Chorizo Pinto Bean Nachos

For chorizo and pinto bean topping
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2/3 pound ground Mexican-style chorizo
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
For habanero queso sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups habanero cheddar cheese (If you can’t find Cabot’s habanero cheddar, use a good pepper Jack instead), grated
For serving
1 bag of salted tortilla chips
3 green onions, dark greens removed, minced
Salsa, optional for serving
Sour cream, optional for serving
Guacamole, optional for serving

  1. Make the topping: In a large skillet or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, but not browned, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the chorizo, chili powder, cumin, and break up into small crumbles with a wooden spoon. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sauté until the chorizo is browned and almost cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and stir to combine. Continue cooking to blend the flavors, 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce: melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts to foam and is completely melted, whisk in the flour, whisking for 1 minute.
  5. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Once it starts to boil, immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the shredded cheese by the handful. Keep warm.
  6. To assemble the nachos: spread the tortilla chips in an even layer on a large serving platter or across four plates. Generously pour the cheese sauce over the chips taking care to cover as many chips as possible.
  7. Top with the meat and bean mixture, once again covering all the chips. Drizzle with the remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle with green onions.
  8. Drizzle with salsa and dollop with sour cream and guacamole, if using. Enjoy immediately.

Serves 4.

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