These certainly are “nacho” average latkes! In fact, they’re Nacho Latkes with Homemade Queso!
When I first moved to Austin way back in 2009, I thought queso was cheese en Español. I was correct, of course, but it’s way more than that. The orange tinted sauce is served hot, overflowing with a mountain of avocado, pico de gallo and cilantro. Now there’s a mountain I’d like to climb.
Served with homemade heavily salted chips, it’s also the sole reason for the “Austin 10” many people gain when they move here. Well, combined with margarita Monday and taco Tuesday that is.
I was smack in the middle of latke recipe development right before my gays and girls trip to Cancun last week (photos coming soon!) So I thought to myself, self. There has to be a way to enjoy queso without sacrificing quality bikini beach selfies.
My friends at Noosa recently sent me some of their plain yogurt to try. I’m not much of a fan of sweet yogurt, if I want dessert I’ll have a piece of Nutella Rugelach. But I love plain yogurt. A lot. I mix it with a little tahini and lemon juice for an easy sauce. Top a bowl of grains with yogurt and hot sauce for a filling lunch. Swirl some beets with it for hot pink! So why not queso? Why not, queso. They didn’t pay me to write about their yogurt, but I’m really loving how extra smooth and tart it is and it worked real well in this queso recipe. It’s very similar to sour cream in flavor, but way healthier. Plus, it’s weird to chow down on sour cream out of the tub.
But Hanukkah can’t be too healthy. This is the holiday where we are celebrating the miracle of the oil, and no one was talking about coconut oil. Baked latkes are lovely and all, but not what I crave post Manischewitz binge.
Oh heck yeah!
You can get as meshugenah as you like with your toppings. I went all in with black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeños, avocado and more yogurt. Yes! Thrown these down the first night of Hanukkah, and no one will even remember we only get presents so little Jewish children will stop trying to convert to get Christmas. Hanukkah has arrived, people!
What a beautiful mess you are, Latkes Nachos.
- For queso:
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plain yogurt (such as Noosa), at room temperature
- ¼ cup cream cheese (full-fat), at room temperature
- ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature (this helps melting)
- ¾ cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature
- 1 diced chipotle in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
- Salt to taste
- For latkes:
- 1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups) into a bowl of water.
- 2 tablespoons onion, small diced
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for garnish
- 2 jalapeños, 1 small diced and one sliced
- Oil for frying
- 1 tomato diced
- ¼ cup black beans
- ¼ cup corn
- ½ avocado, diced
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- Cilantro for garnish
- First, let's make queso. You can definitely serve this recipe with just chips or a spoon, and you may have extra to use for that purpose.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter or oil over low heat and whisk in flour until combined. Then add in yogurt and cream cheese and stir until combined, making sure to keep the heat low as to not curdle the queso. Add in cheese and chipotle and stir over low heat until well combined. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
- Now, time for the tower of latkes! Drain potatoes through a sieve over a large bowl. Squeeze out moisture in potatoes and let the starch settle in the water bowl. Carefully drain off water and reserve starch. Place potatoes back into a large bowl, add in onions and use paper towels to press out as much moisture as possible. This will make your latkes crispy. Add in starch, this will make your latkes even crispier! Then add in eggs, garlic, flour, salt and the diced jalapeño.
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees F. Set aside paper towels for draining and have some salt ready. Heat a large sauté pan and add oil. You want the oil to be hot enough that latke batter sizzles when place in oil, but doesn't immediately brown. Place ¼ cup dollops of latke batter in oil, careful not to crowd the pan. Fry on one side until well browned, about 3-5 minutes. Then flip and fry the other side. Drain on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt because fried stuff tastes good with salt. Keep latkes warm in the oven and repeat with remaining batter.
- Top latkes with warm queso and other toppings of your choice. Eat immediately!