Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Irish Nachos

This is why my belly has been growing steadily since starting to work at Martin 7 years ago. There’s an Irish restaurant right next to my office called Sine (pronounced Shi-nay). And since it’s right next to my office I find myself there quite often, either for lunch or to enjoy an after work Guinness. One of my favorite appetizers to order there, and one I try not to order every time I go there, is the Irish Nachos. Now, there’s nothing Irish about these nachos. Just like there is nothing healthy about them. They are called Irish just because they use potatoes instead of tortilla chips as the main vehicle for all the delicious bacon, cheese and ranch dressing. Did I mention there’s nothing healthy about these? But delicious, yes. So, I tried to recreate the recipe at home with pretty good success.

5 strips of Bacon
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
4 Russet potatoes, cut into cubes
Shredded sharp cheddar
Garlic salt
½ cup Sour cream
2 Tbsps Milk
1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I started with the bacon, slicing it into batons and frying it up. Set it aside on a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease, but save it for frying the potatoes later. Next I tossed in the thinly sliced jalapeno and just warmed it up and softened it up. You could also use pickled jalapenos if you prefer. Put these aside as well.

Next pour the reserved bacon grease back in the pan and fry your potatoes. If you forgot to save it, just use olive oil, no problem. I had to do them in two batches to fit in the pan. Season them generously with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Don’t be stingy here since potatoes tend to suck up the seasoning. After the potatoes get a little crust on them, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes until they are cooked through.

While the potatoes are cooking, mix the sour cream, milk and ranch dressing mix. I actually forgot the sour cream when I made this but it’s what I had intended to do. Instead I had to use Ranch dressing and thin it out with milk. It worked but the dressing at Sine is a little milder and has a lighter texture than actual Ranch, so I think the sour cream idea is a better bet.

Once the potatoes are cooked, it’s time to assemble the nachos! Put the potato cubes in a bowl and drizzle a good amount of the ranch sour cream over them. It’s key to put the ranch on second so it incorporates all the way through. Next put on the jalapenos, as few or as many as you like, and the bacon as well. Top with cheese and then zap it in the microwave for about 60 seconds or until the cheese is melted. It’s probably better to do this in the oven, but my dishes aren’t oven safe. If yours are, go for it with my best wishes.

Garnish with the green onions and serve! It’s not really Irish, and they aren’t exactly nachos either. But sinfully good? Yes. Creamy, crunchy, comforting? Yes. Yes. Yes. 

(click here for printable version)

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