Impossible Nachos (Made with Impossible™ Burger)
Nachos are a cautionary culinary tale along the lines of “Goldilocks & the Three Bears” — if they’re too dry or too soggy, they’re terrible. And, since they’re definitively a special treat, it’s extra disappointing when they’re bad. This recipe is not that: it’s just right.
In the test kitchen, we went for classic flavors with the Impossible Burger taco meat. The mixture is full of chile powder, oregano, cumin, and a little chipotle pepper for smoke. We slyly added veggie stock to the taco meat to give it some extra juiciness. It gets tossed on the chips with beans, pickled peppers, and corn — cooked in a dry pan, so it’s crisp and charred. Here’s where we went off-road a little bit: Instead of using shredded cheese, we made a creamy queso of cheddar cheese, cream, and adobo sauce. It stays hot longer than melted cheese. We also like how it amplifies the meatiness of the Impossible Burger and balances out all the briny, sweet, crunchy, salty, spice of the toppings in general — and hot damn, a homemade cheese sauce is something special!
It’s a small detail, but our tasters said that their favorite thing about these nachos is the uniformity of the toppings. It helps the queso do its job; it seems to cling to every bean, every kernel of corn, and every bit of the pico de gallo. Plus, it’s easier to scoop out all the goodies and get them into your mouth without a giant tomato trying to steal the show.
Servings: 10 to 12
For the Impossible Burger taco meat:
1 ½ tsp chile powder
1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
¾ tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz Impossible Burger
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
For the Impossible Nachos:
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small white onion, diced small (about ½ cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup vegetable stock
½ cup pickled jalapeños, diced small
1 12-oz bag Gelson's tortilla chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise
4 oz Gelson's sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz Gelson's Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 Tbsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotle peppers)
Kosher salt, to taste
Optional garnishes: pico de gallo, queso fresco, sliced radishes, sliced jalapeños, and cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 400º.
To make the Impossible Burger taco meat: in a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
To make the nachos: In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook the corn kernels, tossing periodically until charred, about 5 minutes. Set the corn aside and wipe out the skillet.
In the clean skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the Impossible Burger mixture, use a wooden spoon to break it into small chunks, and cook for about 7 minutes, or until browned.
Add the black beans, pour in the stock, and cook until the stock is absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
To assemble the nachos: Cover a half-size sheet pan with one layer of tortilla chips. Sprinkle the chips with half of the Impossible taco meat, half of the corn, and half of the pickled jalapeños. Repeat once more with all of the layers.
To make the queso: In a small pot over medium heat, warm the heavy cream and the halved jalapeño just until steaming. Turn down the heat to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process. Cook for 5 minutes to allow the jalapeño to steep. Strain out the jalapeño and seeds, and return the cream to the pot.
While whisking continuously, sprinkle in the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, about 1 ounce at a time, allowing the cheese to melt between each addition.
Stir in the adobo sauce and season with salt to taste. Keep the queso warm on the stove, whisking occasionally, until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, place the sheet pan in the oven until the chips are warmed through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Drizzle the chips with the queso and top with pico de gallo, queso fresco, radishes, jalapeños and cilantro. Serve immediately.