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Cookin' with Sal: Nachos, beergaritas and tequila pie
Cookin’ with Sal

Cookin' with Sal: Nachos, beergaritas and tequila pie

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Last year at this time, if I had printed a recipe that served 20, I would have wept while typing.

Then, all the smart folks said we couldn’t be with 20 people.

Now we have been shot up and it’s Cinco de Mayo, my favorite excuse of the spring for a party with great homemade food.

The first two recipes are Sal originals and have been printed before, but in each case, you can’t mess with perfection. And the new one features tequila in a pie, so that can’t be wrong.

For the nachos, you’ll need a bunch of tiny bowls, so that the condiments don’t intermingle when being served. You can either line a long dining table or spread out on kitchen counters. Put the plates by the three hot servers and the condiments away from those. The chips can go on either end, or ideally both, for those who like to pile on or dip in.

Are you a piler or a dipper?

Here’s to May and all the fun that it will bring.

Nachos Fiesta

(serves 20 easily)

  • 3 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained (season as you prefer)
  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 2 pounds processed American cheese (starts with a V), cut up in small cubes
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced black olives
  • Salsa — red, green or both
  • 4 avocados
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons green salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Three large bags fresh tortilla chips

In the first three steps early in the day, 1. cook beef, 2. combine and warm beans, and 3. make cheese sauce using processed cheese and canned tomatoes ahead of time. (Adding pinto and garbanzo beans to the refrieds makes the beans less pasty and gives them a better texture.)

Just before serving, place beef, beans and cheese sauce in three-part slow cooker (cannot live without mine) or three individual heated serving containers.

Warm batches of chips in oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Watch to be sure they don’t burn.

Prepare guacamole by using avocados, tomato, garlic and green salsa. Season as you wish. Yes, it is possible to make guacamole without onions or cilantro!

Place all condiments in separate containers.

Have plenty of ice and limes and let the fiesta begin!

(Sal original)

Sal’s Famous Beergaritas

Note: After much scientific testing, this is the recipe to use. Trust me. Nearly every other recipe calls for less beer and adds water. Why?

  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, slightly thawed

12 ounces tequila (silver looks prettier but gold tastes just fine)

  • 2 12-ounce beers
  • Ice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Pour slightly thawed limeade, tequila and beer into a large pitcher. Stir until well-blended and limeade has melted. Add plenty of ice and garnish with lime wedges. Serve in 16-ounce plastic glasses. Makes about three, 16-ounce drinks (sort of). Multiply recipe as needed.

    (Sal original)

    Frozen Margarita Pie

    Crust:

    • 1 cup finely crushed pretzels
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • ¹⁄³ cup margarine, melted

    Filling:

    • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    • ¹⁄³ cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
    • 2 tablespoons tequila
    • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
    • 3 drops green food coloring, optional
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 lime, sliced, optional

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Mix pretzels and sugar together in a bowl; stir in margarine until evenly incorporated. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate; press into bottom and up sides of plate to form a firm, even crust.

    Bake crust in the preheated oven until edges are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

    Mix sweetened condensed milk, limeade concentrate, tequila, orange liqueur and green food coloring in a large bowl.

    Beat cream in a glass or metal bowl until soft peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the whipped cream will form soft mounds rather than a sharp peak. Fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture. Spoon filling into cooled crust.

    Cover pie with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving; garnish with lime. Serves 8.

    (Recipe courtesy of allrecipes)

    Follow Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @wyosas.

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    Community News Editor

    Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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