One night a month or two ago, my husband and I got some take out with one of our friends. We got it from this great El Salvadorean restaurant that’s close to our old apartment, and it’s good enough that every once in awhile we actually drive over there to pick up the food, since we’re now out of their delivery range. And for people who don’t like leaving their house, this says a lot about the quality of food. The main reason we go to this place is the amazing plate of nachos they make. It’s full of perfectly cooked beef, crema, tomatoes, lettuce, guac and salsa, on top of warm and crispy chips. It’s basically perfect. We started talking about other nachos we like and we were lamenting the lack of Mediterranean nachos in most establishments. Clearly, we had to rectify that.
A few weekends ago I got all of the ingredients ready and we started the process of making our nachos. For the sake of this recipe and my pride, I made my own pita chips. You are more than welcome to skip this step as I don’t think it’s 100% necessary. They were good, but I feel like store bought would’ve been just as good and possibly a bit of a time saver, since we were in the kitchen for quite awhile.
8 small pita pockets, cut into quarters
1 medium-large cucumber, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
1lb ground lamb
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon better than bouillon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tabouleh
1/2 cup feta
1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice
1/2 cup tzatziki
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Take the pita bread quarters, toss them with the olive oil and make sure they’re all coated. You can add salt and pepper to them, but don’t make the same mistake I did in forgetting that other components to this are salty as well. Bake the pita quarters for about 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and store in air-tight container until ready to use.
Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once ready, add the lamb and cook until nicely browned. Drain off the fat from the pan, add in the Better Than Bouillon, water, paprika and cinnamon. Let that cook together for a few minutes until all of the flavors are absorbed by the lamb and the lamb is still moist – you don’t want all of the water to evaporate. Take off the heat and set aside.
Take out a baking pan and layer your nachos however you’d like: we went with a structure of chips, meat, cheese, repeat. While originally I was going to just use crumbled feta, we decided we needed to have a cheese that would melt well, so we added in some chedder-jack but any cheese will work well. Bake that in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and everything is heated through.
While the nachos are baking, mix together the tabouleh, tomatoes and cucumbers. Once the nachos are out of the oven, plate them and use the tabouleh mixture as a salsa and sprinkle it over the top. Top this with a healthy dollop (or three) of tzatziki and you’re done.
I’m not gonna lie: these were amazing. All the flavors we were wanted were in there and the meat was seasoned perfectly. Our chips ended up being more chewy than crispy, but even with that they were still great.