White onion is a more traditional choice to add flavor to the browned ground beef. However, in this case, the rest of the red onion used to prepare the Pico de Gallo is used instead. This lends a very subtle, yet distinct, sweet note to the garlic and savory taco seasoning.
In addition, baby mixed heirloom tomatoes were used here to add a pop of interesting color to the final presentation. If unavailable, substitute red cherry or grape tomatoes instead.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
500 mls of cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Taco Seasoning Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of ground chili powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
½ a teaspoon of smoked paprika
¼ of a teaspoon of chipotle powder
½ a teaspoon of black pepper
¾ of a teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
¾ of a medium red onion, finely chopped
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
600 grams of ground beef
1 large bag of tortilla chips
1 250 gram bag 4-cheese Mexican blend, finely shredded
2 large green onions, green parts only, sliced thin
1 200 gram can black olives, chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
1 large ripe avocado, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- To prepare the Pico de Gallo, combine the tomatoes, garlic, one-quarter of the chopped red onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a medium non-reactive bowl. Season generously with sea salt and stir to combine. Cover and set aside.
- Place the top oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 180OC. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking mat and set aside.
- Combine the taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining three-quarters chopped red onion and minced garlic. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and starts to develop a bit of color, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the beef and break up into small pieces with a spatula. Add 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mixture and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread the tortilla chips into an even, overlapping layer on the prepared baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, evenly distribute the seasoned, browned beef on top of the tortilla chips.
- Add the cheese on top of the beef and nachos in an even layer and place in the pre-heated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and cool slightly before topping with sliced green onion, chopped black olives, Pico de Gallo, and sliced jalapeño pepper.
- Toss the avocado with the fresh lemon juice and spoon on top of the nachos. Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro and serve immediately.