Never Met A Cho Like You Before

… in the catering world.

This is what nachos should look like. Comedian and one third of rather amusing sketch group Wittank Naz Osmanoglu recently made some nachos at a stag do. In Leamington Spa. Obviously a mental night then. Either way, just look at the sauce distribution:

They look professional. Or rather, they don’t, because in the UK professional nachos tend to look like hell. So why do these work so well?

  • Intelligent distribution of the Big Four (all surfaces covered with similar amounts)
  • A gracious amount of relish.
  • Enough jalapenos to give the whole shebang a bit of a, y’know, bang, without going OTT.
  • Attention to aesthetic.

In saying this, it’s difficult to tell whether the cheese has been righteously used or abused. Is there any cheese? I’ve looked quite hard and can’t see it. Unless it’s exactly the same colour as the chos (which don’t look particularly tasty in there own right. Always good to have them slightly seasoned. However, these are minor failings)

Naz, Nacho Times salutes you. And implores you to become a chef in most of the places reviewed on this site.

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Guactacular 2011

Nacho’s are Lee Frank’s thing. One third of NYC based site Nachos NY, Lee and his happy band of hombres are hosting their third annual ‘Guactacular’ event in Brooklyn next month and it’s just as mental as it sounds. Free beer. Live music. Competitors trying to out-guac each other with cash prizes and, of course, free chos for all. They put the UK nacho scene to shame.

Lee, how much of a Nachoist are you?

I try to eat nachos at least twice a week but unfortunately, with all the nachos we’ve eaten, we’ve basically covered all the areas I am normally in so I now need to go out of my way for them. Nachos NY is at about 2.5 years now. I probably spend about 10-12 hours a week doing all sorts of stuff on the site…

So a large one then. Large enough to host a full-scale Nachofest in Brooklyn…

For the first Guactacular (2009), we had no idea who was coming, there was no tickets. We listed it on the site, thinking that maybe 100 people would come and we were happy with that. And then the word got out and probably like 350 people showed up. That was incredible.

And how did you go about organising it?

I used to work for Flavorpill, a NY-based culture and events site and we wanted to do a photoshoot for Cinco de Mayo and I suggested a guac-off between some of the editors. I then decided we needed a space and Heather D at the Bell House gladly provided the front room for us.

You definitely don’t find the same calibre of guac maniacs in London. Or nachos, for that matter.

I haven’t eaten them, I’d love to be enlightened to the differences! [In terms of Guac] I like to make it simple. Avocados, lime, jalapenos, red onions, tomatoes, and salt. But I love to eat it with other crazy things involved like pomegranate, mango, pineapple.

Lee Frank, Nacho Times salutes you. Not only do you bring avocado based bashes to Brooklyn but you also eat pomegranate guacamole.  For those living the American Dream, get on down to Guactacular 2011 on May 8 and best of luck to all competitors.

Nacho Aesthetic. Naesthetic.

It’s difficult to look hot while eating nachos. Hence why they don’t feature heavily on “top ten foods to eat while on a date” lists. Two nachoists recently featured here at Nacho Times attempt to disprove this, to varying degrees of success.

Londonfood4afiver’s Joe at The Boadicea (rated 3/5) putting the “sass” in “nachos hanging out of your mouth”

Horrid Movies Jordan doesn’t quite achieve the same sophistication. In his own words: “It looks like the weight of the nachos is pulling my face down.” (Jordan is pictured at Camden Market, rated 2/5)

I think we have a winner.

Happy Pancake Day

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to make pancakes. If someone would like to potentially come round to Nacho HQ and make me some, that’d be great. In the meantime…

Scotch Pancake Nachos

UD - Scotch Pancake NachosNachos.

Your best friend. Your confidante. Your co-conspirator.

And now: your booze-soaked breakfast buddy.

Say hello to Scotch Pancake Nachos, the greatest thing to hit your morning since bourbon Cheerios, now available at Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake [this is an American recipe. Obviously- NT]

Why it took the universe so long to combine these ruggedly delicious foodstuffs, we’re not quite sure. It all starts with a regular pancake (the basic building block of most crazy breakfasts). Then a pile of battered tortilla chips is affixed to a flapjack with the help of a housemade tequila cream cheese. And upon this is dropped a trifecta of chorizo-applewood bacon, blood-orange salsa and spicy Guadalajara butter-scrambled eggs.

And since we’re talking pancakes here, all of this receives a generous bath of maple syrup and maple-infused Macallan Scotch.

…. Well thank you Urban Daddy for making my (Shrove Tues) day.

 

No Woman, No Nacho.

The minute they put the nachos on the table, everybody becomes an enemy because there’s all different kinds of nachos. Do you ever see those naked ones around the perimeter? Then, there’s that one big Powerball nacho that somehow is connected to all the other nachos on the plate — it’s like the Kevin Bacon of nachos.

– Bob Marley (source here)

(Yes, Bob Marley was a friend of Kevin Bacon. I don’t see what the problem is)

Global Nachoists

Nachopatrol.com are good. Also, they’re based in Boston and, because it’s useful to get transatlantic wisdom on what you should be looking for in yo ‘cho (doesn’t really work), and because Americans have, on the whole, a greater appreciation for the dish, here is their guide to the perfect Nach (again, this jars. Will leave such terms to Bostonians in the future):

  • Presentation: are the nachos aesthetically pleasing? Are they packed on a plate that is too small?
  • Quality of Ingredients: canned chili or fresh salsa? Crispy chips and zesty guacamole?
  • Distribution of Toppings: is the cheese piled in one place, leaving the rest of the chips naked? Is it spread evenly and in layers throughout the chips? Are there unwanted naked chips?
  • Price: Is it worth it? Is it a rip-off?

This is almost flawless. I can barely breathe. However, there are a few small things I would add, coming at it from a British, and so pedantic, perspective:

1. Temperature- a cold nacho is a dead nacho. Especially when the cheese has hardened to form a plastic-like skin. A dead skin.

2. Sauce Ratio – should not be balanced. The rules are, surely,  more salsa than guacamole and soured cream, but an equal ratio of the latter two. And cheese should be evenly spread across the entire shebang. Especially covering those irritating bald nachos. The correct term for this end result would be “cheese beards”*

Aside from these points, I can’t see much else wrong. Special points for salient points on plate size. Congratulations Nacho Patrol.

*this is a contentious issue. One Nachoist I spoke to was sure there should be at least two sauces for each nacho. I’m more lenient.