Irish Nachos with Cider-Braised Onions
Add a creative twist your St. Patrick’s Day menu this year with these Irish Nachos!
2 ½ lb. Russet potatoes, sliced at 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness**
4 cups cold water
½ cup white distilled vinegar
Oil for frying, such a peanut oil
Fine ground sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced
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
¼ cup diced red onion
Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Pour in the water and vinegar and stir. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the liquid and pat the potato slices dry with a clean kitchen towel.
While the potatoes soak, start the onions. Melt the 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. The should be soft, golden and sweet.
Fill a 4 to 5-quart pot or deep frying pan about 1/3 full of oil. Bring it 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 to a platter covered with paper towels to drain the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste while warm.
Transfer the potatoes to a serving plate. Top with the braised onions. Sprinkle on the cheese and crumbled bacon. Place the sour cream in a dollop in the center of the nachos and finish by sprinkling on the jalapeno and red onion before serving.
*Substitute any type of stock or leave the liquid out all together.
**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.
Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association