I heard a TV football announcer once say, “It’s a perfect day for football weather.” For most of us, that means the weather inside your house in front a large-screen TV with a cold beverage of choice and some hot and spicy snacks. The ones I’ve picked out are easy to make and a lot less expensive than buying everything already prepared. Get ready to kick off, and kick up your heat level a bit.
El Paso Nachos
This appetizer has become so popular that you don’t have to travel to Texas to enjoy it, although nachos you buy outside the Southwest may bear little resemblance to the “real thing.”
1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into wedges
Vegetable oil for frying
3/4 cup refried beans
1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 or more jalapeño chiles, stems and seeds removed, sliced in thin rings
In a large skillet, fry the tortillas in 1 1/2 inches of oil, at 350 degrees, until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Arrange the tortillas on a pan or oven-proof plate. Place a small amount of beans on each chip and top with the grated cheese. Heat the pan under the broiler until the cheese melts or microwave the plate for 3 to 4 minutes.
Top with the sour cream and jalapeño slices and serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Heat Scale: Medium
Green Chile Tortilla Pinwheels
This is an all-purpose filling that also goes well on crackers and finger sandwiches. Thin it with milk or light cream to make a great dip for chips or vegetable crudities.
1/2 cup chopped green New Mexican chiles that have been roasted, peeled, seeds and stems removed
1 3-oz. package light cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons minced cilantro
3 to 4 flour tortillas
Combine all the ingredients, except the tortillas, in a bowl and mix well.
Wrap the tortillas in a damp towel and place in a warm oven to soften. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the tortillas and roll each tortilla as you would a jelly roll. Slice each roll into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
Yield: 48 to 60 pinwheels
Heat Scale: Medium
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