True confession: I am a texture person, on sort of a Sheldon Cooper level. If the flavor of a dish is good but the texture is bad, I am stopped dead in my tracks. Not one. more. bite. This keeps me far, far away from scrambled eggs, mung beans, and okra.
This also means that nachos are one of my absolute favorite things. Whereas mushy/springy and viscous are my mortal enemies, crunchy, gooey, and drippy -especially all at once- are divine in my book. Here is my way of making nachos. The cheese level is high, but what really makes it is the pulled pork.
My Ultimate National Nacho Day Nachos
1 big bag of corn chips (Late July Spicy Mojo and/or Lime are the ones I use)
2 c. shredded white cheddar
2 c. of my favorite pulled pork recipe (recipe follows)
2 c. cubed, roasted butternut squash
Preheat the oven to 350F
Place the chips on a paper-lined sheetpan. Spread the shredded cheese evenly over the chips and pop into the oven. Bake until the cheese is just melted. Remove from the oven and add the pulled pork and squash. Return to the oven and bake until heated through.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel and halve a medium butternut squash. Scoop out the seeds. Chop the squash into 1″ pieces and place on a paper-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast until soft throughout, about 45 minutes.
1/2 Haas avocado
1/2 c. sour cream
Pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp. cream
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
Spicy chimichurri sauce
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped
4 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place the first five ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and continue to run until fairly smooth.
My Favorite Pulled Pork Recipe
1 8lb. pork shoulder (This is going to make a big batch, but it freezes beautifully.)
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chili powder
4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried orange peel
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 bottle stout beer (I use Old Rasputin)
2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1 large sweet-tart apple, like a Pink Lady, quartered and cored
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
4 sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Using a few paper towels, dry off the surface of the pork. Place in a medium roasting pan with a 2″ side.
Combine the salt, spices, and brown sugar.
Apply half of the spice blend to the bottom and sides of the roast (the non-fatty side). Flip the roast over and apply the rest of the spice blend to the top (the fatty side).
Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. If the sugar looks like it is beginning to burn, add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to 350F. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Arrange the onions, garlic, apple, bay leaves and sage around the roast. Pour an additional cup of water into the pan, followed by the stout.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and return to the oven. Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the roast is fork-tender and shreds easily.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Carefully remove the roast from the pan and put onto a sheet pan or large dish. Remove three onion quarters and the garlic cloves and process or squash with a fork until smooth. Set aside. Discard the rest of the onions, apple, bay and sage. In a medium pot, reduce the pan juices by half (there will be a pretty good amount). If you want a leaner sauce, pour the juices through a fat separator before reducing.
Shred the pork while the waiting for the juices to reduce.
Add the meat and the pureed onion mixture back into the pot and mix to combine.