By Kendra Murray.

One dish that I think is perfect on a cold winter day is my take on a traditional Mexican staple. Well, they aren’t exactly Mexican or Irish, per se, but since I’ve replaced the tortilla chips with potatoes, the name seems justified. Potatoes are perfect in this recipe, as you can still find local potatoes in the winter and they result in a more substantial dish.

For the salsa:

  • 6 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 hot Portuguese or serrano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer uncovered for one hour.

For everything else:

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Nacho toppings of your choice: scallions, sour cream, guacamole, and pickled jalapenos are great options!

Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour, and stir until combined. Add milk; bring to a simmer; stir and cook until slightly thickened. Add cheese, cumin, and chili powder. Stir together and cook over medium-low heat until completely melted.

Drain and pat dry potato slices. Heat an inch or two of oil in a large saucepan to 375 degrees. Fry potatoes in batches until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on a rack or paper.

Once potatoes are cooked and cheese sauce melted, assemble the nachos. Put fried potatoes on a large baking dish. Top nachos with salsa, cheese, and black beans. Place in oven under broiler set on high until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Serve with preferred toppings.