Grill gives corn and steak nachos a smoky flavor

  • By J.M. Hirsch Associated Press
  • 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

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

‘Veep’ production postponed during Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ treatment

The 56-year-old star has been documenting her breast cancer fight on social media.

The Rucker Hill house is featured in the Twin Peaks series in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Living happily ever after in the ‘Twin Peaks’ house

Everett homeowners snagged a role in the recent reboot of the 1990s cult classic show.

Most Read