I know that I've mentioned the Porkfest dinner party we threw at the beginning of the month. One of the dishes we served was pulled pork. Of course, it's scientifically impossible to make a small quantity of pulled pork, and there was lots of other pork product on offer that night. As a result, we had a good amount of pulled pork left over. Fortunately for me, we were entertaining again in two days' time.
I've probably already mentioned this also, but in case I haven't: every year on Opening Day of baseball season, my husband and I get together with some other baseball-obsessed souls and watch baseball. All of it. Priority is given to the Yankee game, of course, but we make a real effort to watch at least half an inning of every televised game. Most years, we actually manage to pull it off. People drift in and out, which creates an interesting problem for menu planning. Food must be brought out steadily through the course of the day, and it must be doable with a minimum of effort on my part during game time. I absolutely refuse to spend time during a Yankee game mucking around in the kitchen. (Unless they're really doing badly, in which case I look for intricate pastry recipes to screw up.) Nachos really fit the bill. Assembly can be done in between innings. Unless the pitcher is the reincarnation of Cy Young, the half-inning usually takes long enough for the cheese to melt appropriately. They're ideally suited to baseball, because versions of basic nachos can be found in ball parks all over the country (and, rumor has it, even in Canada!) These went over quite well. A close friend of ours was in from California, and he avoids eating pork, so we made a special batch of pork-less nachos just for him. Neither batch had more than crumbs left over. You can substitute shredded, cooked chicken or turkey for the pork if you prefer.
Pulled Pork Nachos (serves 3 - 6; approx. cost per serving not available)
Two cups (more or less) leftover pulled pork
1 bag regular corn tortilla chips (use the good stuff)
1 bag blue corn tortilla chips (I have yet to find a lousy brand of blue corn chips)
1/2 cup (more or less) sliced, pitted kalamata olives
4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup (more or less) jarred jalapeno slices
3 tablespoons (approx.) barbeque sauce (we used bottled sauce on this occasion, because we were out of the real stuff. You just want a little hint of the flavor anyway, so it's not really worth making a batch of real sauce unless you're a true purist.)
- Some sort of vessel that you can take from oven to table easily. I used the bottom part of my tagine.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. This should take about half an inning of an average game.
- Line the bottom of your baking vessel with a mix of blue and white corn tortillas.
- Scatter pulled pork over the top of the tortillas. Layer with sprinkled cheese, olives and jalapenos.
- Repeat until you've achieved a level of height you're comfortable with. Think structural stability.
- The top layer should be mostly cheese.
- Squeeze some barbeque sauce on top of the nacho pile.
- Bake approximately 10 - 15 minutes, or the length of an average half-inning of baseball. Yes, this is really how I timed it.
- Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!