How to Make Nachos, Sean Lovelace Style.

I usually get emails about 3 things:

1.) Irish lotteries Apparently I keep winning the damn things. The unfortunate thing for these emailers is I have absolutely no interest in making money. If it even takes hitting REPLY, I’m doomed. I just don’t have the money gene. There is a money gene, I know. I once worked with a medical doctor who tried to sell me a phone card, while on duty. Some people just need more money.

2.) “Free” offerings from Bodog. Weird, a sports, horse racing, casino site contacting me?! Uh, Bodog, just because I gave you several thousand dollars, my spleen, and all the future rights to my novel-in-progress (I just laughed so hard that Pine asked Apple out), I do not need your emails! Do I look like a fool? Wait, don’t answer that.

3.) Nacho recipes, how-to, etc. I can’t imagine why. But I get nervous. My intestines throb, my brain cater-whomps a misty ticket. The rhetorical gaze of the question embarrasses me. Why? So many issues…

Aside: Tarantino loves nachos. See scene below, with Kurt Russell.

(Anyone sends me movie nacho links, I’d love them and will praise you. Also nacho pics of your own best night dinners, the outdoor swimming pool nights nachos provide for your life, the hum and pop, as I’ve requested before and posted.)

Oh, I can make you like Tarantino, like Russell…I can make you sublime. But listen, closely.

This nacho stuff scares me. It’s like semi-colons or growing lilies or bombs with both red and magenta wires–you could really fuck this up, with catastrophic consequences. So what is my advice?

Learn the basics first. When I say basic, I mean homage, as in the very nachos of Ignacio Anaya, the inventor of this marvelous chip/diamond shard of life (1943, the same year Casablanca was born).

[Casablanca and nachos are two things that annoy me about my inevitable death]

3 simple ingredients: tortilla, cheese, jalapeno slice. But, alas, in nachos, nothing is simple.

I AM NOT ENTERING THE FLOUR VERSUS CORN TORTILLA WARS!! Not in this post, no way. Let’ s keep it simple, for now, let’s keep it historically true. [I just smashed a window and considered walking over its earth.]

1.) Get corn tortillas. Fry them. Look, the fact is the first nachos were fried. So that’s the whole deep pot, hot corn oil, fry until the chips are light brown and floating on surface, etc. Not so vogue today, the spitting oil, cleanup, etc. Honestly, I get that. I bake my nacho chips, or buy them pre-fried from excellent Mexican restaurants (I just gave you a cost efficient and tasty tip, fools. Jot it down.) . It’s so much healthier and easier to bake. But you will lose a smidgen of taste. Fried is fried.

Let’s move on. Like broken fill valves of crushed corn, or rolled and flattened chip production, the real way, mortar, hand-ground and rolled styling…I feel…well. Never mind.

[Damn, this post is going to be hard. I just about diverged into an involved discussion on shape, texture, and thickness of chips here, but I am trying so hard to keep this simple. I wish we were discussing this over beer. I would rant. OK, calm down, Sean.]

{The key, expressed well in Kate Heyhoe’s Macho Nachos is to avoid the soggy chip. The soggy chip is death. The soggy chip is writing graveyard checks, sunken pirate chip, or as Blake once put it, Bad sugar fuels fucked up dreams.

You know Blake, right? I reviewed his book EVER here.}

2.) Get a stick-proof pan, or cooking stone. I use a stone for baking my nachos. A stone equalizes heat, and also “breaks in” over time, actually adding flavor from hundreds of cookings, from the bottom. A stone actually has a personality. Weird, huh? All the flavors soak into the stone, actually meld/weld in with each cooking.


3.) Ok, pre-heat oven to 470.14 degrees. Bake, not broil. (Again, I do not want to enter this war here. Just listen: bake. Fuck the broilers! One of the biggest physical fights I have ever been involved in [I lost, I usually lose] was with a broiler. I called her mom this, implied something about her sister Sheila, with Sheila’s phone number on my phone, something about a hotel receipt and a dead dog on a front porch, etc., all that…but I digress.) (I wish this post was a book. I’m still sort of mad I didn’t mention the need for a glazed cooking stone. I wish I had gone on more about stones, the different sources of…Well, you can’t regret everything. Can you? ). While oven is preheating drink a margarita, read a religious pamphlet,  or make-out like a grappling hyena with Sheila on your futon, roll in each others distress, or something.

4.) Line chips in a single layer. Place a thin layer of re-fried beans, or black bean re-fried beans. Add a full sprinkling of grated cheese, an even layer. Add a single jalapeno in the center. Place six (6) inches from the top of the oven. I  am not going to give you a time, etc. You should be observing your nachos. If you won’t take the time to observe your nachos, leave my world, I beg you.

It could be 4 mintues, 5, 6, hell even 7 (rarely). When the cheese is just bubbling up like an effervescent angel, like skin on skin, that light but heavy touch–they are done.


I’m not sure I can do this. Several thoughts just went bolting-ass through the highway/by-ways of my head. Thoughts like, I could suggest maybe 12 cheeses, for starters, crumbly versus spread versus grated. Then my head went, “Sean. History suggests Ignacio didn’t put a thin layer base of beans (though we don’t know this for 100% sure).” Also, I started thinking about asking you to lightly wink a shake of ground cumin, right near the end over the chips, just a dusting to…oh man, fuck it.

Ok, come down, come down, Sean…

We will discuss advanced nachos later. I just feel I have failed you. I wanted this to be something more, like an anticipation of night, or the day all of us took over the moon, just rioted our way there, grabbed and clutched the silver sliver owed all our asses, to be full, finally.




3 responses to “How to Make Nachos, Sean Lovelace Style.

  1. Yes. Thank you.

  2. Yes, but I think we all know even the mightiest nachos can fail without the adequate salsa. In fact, nachos themselves are just the free trip to Vegas to salsa’s timeshare scam. Cut the foreplay and offer up your finest homemade salsa recipe, stat.

  3. that pic number 2 of nachos looks incredible. gonna make nachos for lunch today.
    I am ever so slightly trying to become you
    two weeks ago i bought your magic water.
    I have been making nachos.
    I run.
    what the fuck is going on?

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