Appetizers

Crab Nachos

I received a recipe request a few weeks ago for my take on nachos. If you know me, I probably don’t look like the type to have a recipe for nachos or order nachos pretty much ever. Ironically, Ryan and I order them all the time. They are one of the few appetizers I normally do order because I can sit and pick the good stuff off and Ryan begrudgingly eats all the chips. I was pretty excited to take on this nacho challenge because I was able to make nachos exactly the way I would love for them to be served. Here were my criteria:

1) the chips should be the vessel for the toppings, not the main ingredient. I personally like way more toppings than chips. I bought a baked tortilla chip from Trader Joe’s as well, which cuts down on the fat content.

2) a fun main ingredient. Everyone has ordered chicken nachos, beef nachos– I decided to make mine crab nachos, which are a little more fun for the summertime.

3) Lots and lots of fresh vegetables. The inspiration for these rather unusual nachos stemmed from a bruschetta we had in Newport, RI the day we got engaged. They are very summery with tomatoes, caramelized onions, manchego cheese, fresh basil, and avocado.

Crab Nachos.jpg

Makes: 6 servings appetizer servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cooking Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 bag of baked tortilla chips (try and leave the broken ones in the bag)
1 lb (roughly) crab meat- I bought Trader Joe’s canned version
1 small yellow onion, small dice
2 tsp hot sauce
1 large vine tomato, small dice
1 cup manchego cheese, grated
⅓ cup fresh basil, packed and minced
1 avocado, medium dice
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish

Optional Garnishes:
sour cream
salsa

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the chips on a large cookie sheet in an even layer and set aside.
2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to caramelize. Add the crab meat and hot sauce, and cook another 3 minutes, so that it starts to brown. Stir well to mix and keep from sticking to the bottom. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Remove from the heat and add the diced tomato. Mix well before adding the crab mix to the chips in an even layer. Try and keep as much on the chips as you can so that they stick while you bake them.
4. Top the crab mix with the grated manchego cheese and sliced jalapeno. Manchego is a very sharp cheese, so a little really goes a long way. If you have a grated with multiple-sized slits, I would use the smallest.
5. Bake the nachos for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted through.
6. Top the nachos with the fresh basil, avocado, and lime wedges before serving. You can serve sour cream, salsa, and any other nacho garnishes on the side if you wish.

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