It's a Keeper: Chili 'n' Dawg Nachos with Smoky con Queso Sauce

Alright. I am not proud of the fact that I made this recipe. Really, I'm pretty ashamed. But, I have a good excuse! We went camping and I needed to use up the few extra hot dogs that were left over. Waste not, want not. So, I made Chili 'n' Dawg Nachos with Smoky con Queso Sauce from Every Day with Rachael Ray. It was in the baseball themed issue, so I guess Rachael had an excuse, too.

I should also note that I LOVE nachos. My friends joked that they were going to give me a nacho cheese machine for a wedding present. I usually prefer the fake, fluorescent orange cheese sauce, but this smoky chipotle sauce was outstanding. I would make this recipe again, but probably without the hot dogs. They didn't add much because the star of the show was the meaty mixture and the cheese sauce. No dogs necessary. I made the full recipe for the cheese sauce, but cut the rest of the recipe in half. I still had a ton of leftovers. It took about 45 minutes because getting the milk to boil is always a challenge for me - I am scared to turn it up too high after burning it so many times.

Variety is the spice of life, so try this one!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
4 hot dogs, sliced 1 inch thick
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
One 15-ounce can red beans, drained
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce (eyeball it)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
1 tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
2 teaspoons cumin (two-thirds of a palmful)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
One 12-ounce bottle of beer [I used a pilsner and it tasted great in the bottle and in the chili mixture.]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 chiles from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (mix yellow and smoked if you like extra-smoky flavor)
One 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand, well drained [I had some fresh tomatoes, so diced them up instead of using the canned.]
8 cups (2 bags or 1 jumbo sack) corn tortilla chips (mix and match colors such as yellow and blue or red and white)
Optional toppings for garnish: chopped cilantro, chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped red onions or chopped scallions, sour cream [I opted for chopped scallions, red onions and sour cream.]

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. [I skipped heating up the chips in the oven, which is why you preheat it here. Too hot for the oven still!] Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, and the hot dogs and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. [It only took about a minute on my stove.] Remove the dogs to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, and let it get hot. Add the beef and brown it, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Move the meat to the sides of the pan and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the center. Cook the veggies for a few minutes to soften, then combine with the meat and stir in the beans. Cook it all together for another 3 to 4 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and grill seasoning. Pour the sauce evenly over the meat and work it in. Add the hot dogs to the pan, then the beer. Let the meat sauce boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low and simmer while you make the cheese sauce.

3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk the milk into the bubbly flour and butter and raise the heat a bit. Bring the milk to a boil, whisking, then turn the heat to low and let it thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chiles. Add the cheese, a few handfuls at a time, stirring in a figure-eight motion. Once the cheese has melted into the sauce, add the drained tomatoes and heat through for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Reduce the heat to low until ready to serve.

4. To assemble, scatter the chips on a cookie sheet and crisp in the oven (or place in large bowls and microwave each bowl for 20 seconds on high) [I skipped this step, but would do it next time to see if it really makes a difference]. Scatter the chips across a large platter or divide among individual bowls and top with the meat topping and cheese sauce. Serve as is or garnish with your choice of toppings, such as cilantro, olives, onions, scallions and sour cream.


  1. Oh I love me some nachos with real shredded cheeses...that sounds delish (as Rachael would say). I have to try this sometime! Thanks!

  2. Using real cheese is quite a departure for me, but well worth the effort.

  3. I'm with ya.. I adore nachos!! I will try this one too.I made one of her nachos too once.. they were good, very different than the typical!

  4. I'm right there with you ... I love, love, love nachos and will gladly choose that over chocolate any day. ;)

  5. Thanks for the affirmation guys. I was seriously thinking that I would be alone on this one!


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