Friday, February 1, 2008

Nacho Recipe for the Big Game: Cheesy Crab and Corn Nachos

When you think of the month of February there are numerous things that come to mind? Black History Month, Valentine's Day, Super Bowl Sunday, President's Day and Healthy Heart Month.

Thoughout the month of February, I will provide tips, suggestions or ideas on how you can celebrate all the above including the upcoming Super Bowl game.

I'm going to my friends house for a huge Super Bowl party and he wanted everyone to bring at least one dish since he's providing the majority of the food and beverages. I decided to bring Nachos but not just regular old nachos and cheese but Emeril Lagasse's Ultimate Cheesy Crab and Corn Nachos. These are absolutely mouthwatering. This recipe serves 6 but you can alter it and make it for a larger crowd.

Ultimate Cheesy Crab and Corn Nachos

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained
1 1/2 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (9-ounce) bag blue corn tortilla chips (8 to 10 cups)
1 pound lump crabmeat
1 cup cooked fresh corn kernels or 1 cup frozen corn kernels thawed
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
3/4 cup sour cream, for garnishing
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnishing Pico de Gallo, for serving,

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow the flour to color. While whisking constantly, add the milk in a steady stream. Add the green chiles and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Add the Pepper Jack cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Cover and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large, ovenproof shallow casserole or on a large baking sheet, spread half of the tortilla chips in an even layer. Top with half of the crabmeat, half of the corn, and half of the cheddar cheese. Top with the remaining tortilla chips, crabmeat, and corn. Pour the hot cheese sauce over the crab and corn, then evenly spread the remaining grated cheddar over the top. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the nachos are heated through, 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with the sliced green onions, sour cream and cilantro. Serve with the Pico de Gallo alongside.

Pico de Gallo:

3 ripe plum tomatoes (about 3/4 pound) or 1(14-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red hot sauce (recommended: Emeril's Hot Sauce)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until the salsa is of uniform consistency but still slightly chunky, about 7 pulses. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to serve the nachos. Yield: 1 cup

How should you decorate for your Super Bowl party?

Seeing as it's a day a way, hopefully you have all you need for the party. I think it depends on how you like to decorate you can keep it simple or you can go all out. An idea, if it's in your budget, is to purchase small patches of wheatgrass or artificial turf to use as mini football fields. Depending on the height of the grass you can trim it down then add serving trays for appetizers or drinks.

Regardless on how you decorate make sure you have enough plates, untensils, cups and trash cans for the event. Oh, and don't forget to have fun.

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