A balance of pickly, salty, cheesy, and crisp, this recipe—inspired by the original developed by Ignacio Anaya in a Mexican border town—proves that simple is preferable when it comes to nachos. When deep-frying your own tortillas, look for soft tortillas made with all corn (and no flour) for the crunchiest results.
Featured in: Toward a Theory of Perfect Nachos
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 10 soft corn tortillas, cut in half
- Kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cups refried black beans
- 1 medium shallot or 1/4 red onion, minced
- 1⁄2 cup shredded orange cheddar cheese (1 1/2 oz.)
- 1⁄2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 1/2 oz.)
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled queso fresco or Cotija cheese
- 20 pickled jalapeño slices, or to taste
- Set a paper-towel-lined tray next to the stove. In a large, high-rimmed skillet, add enough vegetable oil to reach 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Set over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding, add the tortillas and fry, turning once, until crisp but not browned, about 30 seconds on each side. Remove, transfer to the prepared tray, and season with salt.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. On a large baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, place the chips in a single layer. Spread each chip with a thin layer of refried beans and sprinkle them with half of the shallot. Top with the cheddar and Jack cheeses, then the queso fresco. Garnish with the pickled jalapeños and the remaining shallot.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and broil until the cheeses are just melted and the chips are lightly singed on the edges, about 5–7 minutes (watch closely to avoid burning). Transfer to a platter if desired, and serve immediately.