Cinco de Mayo

A Mash-Up of Nachos and Chilaquiles

May  1, 2016

I am supposed to be talking about cooking with scraps right now, telling you all about hardlikearmour’s smart use of cilantro stems in her salsa.

Photo by James Ransom

So here you go: It is smart. Herb stems are often discarded, but they are one of the easiest underutilized produce parts to incorporate into our cooking more often.

Honestly though, I’m having trouble focusing, because merely writing about her Tomato Arbol Totopos is making my mouth water—I want to head into the kitchen right now to make another batch. It’s no exaggeration when I say that after I had made these the first time for dinner, I loved them so much, ​I made them again for my next two meals. Yes, that’s correct, I made them again for breakfast and lunch the following day. (Pro tip: Make extra salsa and it will be easy for you to do the same.)

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Hardlikearmour's description of this appetizer as a cross between nachos and chilaquiles is apt. For any fellow skeptics of mushy foods, don't let the comparison to chilaquiles put you off. Just because these chips are coated in salsa doesn’t mean they're soggy—they’re ever-so-slightly softened but still crunchy, and the flavor is, as she says, "like the best nacho-​flavored tortilla chips you've ever eaten."

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If you haven't yet planned a gathering for Cinco de Mayo, this recipe is reason enough to do so. Just be sure to invite your closest friends—the ones you're comfortable eating like a caveman in front of—this is a dish that calls for literal finger licking, not polite table manners.

Know of a great recipe hiding in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? Tell me about it in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.