold, like M1tt R0mney’s att1tude about anyone who doesn’t have a billion dollars to invest in equity capital.

    “M1tt R0mney’s establishment GOP pander to the working cla$$ big important ball of the feet game nachos.”

    Serve on Saturday, y0u tone-deaf t0ffs.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Ihavemoreclassthanyou

      Why don't all you naysayers get a life in the real world rather than criticize others? What makes you a know-it-all? Drop off the face of the earth so I don't have to listen to you make fun of someone else or what they do or what they eat.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • Chris, Austin

        Freedom of speech and an open forum, that's why.

        February 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • Fezzik re: "class"

        Ihavemoreclassthanyou, " i do not think that word means what you think it means."

        February 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Arturo Féliz-Camilo

    Lobster and crab?! That's a homerun right there! (or should I say a Touchdown?! LOL!)

    February 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Chris, Austin

      Wow, Arturo, are you sure you want to talk up another chef's recipes? Making your login a link to your Spanish-language cooking website is probably not the most subtle decision you ever made.

      Shouldn't you be off watching "futbol?" Perhaps Manchester United will score a home run. You can celebrate with some organic rice sushi. Another food aristocrat.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  17. Chris, Austin

    Jeeze. What a bunch of effete, yuppy-esque ingredients and recipes. I'm surprised there wasn't a recipe in here for brie nachos. If you're drinking wine with your nachos, you really shouldn't be watching a football game. I'm sure there's a cricket match on, somewhere. Pfff.

    February 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Walker, Austin

      I was thinking if I found these at a Super Bowl Sunday party I would be pissed. For a nice change try Tot-chos! Tater tots topped like nachos....now that is awesome!

      February 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  18. Charlotte

    Oh, is THAT what this is about. The "Super Bowl." In that case forget it, just go spend the day riding the horses. Which is what we're going to do rather than waste it sitting in front of a television eating junk food :)

    February 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Arnold

      Nobody give half a rat's behind what you're doing for the big game. Get out of your mother's basement and live life a little. Learn what Ro-Tel is before you show your azz on a Food Blog, you self-righteous cow.

      BTW, we all understand your reference to a "side of paramedic." It was neither clever nor original enough for you to have posted twice. Have an ice evening.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • John

      Judge much?

      We don't want you watching the game, anyway. Have fun doing your horses.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • a. dee

      I like how "Super Bowl" was put in quotation marks - as if it doesn't actually exist.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Melissa

      Well, Charlotte, you wasted part of your day making snarky judgmental comments about people who you do not know, so stop acting like your day was spent on something totally worthwhile while the commoners watch a football game.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Charlotte

    Let's not forget that all-important, ubiquitous ingredient: The Paramedic!!

    February 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Chris, Austin

      Apparently, guignol snobs are ubiquitous, as well.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Melissa

      Everything in moderation, Charlotte. Eating fat-laden nachos one day of the year will hardly send these people to the hospital.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  20. JackLumber

    Tortilla chips, cheese, salsa, and an abortion commercial.

    February 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Terry

      I think you mean an erectile dysfunction commercial.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  21. Bill

    I think that is an evil grin the guy has in his picture and those recipes are a cardiovascular nightmare.

    February 1, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  22. James

    Take 2lbs lean ground chuck, 2 packets McCormick taco seasoning, Tostitos Lime-flavored tortilla chips, sour cream, SHARP cheddar cheese, and sliced jalapenos.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Brown and drain ground chuck, then return to pan and add taco seasoning packets and 1 1/2 cups of water and heat over medium heat to a slow boil. simmer for 25-30 minutes to further reduce liquid volume.

    On a cookie sheet add a single layer of tortilla chips, completely filling the tray. Add a rounded tablespoon of your taco meat to each individual chip. Cover each chip with cheese. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough for your cheese to melt. Any longer and you will burn your chips.

    Remove from the oven and top each nacho chip with sour cream and jalapenos.

    This is by far my favorite method of making delicious nachos. Everyone who's ever eaten them raves not just for the taste, but that each chip is in fact an individual nacho. Try this out and enjoy a tray with some friends.

    February 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Dick

      Sounds great. Loading each chip individually seems pretty labor intensive, but if you're makin' em, I'm eating.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Doug

      Hey James. Sounds good. I'm gonna try your recipe. Since my team isn't in the game I might as well eat nachos and anxiously await next season in hopes of an Eagles SB win....

      February 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Ruth

      If you chop your ground beef very very finely, and then add your cheese to the ground beef to melt a little, you can put it in a pastry bag and squeeze it onto each chip, its a lot easier than trying to put ground beef on each chip with a spoon.

      February 6, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  23. Kay

    I love you just because you are a Pats fan! :) Nothing wrong with enjoying some insane nacho recipes now and then!

    February 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  24. phearis

    I like to get 3 pounds of bacon and fry it up, then set the bacon aside for later eating though out the week but what I'm after is the bacon fat. I then mix that in with Velveeta and pour it over the corn chips. mmmmmm Artery Clogging Goodness.

    February 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Sean

      You eat three pounds of bacon and all the fat from that every week?

      February 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • phearis

        Who said every week? I didn't......

        February 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Mmm, yeah, this one seems the most important for that side dish of Paramedic.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  25. Kris

    2 cups of velveta cheese cubed and one can of Ro-tel in the microwave until melty and gooey. stir and pour over nachos and refried beans! ; )

    February 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Come on...

      That's the recipe for white-trash nachos...

      February 1, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • oh please

        Can food snobs please stop pretending that every food has to be gourmet? On most days, I eat fairly healthy food, extremely healthy by the extra low bar by which Americans judge their health. Don't get me wrong, I love good, wholesome food and prefer it most of the time. I am (according to my doctor) in very good shape and maintain a healthy weight.

        BUT... velveeta has its place, and by god, superbowl sunday is where it belongs. NACHOS do not always have to be high and mighty "cuisine." They are nachos. And that is okay.

        February 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • JohnJames

      Velveeta is a nasty processed cheese product. For godsakes use REAL cheese in your recipes. And not American cheese!

      February 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Charlotte

      what on earth is Ro-tel? Is it a petroleum product like Velveeta?

      February 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
      • Nacho, Nacho Man...

        Charlotte, I know you were trying to appear trop élégante to know about the funny little ingredients used by hoi polloi, but you just come off sounding ignorant.

        February 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Arnold

        Well said.

        February 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Doug

        If, by petroleum product, you mean delicious, then yes. That's exactly what it is. And because I'm classy, I'll eat my nachos with a pinky hoisted in the air as though I'm having tea with the queen.

        February 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • AllThatGlitters21

      This recipe makes me nauseous....Velveeta should be outlawed.

      February 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  26. Val Tonione

    These are not real recipes! The "al la cubano" sounds interesting But what about the swiss cheese? Ham? Pork rind? Just tell us how to do it or don't waste our time!!

    February 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Matt

      It tells you how to make all of them. That one called for a food processor to mix them all.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  27. dick

    My imitation of the comments so far: Whaaaaaa, sucks, whaaaa, sucks, sucks, whaaaa. Why TF even post?? Yeah, I get the irony of my post. At least I can admit that I hate people.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  28. What the Deuce!

    Total disappointment. These nachos sound terrible!

    February 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  29. Headhunters

    Tortilla chips, chili, lettuce and shredded cheese. Pop it in the microwave for two minutes and it's the best nachos you can eat.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  30. ScottIndy

    These recipes are like cookbooks and dating sites – without pics, who cares?

    February 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  31. Gravyhand

    None of these are nachos. Frankly, they sound disgusting.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  32. Linds

    chips and salsa, please.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Charlotte

      or how about a nice, chunky, authentic guacamole without the dairy or mayo, but the REAL stuff? Now that's worth cheering over. A good homemade salsa is nice, too.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  33. Botch

    Mashed potatoes? On nachos??

    February 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  34. Tony

    Usless post, nachos are nachos are nachos.If you want a full course meal make one, all these recipes have too much moisture and will turn the corn chip to a soggy mess.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  35. ProperVillian

    Hmmmmm...now why does the US have an obesity problem again? Fat filled foods, whole days spent on the couch? Surely that can't be it.....

    February 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • VladT

      Good call, because everyday is Superbowl Sunday

      February 2, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • Doug

      There's no obesity problem. That's crazy talk. We're all just big boned....or husky...whichever you prefer.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  36. Quincey9

    Super bowl Sunday is also about not having to make an effort. Just order out.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  37. James

    I stopped reading when I saw one recipe was called wicked pisser...really? sounds appetizing

    February 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Bill

      Good call, i agree.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
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