Grill gives corn and steak nachos a smoky flavor

  • Tuesday, July 16, 2013 8:23pm
  • Life

When I was a kid, one of my go-to fend-for-myself meals was nachos.

Heap tortilla chips, refried beans, olives, meats, cheeses and whatever else struck me onto a giant dinner plate.

Sprinkle a liberal amount of cheese over everything, then pop the whole thing in the microwave for a minute.

Done! And delicious.

It didn’t occur to me until I was an adult that there was any other way to make nachos.

I was blown away by the difference between nuking my nachos and baking them in the oven. Texture alone was remarkably improved. No more soggy chips that turned rubbery by the end of the meal.

And that says nothing of the wonderful browning of the cheese no microwave ever could achieve.

And it didn’t occur to me until this summer that I could take my nacho evolution even further by moving them out of the oven and onto the grill.

The point, of course, is not merely to use the grill as an outdoor oven, though in summer sometimes that is justification enough.

The point, rather, is to use the power of the grill to impart a delicious smokiness to the nachos. And that is why the corn and the steak that eventually land on the nachos first get cooked on the grates.

Of course, nachos are a personal matter. We all have our set of must-have toppings. So use my list as a suggestion and run with the technique.

Corn and steak grilled nachos

3tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo)

3tablespoons tomato paste

3tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, plus extra

1teaspoon garlic powder

1teaspoon kosher salt

9ounces beef sirloin, thinly sliced (can substitute pre-sliced “stir-fry” beef)

1ear corn, husked

111-ounce bag corn tortilla chips

1cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

1/3cup pepperoncini, stemmed and thinly sliced

1/2small red onion, diced

Before turning on the grill, make sure the baking sheet you plan to use fits on it with the lid down. If it doesn’t, you can divide the ingredients into multiple smaller pans, even metal cake or pie pans. The smaller pans also can be cooked in batches, if needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the adobo sauce, tomato paste, oil, garlic powder and salt. Add the steak and mix to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium-high.

Rub the corn with a bit of canola oil, then set it on the grill. Cook the corn, turning often, until lightly browned on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the corn to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, use an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to coat the grill grates with oil. Add the steak and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Leave the grill on, but reduce the heat to low.

Arrange the tortilla chips in an even layer on a rimmed baking. Spread the steak evenly over the chips.

Cut the corn kernels from the cobs. To do this, stand the ear on its wide end, then use a knife to saw down the length of the sides. Scatter the corn kernels over the steak and chips, then scatter the cheese over that. Set the baking sheet on the grill, cover the grill and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Remove the baking sheet from the grill, then scatter the tomatoes, pepperoncini and diced onion over the other toppings. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 520 calories; 290 calories from fat (56 percent of total calories); 32 g fat (7 g saturated; 1.5 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 19 g protein; 890 mg sodium.

More in Life

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

‘Tasting Cider’ a sweet resource for hard apple cider fans

Erin James, the editor-in-chief of Cidercraft magazine, wrote a book all about the fermented drink.

For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

You won’t be able to stop eating this colorful chicken salad

The slaw of bell pepper, cabbage and carrot holds up well overnight in the refrigerator.

Raising grandkids can feel like the second time around

The responsiblities of serving as a parent can compete with the joys of being a grandparent.

Commentary: Community Transit to keep up with regional growth

Snohomish County’s bus system prepares for more people — including more older residents.

Fur & Feathers with energetic Lincoln and big-attitude Chase

One dog is not a fan of cats or men. The other definitely prefers adults only.

Almost everyone has questions about Social Security

The most frequent guestion about retirement benefits: ‘When can I start receiving them?’

Most Read