I have lived in Texas a long, long time; and it is virtually impossible to live in Texas and not to become enamored with Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine!
Nachos are the star of Tex-Mex food! There is no one in Texas that does not love an order of nachos to nibble on at a football game or at any gathering; they are irresistible. Fried tortilla chips, refried beans cooked in lard, melted gooey cheese spread on top dripping everywhere, a sprinkle of jalapeño peppers and you are in hog heaven.
I am going to make these nachos, Lebanese-style, (on the lighter side).
My Lebanese Nachos are based on what is called fatteh in Lebanese cuisine; a layering of meat or legume or vegetable with toasted pita croutons and a final layer of garlicky yogurt topped with toasted pine nuts and almonds.
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
- 2 cans of chick peas (or boil one cup of chick peas, soaked overnight with a teaspoon of baking soda)
- olive oil as needed
- ground cumin
- pinch of allspice, cinnamon, salt, pepper
- 8 cloves of garlic (use to taste) mashed in a mortar (preferably) with a pinch of salt
- 1 pound of lowfat yogurt
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of tahini
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts, fried until caramel-colored in a dab of butter or olive oil
Step 1: Cut and toast the pita chips
- Using kitchen scissors, cut the pita breads in even triangles; place on a baking sheet and toast in a 300F oven till crisp and dry, about 20 minutes.
Step 2: Cooking and seasoning the chick peas
- Rinse the chick peas well and place back in a pot with about 3 cups of water; cook for a long time until they become really tender; when the mixture is soupy and boiling add a few ice cubes and wiggle the mixture with two wooden spoons to release a bunch of skins and discard all the skins you get a hold of; that is an optional step, you can also eat the skins, no problem! Boil all the water out.
- Use a potato masher or an immersion blender and mash a good portion of the beans. Keep a few whole for looks; add some olive oil (as much as you like) and a generous pinch of cumin, a smaller pinch of allspice and cinnamon and black pepper. Add the mashed garlic to taste. I like A LOT, so there is no rule here. You want the mixture to be thick and a bit on the dry side so it will adhere to the pita chips.
Step 3:Prepare the yogurt topping
- Pour the yogurt into a bowl; add the mashed garlic (I used about 3 cloves) with salt and one generous tablespoon of tahini. Mix well, taste and set aside.
- Place all the pita chips on a serving platter; plop a tablespoon of chick pea mash on each chip; right before serving, plop a generous tablespoon of yogurt and sprinkle some toasted pine nuts. Serve.