7 October, 2010  |   2 Comments

Summer’s Last Porch Party

Cheers! St. Helena, October

James reminded me that we were hosting people on our porch roughly 2 hours before they were set to arrive. Managing  feeding and clean up of two babies, a husband, guests and house prep was daunting.

But with a little creative finagling, we got it all done and our guests were none the wiser (until, uh, now).

I just decided I had time to prepare ONE snack and ONE drink. We went with nachos and a big punch bowl of Helen Jane’s Red Sangria (recipe coming tomorrow).

Cheers! St. Helena, October

I was able to extend the nachos to three versions.
Meat. Meat and Bean. Bean.

Using three disposable aluminum pans kept clean up simple.

Vegetarians rejoiced, meat lovers swooned and everyone got a little something in their tummies before heading off the porch to what is rumored to be the last Cheers St. Helena.

Three-way Nachos

This recipe made enough for 30 nibblers.

3 disposable aluminum roasting pans
2 bags corn tortilla chips
1 pound hamburger meat
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup Penzey’s taco seasoning
28 ounces of shredded Mexican cheese
1 container Mexican Crema
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine
1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
3 tomatoes, deglopped and chopped

Preheat oven to 385°.

Open can of pinto beans, dump into a colander and rinse until the bubbles subside.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Add hamburger meat and Penzey’s taco seasoning. Stir until all meat is browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Set the pans in order from Meat > Meat & Beans > Beans

Divide one bag of tortilla chips amongst the three pans. This will be your first layer.

Sprinkle 1/4 of the meat over the Meat pan.
Sprinkle 1/4 the meat over the Meat & Beans pan.
Distribute 1/4 the can of beans over the Meat & Beans pan.
Distribute 1/4 the can of beans over the Beans pan.

Shake cheese over all three pans.

Now divide the other bag of tortilla chips over the first layer.

Sprinkle another 1/4 of the meat over the Meat pan.
Sprinkle 1/4 the meat over the Meat & Beans pan.
Distribute 1/4 the can of beans over the Meat & Beans pan.
Distribute 1/4 the can of beans over the Beans pan.

Shake cheese over all three pans.

Put the three pans in the oven for 15 minutes, checking around the 10 minute mark to make sure those errant nacho chips aren’t blackening.

While waiting for the nachos to finish baking, find 3 index cards, fold them in half crosswise and write “Meat Nachos,” “Meat and Bean Nachos,” and “Bean Nachos” on the cards. Voila!

When the cheese is melted and the chips are properly toasted, remove from the oven.

Drizzle Crema over all three pans. Sprinkle tomatoes, cilantro and green onions over the whole cheesy mess on all the pans.

Put the pans out with the correct signs, serving spoons, tiny plates and napkins. We also set out these nacho peppers and a spoon and hot sauce.


2 thoughts on “Summer’s Last Porch Party

  1. 1
    Kristen says:

    Can I tell you how much I love (LOVE!) that you labeled the nachos? This is such a super easy step and makes things so very, very easy for vegetarians (I always feel like a jerk when I have to keep asking, “Does this have meat in it? Is this vegetarian?”). Bravo!

    Also, this looks delish. I will be making it. SOON.

  2. 2

    i love your life. and i want your porch.

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