So you want Nacho Hippo but you are 500 miles away, or maybe you were volunteered to host a tailgate party or playoff party, and you think Nacho Hippo would be the ideal? Either way you have quite the dilemma! This is something we here from our guests often. They wish we would open a new location in Charlotte, NC or Akron, Ohio and we have even heard requests for Syracuse, NY! So the question is, what do you do when you can’t call Nacho Hippo for a to go order or if Nacho Hippo isn’t just a short drive away? Stay tuned. We will help you out.
The hardest part to replicate is always the tortilla chips. There are lots of recipes out there that recommend baking your chips, but they never fully satisfy that desired crunch that comes when you bite into them. Don’t worry, you don’t need an industrial fryer to get the what you are looking for. Extra thin corn tortillas, vegetable oil, and salt are the only ingredients you need. The benefit of doing this yourself compared to using store bought chips is you can choose the level of saltiness. So many store-bought tortilla chips rely more on salt for taste than quality of flavor from the chip itself.
You are doing this at home so you will want to work in small batches at a time. Heat your oil in a large pan. You want it to be about 340 degrees. You will also want to set a pan nearby lined with at least 2 layers of paper towels. Cut your round tortillas into wedge shapes. I like to do stacks of 4 tortillas at a time and cut them into 6 wedges, like you are cutting a pizza.
The next step requires you to move quickly. You will want to add 10 or so wedges to the oil. Just enough to fill the space in a single layer. Leave them cook in the oil just long enough for the edges to start to curl. This should only take 20-25 seconds. Then using a metal spider strainer, flip chips to opposite side for another 20 seconds. Let the chips start to turn a shade darker, but do not allow them to start to turn brown. Then quickly shift the chips to the paper towels to drain. Salt to taste.
The easy part is over. Now you have to decide what you are putting on top of them! You should of course take our lead and layer option after option, but really this part is up to you. Our recommendation is you set it up in layers. This allows for a consistent topping to chip ratio bite after bite. A couple of suggested toppings for you: 1. Lettuce: it adds a second layer of crunch, but keeps the plate fresh. 2. Melted Queso: Can you really call them nachos if you don’t use queso? 3. While it certainly isn’t a requirement, adding a meat to your nachos can add some fun textures and flavor profiles. As you can see by looking at our menu, there are really no limitations on what your options can be, shrimp, pork, chicken, beef. Just pick an option and commit. If you want to avoid meat, don’t be afraid to look into bean options. Or you can add both! 4. Add additional ingredients and flavors that suit your palate. Diced tomato, cilantro, guacamole, salsa, sour cream are just a few options. Just make it your own.
Whether you simply have a craving for nachos, or are prepping for a big game, nachos are always the answer! Just because you don’t live close to Nacho Hippo, doesn’t mean you can’t have Nacho Hippo in your home!