This recipe came from a Houston institution, Cafe Annie, which helped put Southwestern cuisine on the map.
Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef
This appetizer is loaded with spicy chorizo, assorted chiles, and hearty black beans.
Yield: serves 8
- 9 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 1⁄8 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly toasted
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 small bay leaf
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. skirt steak, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 lb. Mexican chorizo, casing removed, finely crumbled
- 2 slices bacon
- 1⁄2 lb. dried black beans, picked through and rinsed
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo
- 2 tbsp. peanut oil, plus more for frying
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus 16 sprigs
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. walnut oil
- 2 avocados, peeled and cubed
- 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
- 16 (6") corn tortillas, each cut into 4 long triangles
- 2 cups grated monterey jack cheese
- 1 1⁄3 cups crème fraîche
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 4-7 jalapeños, thinly sliced
- Toast guajillo chiles on a baking sheet in a 350° oven for 5 minutes. Soak in warm water until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain. Purée chiles, broth, cumin, 2 cloves garlic, bay leaf, and salt. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown steak and chorizo in 2 batches, about 5 minutes each. Drain. Return to skillet with purée; simmer on medium-low until thick, about 15 minutes. Chill.
- Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until just crisp, 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a pot; reserve fat. Add remaining garlic, black beans, half the tomatoes and onions, ancho and chipotle chiles, and 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, until soft, about 2 1⁄2 hours. Let cool. Purée beans. Heat 2 tbsp. peanut oil and reserved bacon fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry bean purée until thick, 8–10 minutes. Season with salt.
- Mix remaining onions, remaining tomatoes, chopped cilantro, lime juice, walnut oil, avocados, serrano chiles, and salt to make an avocado relish. Pour peanut oil into a pot to a depth of 2″; heat to 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry tortillas until crisp, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt.
- Preheat broiler. Heat beef and beans. Divide chips between baking sheets; top each chip with beans, beef, and monterey jack; broil briefly to melt. Top each nacho with avocado relish, crème fraîche, cotija, jalapeño, and cilantro sprigs.