Add a creative twist to St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Nachos. Why Irish? Homemade potato chips serve as the base instead of tortilla chips. Don’t worry, homemade chips are a breeze. And, of course, nachos wouldn’t be complete without onions so we managed to incorporate them in two tasty ways. First, sliced yellow onions are braised with Irish cider for a bit ‘o rich sweetness to balance the saltiness of the fried potatoes. Then, we finish off the dish with a sprinkle of chopped red onion for a zest ‘o flavor and cheery spring color!
To make this recipe alcohol-free, simply substitute apple cider or chicken stock. Or, skip braising all together and make caramelized onions using our favorite recipe. Then, get creative with adding even more toppings you enjoy! I’m thinking the addition of black beans, pickled jalapenos, or a little roasted corn would be equally delicious. Cheers!
Irish Nachos with Cider-Braised Onions
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Homemade Potato Chips
2-1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, sliced at 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness*
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
Fine ground sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced into rings
4 oz. dry Irish cider*
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. cooked bacon, crumbled
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 jalapeno pepper, diced, ribs and seeds removed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1. Place sliced potatoes in a large bowl; pour in the water and vinegar and stir. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain and pat the potato slices dry with a clean kitchen towel. While the potatoes soak, start the onions.
2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir to separate the rings. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Carefully stir in the cider and continue to cook the onions for 15 to 20 more minutes, until they reach your desired level of browning. They should be soft, golden brown, and sweet.
3. Fill a 4 to 5-quart pot or deep frying pan about 1/3 full with oil. Heat to 375 to 400 degrees F over medium-high heat, or follow the directions for heating your electric fryer. Working in batches, fry the potato slices for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes from the fry to a platter covered with paper towels to drain the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste while warm.
4. To serve, transfer the potatoes to a serving plate. Top with braised onions, and sprinkle with cheese and crumbled bacon. Place a dollop of sour cream in the center of the nachos and finish by garnishing with diced jalapeno and red onion.
* The thinner your slices the more quickly they will fry and the crispier they will be. Thicker slices will have crisp edges and softer centers, like potato wedges or home fries.
** Substitute any type of stock or leave the liquid out all together.
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Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association