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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Nacho Chips on the Barbecue Grill

Griled Nacho Chips
Grilled Nacho Chips

Grilled Nacho Chips make a great outdoor appetizer while the meal is barbecuing or a tasty Mexican grilled side dish to serve with the barbecue. BBQing nachos really is as simple as it gets - short of tossing chips in a bowl and setting out some salsa.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Grilled Nacho Chips:

Grilled Nacho Chips

•           Nacho chips (about 1/2 bag unless you have a crowd)
•           Monterey jack cheese (1/2 cup or more grated)
•           Cheddar cheese (1/2 cup or more grated)
•           Jalapeno peppers (or any other favorite nacho toppings)

Directions:

First you need a pan. This can be a throwaway pan or a cookie sheet or a smaller size metal baking pan. If you use your kitchen pan, cover it with tin foil to prevent scorching or discoloration. Normally, you don’t use your kitchen pans for outdoor cooking, but this recipe cooks so fast that it’s “no foul, no ball, no mess up pan.” Seriously, you’re safe here.

Nacho Chipping it Up

Pour a good layer of nacho chips on the pan. When I’m using a 9 x 13 throwaway pan, this is about a half bag of the restaurant style nacho chips (big chips). The small rounds or dip scoop nacho chips are packed in tighter, so you may not use a half bag.

Spread the chips around even. You want the bottom of the pan covered to keep the cheese from burning, but you don’t want such a thick layer that most of the chips never see any cheese.

Getting a Little Fancier with Your Nacho Chips

At this point, I sprinkle jalapeno peppers over half the chips. Some of us like it some; some do not. You could add any other nacho base ingredients you’d like at this stage. Just make sure the items added are ready-to-eat. This dish really is not cooking. It’s just heating.

Use a grater and shred both Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese over the chips. The amount can vary greatly. The amount I gave at 1/2 cup of each cheese is a minimum I’d say. We generally use more, but we’re southern. If you just hate to grate cheese, then buy the mixed Mexican cheese shredded in the bag. It’s usually Monterey and cheddar. I just don’t think it melts as nice, but that may just be me.

Wrap up Those Nachos

Take a big sheet of tin foil and cover the chips and cheese (and any other nacho toppings). Wrap the foil around and tuck it but don’t mash it real tight, or the cheese will stick to the top of the tin foil.

Grilling the Chips

If you grilled nacho chips for an appetizer, then stick them on while the grill is getting going. If you want them for a side dish, do them last.
Grill temperatures vary a lot, so I can’t say exactly how long to cook your grilled nacho chips. It’s around two minutes. It can be longer with a cool grilling temperature and can be quicker if the grill is going great guns.

Let Your Ears and Nose be The Guide

I listen for a “sizzle.” When you hear the sound (the cheese bubbling), then you can pull the chips off and let them sit. The cheese will continue to melt and be ready in a minute or so.

If you smell even the hint of “burning,” pull those chips off fast. If you do this quick, you probably just have a little cheese burning that dripped through the chips, or you have a dark chip or two. No biggie. Ignore that scent of scorch, and you’re going to have a burned up mess.

Ultimate Simple Grill Dish

I would not fire up the grill just to make nacho chips, but they are really super before, during or after a BBQ marathon. If you are the designated griller, then make some and don’t tell anyone and munch away. OK. I’m just kidding, but it is tempting.

Grilled nacho chips are fun and tasty no matter when you stick them on and pull them off. Since they only take a couple of minutes to heat, they are a great add on dish especially if you're having an outdoor Mexican fiesta.

Grilled Nacho Chips are wonderful served with homemade Pica de Gallo as pictured above (a fresh garden style salsa).

Specials

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