Ball Park Nachos and the Ultimate Nachos cookbook Giveaway!

Ultimate Nachos (St. Griffin Press) |

I personally don’t know anyone who does not like nachos.  Of course everyone also makes them almost identically; corn chips, cheese, maybe some meat and/or beans, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole if it’s a big night.  What if I told you there are not only multiple ways to make them but internationally inspired versions?  Breakfast options?  Dessert recipes?  Versions that surly have not ever crossed your mind even in your wildest moments of reckless kitchen creativity?  They do exist and are all rolled up neatly in a new cookbook:  the Ultimate Nachos cookbook.

Ball Park Nachos -

When I was offered the chance to review the cookbook, I agreed.  I love nachos.  And I make them like everyone else.  I half heartedly expected a three page cookbook, maybe with one page for an introduction and two nachos recipes; one with chicken and one without.  I was exuberantly surprised when the cookbook arrived presented in a neat square shape with a drool-worthy pic (of nachos of course) on the cover.  And it was almost an inch thick with nacho combinations I had both never heard of nor would have conjured in my more clever moments; Fried Calamari Nachos, Buffalo Chicken Nachos, Pork Ginger Nachos, Autumnal Nachos.  Add to that a smorgasbord of luscious dipping and drizzling sauces (Clementine Pico de Gallo, Bacon Apple Guacamole, Pear-Ginger Salsa), drinks (Peach-Habanero Margarita, Pomegranate-Blood Orange Sangria, Horchata) and ‘Extras’ (Candied Jalapenos, Pickled Serrano Peppers, Mango-Chipotle Sauce) and this cookbook leaves the reader wanting for nothing as well as inspired beyond expectation.

Simple Pico de Gallo -

The cookbook travels through the heartland of nachos with side trips into several guacamole recipes, how to make tortilla chips from scratch at home as well as the intriguing opportunity of making nachos for breakfast and dessert.  Can’t quite imagine that?  Breakfast Nachos Skillet, Nachos with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce, Poached Pear and Gorgonzola Nachos and Strawberry, Basil and Mascarpone Dessert Nachos are a mere window into the innovative combinations featured in the Ultimate Nachos cookbook.

The cookbook authors, Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson, own the uber popular NYC-based blog ‘Nachos NY’, seeking the best and worst versions of the popular dish.  Their experience and expertise are aptly applied to the creative and thoughtful inserts to the cookbook.  They share nachos history, clarify cooking technique and even code recipes for specific dining genres such as ‘gluten-free’ and ‘vegetarian.  I for one appreciated the opportunity to expand my nachos horizons and think outside the box.

Ball Park Nachos -

The proof is always in the recipes however and in honor of Father’s Day I’m sharing a recipe from the Ultimate Nachos cookbook today:  Ball Park Nachos.  The recipe actually folds in the secondary recipes of Simple Pico de Gallo and Béchamel Cheese Sauce from the cookbook as well allowing a thorough dip into the cookbook’s content, providing sure incentive to explore the rest of the cookbook’s offerings.  Ball Park Nachos showcase clearly well-loved Picadillo sauce, a sweet, spicy, savory ground beef topping with layers of flavor.  Admittedly after consuming a healthy portion of these nachos, I woke the next day with the craving for the Picadillo on my mind.  I feel sure you’ll feel the same.

Ball Park Nachos

Serving Size: Serves 4

Four recipes in one, the value of making the components from scratch for Ball Park Nachos is clear in the first bite. Sweet, savory, spicy Picadillo sauce (ground spiced beef), cheesy cheddar Bechamel Sauce and a Simple Pico de Gallo with many additional uses. These nachos deliver authentic, inspired flavors sure to make it a favorite 'go to' recipe.


    Ingredients for Picadillo:
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1-14 ounce can Diced Tomatoes (with their juices)
  • 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • ½ cup Green Pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup Red Pepper, seeded and diced
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Ingredients for Béchamel Cheese Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour {note: to make gluten-free, substitute gluten-free flour}
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 8 ounces {2 cups} Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Ingredients for Simple Pico de Gallo:
  • 2 large Tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt
  • Ingredients for the Nachos:
  • 7 ounces Corn Tortilla Chips {approximately half of a store-bought bag, or if prepared fresh, use 15 corn tortilla cut each into 6 triangles}
  • Picadillo
  • Béchamel Cheese Sauce, warmed
  • ¼ cup jarred Pickled Jalapeno Peppers (optional)
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • Simple Pico de Gallo


    Instructions for Picadillo:
  1. Soak raisins in water for 20 minutes to plump. Drain the liquid from the raisins before using.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook the beef over medium heat until browned, making sure to break up any lumps. Drain the excess grease from the ground beef.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices and the chili powder, cinnamon, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook the beef-tomato mixture for 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat until the liquid has reduced by half.
  5. Add the garlic, onion, and peppers. Cook until the vegetables are tender and all of the liquid has cooked off, about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the drained raisins and lime juice.
  7. Instructions for Béchamel Cheese Sauce:
  8. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  9. Add the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms, 5-6 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the milk until it is just about to boil. Be careful not to burn the milk.
  11. Gradually add the hot milk to the butter mixture, and whisk continuously until smooth. Bring the sauce to a boil.
  12. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat, immediately add the shredded cheese, and stir together until evenly incorporated.
  13. Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Instructions for Simple Pico de Gallo:
  15. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and garlic.
  16. Fold the chopped cilantro into the mixture.
  17. Add the lime juice and season the Pico de Gallo with salt to taste.
  18. instructions for Nachos assembly:
  19. Layer the tortilla chips in a 9x13 inch roasting pan. Evenly distribute the Picadillo mixture over the tortilla chips, then cover the chips with the cheese sauce.
  20. Garnish with the pickled jalapenos, if using, and serve with sour cream and the Pico de Gallo.


Recipe excerpted with written permission from Ultimate Nachos cookbook (St. Martin’s Press)

Ball Park Nachos -

St. Martin’s Press has agreed to gift a copy of Ultimate Nachos to a lucky Boulder Locavore reader!

To enter the Giveaway (open to U.S. residents/shipping addresses only):  {CLOSED}

  1. Leave a comment saying ‘I want that cookbook!’

For additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry verifying what you have done; if you are already doing any of these, leave a separate comment for each one stating that):

  1. For following BoulderLocavore on Pinterest.
  2. For following Boulder Locavore on Facebook.
  3. Subscribe to Boulder Locavore via email (note: once subscribing be sure to ‘verify’ your request by typing in the code on the verification email you’ll be sent! If unverified this entry will not count).
  4. Tweet about the Giveaway including a link to this post, ‘Ultimate Nachos’ and @BoulderLocavore using the Shareholic button below.
  5. Post on Facebook about this Giveaway including a link to this post, ‘Ultimate Nachos’ and @BoulderLocavore using the Shareholic button below.

Total of 6 possible entries!!!

No purchase required. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 or older to enter.

Winner:  Becky LeJeune! Congrats!


Giveaway will run through midnight (Mountain Standard Time) Thursday, June 20, 2013. At that time a winner will be selected via and will be posted here Friday, June 21, 2013.

Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of the Ultimate Nachos cookbook. Commentary represents my personal opinions.

Photo credit:  Ultimate Nacho book jacket courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.  All other photographs by



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