Bar Nachos

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Bar Nachos

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are the reigning kings of the Los Angeles dining scene, having launched a growing family of always-packed restaurants, which include Animal and Son of a Gun. Trois Familia, a French-Mexican brunch spot, is their third collaboration with the French chef Ludo Lefebvre. The initial menu included "French Nachos," with Mornay sauce, broccoli-jalapeño and chipotle-squash salsa. "We really liked that version," they said, and such critics as Jonathan Gold agreed, "but guests were split on them." They replaced the dish with a more traditional American bar nacho, which diners loved. Although they no longer serve these nachos at their restaurant, they often make them at home. And we have a feeling they'll be serving them this Super Bowl Sunday. "We decided that nachos are better with a beer while watching a game than for brunch." 

Bar Nachos
makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon taco or chile spice blend (your favorite brand)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 to 10 ounces tortilla chips (1 medium bag)
  • 1 cup refried black beans
  • 1 cup Animal Queso (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño slices
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned all over, about 3 minutes. Drain the fat from the pan and return it to the heat. Stir in the spice blend, salt and water. Bring to a simmer and cook the meat until the liquid evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  2. Scatter the chips on a serving platter. Spread the refried beans on top, followed by the meat. Drizzle some of the queso over the meat. Scatter the jalapeños over the top, add the crème fraîche, sprinkle the lettuce on top and serve. 

Animal Queso
makes about 3 cups

  • 1 1/3 cups half-and-half
  • 4 ounces Velveeta cheese, diced
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, gated (1 cup) 
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili or taco spice blend
  1. In a saucepan, bring the half-and-half and Velveeta to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the Velveeta has melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the other cheeses until they're melted and smooth. Whisk in the chipotles, salt and spice blend and keep warm until ready to use.