I made these nachos for a holiday movie night with some friends. I served each item in separate bowls and let every choose their toppings. It turned out very well. I loved how all the items tasted together.
For the Cabbage
1 heaping cup shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
For the Beans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
1 poblano pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
Salt, to taste
For the Cilantro Sauce
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
For the Cheese Sauce
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese (or a mix of cheddar and pepper Jack—see note), grated on large holes of a box grater
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 (12-ounce) can fat free evaporated milk2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot or other hot sauce
5 ounces tortilla chips
For the cabbage: Combine cabbage, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Toss to dissolve sugar and salt and coat cabbage with liquid. Let sit for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.
For the beans: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, one minute more. Add beans and cook until heated through and beginning to break down a bit, about 10 minutes. Mash beans against sides and bottom of pot with a wooden spoon and stir to combine all ingredients. Taste for salt. Cover and keep warm.
For the cilantro sauce: In a mini food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, and olive oil. Process until well combined. Set aside.
To assemble nachos, spread tortilla chips on a large platter. Top evenly with beans and then with cheese sauce. Pour off liquid from cabbage and dry cabbage between paper towels. Top nachos with cabbage. Drizzle cilantro sauce overtop. Serve warm.
For the cheese sauce: Add cheese and cornstarch to large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add 1 cup evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk until melted, bubbly, and thickened (about 5 minutes). Mixture will look thin and grainy at first but will thicken and come together after heating. Thin to desired consistency with additional evaporated milk.