Sure, you can make good nachos by opening up a bag of chips, dumping them in a pan, dousing them with melted cheese, and tossing them in the oven. But if you want perfect nachos, there are a few extra steps you can take to bring them from good-enough-to-get-the-job-done to gets-the-job-done-with-flying-colors-and-maybe-even-does-some-extra-work-on-the-weekend-to-impress-the-boss-(and-the-boss-is-you).
Most national brands of store-bought chips are too thin, turning soggy soon after topping. To solve this problem, we start by frying our own chips from fresh corn tortillas.
- 1 1/2 quarts (1.4L) peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
- 16 fresh corn tortillas, stacked in groups of 8 and cut into 6 wedges each
- Kosher salt
Heat oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F (177°C). Add 1/3 of tortilla chips and cook, agitating and flipping them constantly with a wire mesh spider, until bubbles slow to a trickle and chips are pale golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined bowl, season with salt, and toss. Allow to drain for 30 seconds, then transfer to a second bowl. Repeat with remaining chips in 2 more batches.
Wire mesh spider, digital thermometer