Nacho Nacho Van – Recipe

Chilli Nachos

Before Van Life this was always a favourite home recipe, which has now become one of our favourite van meals. We served the veggie version to Theo and Bee from the Indie Projects when they came to film a van tour in the summer of 2017 (see their Vlog here). We have been seen enjoying this recipe several more times in our own Vlogs since and have had many request to share this recipe. I have now finally found the time to create this for you. We have an oven in our van and we are aware that many others wont, so I have adapted the recipe giving Grill and Ridge Monkey Methods of cooking. I have provided a meat/veggie and vegan alternative, as well as a Gluten free option, so there should be a recipe for all. We hope you enjoy this, if you try it let us know what you think in the comments, along with any other suggestions you may have for different methods, ingredients etc. Feel free to send us pics/videos of you enjoying the recipe in your own van!

Ingredients

Serves 2 with next day left-overs or 4 without

Beef Chilli Nachos

  • 1tbsp Light Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Onion diced
  • 1 Red Pepper cut into half inch squares
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves finely chopped or 2 heaped teaspoons of Lazy Garlic (saves using lots of water washing the smell off your fingers)
  • Spices - 1 tsp Paprika, 1 heaped tsp Hot Chilli Powder (or to taste), 1 tsp Ground Cumin (or one sachet of Old El Paso Chilli Con Carne Spice Mix, if you do not have space for a variety of spices in your van)
  • 1 tin 205g Red Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce
  • 500g Lean Minced Beef
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 2 tins 400g Tinned Tomato's (to allow for next day left overs, otherwise 1 tin)
  • 1 handful of Fresh Basil finely chopped (optional)
  • Cheddar Cheese, or Applewood Cheddar for a smoky twist (amount to your cheesy preference, Scott likes lots on his, me less!)
  • 175g bag of Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips (Gluten Free if required)
  • To Serve - American Style Mustard, Pickled Gherkins sliced into half cm rounds, 150ml pot of Sour cream or Creme fraische

Method

On a Medium/High flame, heat the oil in a high sided flat bottom frying pan or large saucepan. Add the onions to the pan and fry until softened, stir regularly. Add the garlic and fry until lightly browned. Next add the lean minced beef and fry until browned. Ensure the beef is frying and not stewing, you may need to turn the heat to high. On a medium high heat add the spices and the red pepper to the pan and stir into the meat. Fry for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the pan becomes too dry add a little of the juice from the tinned tomatoes.

Stir the tomato purée into the meat. Then add the tinned tomatoes. Add the Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the pan to a light boil then turn down until it is just bubbling gently. Stir occasionally for the next 20 minutes. Ensure the sauce is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, you may need to add a little water to loosen the sauce. Towards the end of cooking add the fresh basil to the pan (if using).

Veggie/Vegan Chilli Nachos

  • 1 tbsp Light Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Onion diced
  • 1 Red Pepper cut into half inch squares
  • 1 Medium sized Carrot, peeled and grated
  • 150g bag of Cashew Nuts crushed roughly (wrap the bag in a clean tea towel and smash it with a heavy object)
  • 1 small Courgette sliced into half cm rounds
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves finely chopped or 2 heaped teaspoons of Lazy Garlic (saves using lots of water washing the smell off your fingers)
  • Spices - 1 tsp Paprika, 1 heaped tsp Hot Chilli Powder (or to taste), 1 tsp Ground Cumin (or one sachet of Old El Paso Chilli Con Carne Spice Mix, if you do not have space for a variety of spices in your van)
  • 1 tin 205g Red Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 2 tins 400g Tinned Tomato's (to allow for next day left overs, otherwise 1 tin)
  • 1 handful of Fresh Basil finely chopped (optional)
  • Cheddar Cheese, or Applewood Cheddar for a smoky twist. Vegan option-VioLife Original Flavour Block is the best Vegan cheese I have tried  (amount to your cheesy preference, Scott likes lots on his, me less!)
  • 175g bag of Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips (Gluten Free if required)
  • To Serve - American Style Mustard, Pickled Gherkins sliced into half cm rounds, 150ml pot of Sour cream or Creme fraische. Vegan Option-Coconut Yogurt

Method

On a Medium/High flame, heat the oil in a high sided flat bottom frying pan or large saucepan. Add the onions to the pan and fry until softened, stir regularly. Add the garlic and fry until lightly browned. Next add the cashew nuts and fry 5 minutes, stirring regularly.  On a medium heat add the spices and the red pepper to the pan and stir into the mixture. Fry for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the pan becomes too dry add a little of the juice from the tinned tomatoes.

Stir the tomato purée into the pan. Then add the tinned tomatoes. Add the Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce, the courgettes and grated carrot. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the pan to a light boil then turn down until it is just bubbling gently. Stir occasionally for the next 20 minutes. Ensure the sauce is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, you may need to add a little water to loosen the sauce. Towards the end of cooking add the fresh basil to the pan (if using).

Preparing the Nachos

Oven Option

Place the nachos in a deep sided tray, leaving 2cm (approx.) of space at the top for the chilli. We like to use disposable foil trays, for one good measured portion each -they can be reused or recycled. The Chilli sauce mixture should look rich and thick now, if it is still watery, turn the pan to a high heat and boil off the liquid until desired sauce thickness is achieved, stirring frequently. Cover the top of the nachos with a layer of chilli. Top that with the grated cheese of your choice, to the amount desired and place in the oven at 200 degrees C or Gas Mark 6, until the cheese is melted and golden.

Grill Option

Place the nachos in a deep sided tray, leaving 2cm (approx.) of space at the top for the chilli. We like to use disposable foil trays, for one good measured portion each -they can be reused or recycled. Place the nachos under a medium heat grill to warm them through, until they start to brown slightly. Remove from the grill. The Chilli sauce mixture should look rich and thick now, if it is still watery, turn the pan to a high heat and boil off the liquid until desired sauce thickness is achieved, stirring frequently. Cover the top of the nachos with a layer of chilli. Top that with the grated cheese of your choice, to the amount desired and place under the grill until the cheese is melted and golden.

Ridge Monkey Option

Add as many nachos to the Ridge Monkey as you can fit without badly crushing them. On a low heat warm them through, turning occasionally until they start to brown slightly. Place the nachos in a deep sided tray, leaving 2cm (approx.) of space at the top for the chilli. Depending on the size of your tray; you may need to repeat this process with fresh nachos in the Ridge Monkey, until you have enough. We like to use disposable foil trays, for one good measured portion each -they can be reused or recycled. The Chilli sauce mixture should look rich and thick now, if it is still watery, turn the pan to a high heat and boil off the liquid until desired sauce thickness is achieved, stirring frequently. Layer the bottom of the Ridge Monkey with Chilli. Top that with the grated cheese of your choice, to the amount desired. On a low heat close the Ridge Monkey and cook until the cheese is melted and golden. With a spatula place the layer of cheese topped chilli on the Nachos.

To Serve

Criss-cross American style Mustard across the top of the Nachos and a sprinkling of Gherkin slices. It is these, which are the game changer for Nachos, you have to try it! The tangy sweetness of these toppings brings all the flavours together and creates an amazing taste sensation. Serve with a large spoonful of your creamy topping of choice, whilst singing "nacho, nacho van, I wanna drive a nacho van" and enjoy!

The Leftovers

Storing the leftovers in a  fridge overnight. The flavours mature beautifully and it tastes even better the next day. We like to have ours on top of toasted bread, with melted cheese on top and a zig-zag of American style Mustard. Or serve with rice and another dollop of your creamy topping of choice.



What do you think? Any Questions?