Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Saturday 9 September 2017

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - DALLAS ALICE

Dallas Alice? Have you heard her name before?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you have – it keeps re-appearing throughout the popular culture landscape of Americana.
In John Ford’s superb film, Stagecoach, as ‘Dallas’, she is portrayed to perfection by the brilliant Claire Trevor.
There is no disguising that she is, to quote a popular euphemism, a ‘woman of the world’, but she is so much more than that. In fact, she seems to stand for an entire line of women who have been loved and lost.
Lowell George from Little Feat resurrected her in the song Willin’ and Let ‘Em Roll by Guy Clark shows how her influence can resonate through the years.
Happy to have you at my table (and Dave is quite keen as well!) Perhaps you would like to share this Tex-Mex dish.


This is a very simple meal but the important thing here is to have all the elements ready in advance.

You will need enough tortilla chips for the amount of guests and toppings of your choice.

Toppings can vary but I have chosen:

grated cheese
sour cream
sliced jalapeno
refried beans

Salsa, guacamole and refried beans can be purchased ready-made but they are much nicer when freshly prepared.

Prepare the toppings


2 very ripe avocados
1 lime
handful fresh coriander
½tsp chilli powder
salt and black pepper
2 small tomatoes
1tbsp olive oil

Cut the avocados in half and remove the large seed from each.
Remove the flesh with a spoon and discard the skin.
Place in a blender with the other ingredients.
Blitz until at the required consistency.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1tsp chilli flakes
1tbsp red wine vinegar black pepper
2tbsp mixed herbs

Put all ingredients in a blender and whizz until chopped but still chunky.

Refried Beans

1 can kidney beans
1 small onion, chopped
50-100ml vegetable stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
1tbsp oil
salt and black pepper
1tbsp mixed herbs

Drain and rinse the kidney beans.
Heat oil and fry the onion and garlic until golden.
Allow them to cool slightly, then place in a blender with the kidney beans.
Whizz until chopped coarsely.
Add the other ingredients and whizz again. You can make it as smooth as you like (I allow it to retain some resemblance to the original beans).
Return to the pan and heat through. (If necessary, add a little hot water.)

Chop jalapenos into rings.
Place sour cream in a serving dish or glass.
Grate the cheese.

When ready to serve
Spread half the required tortilla chips on baking trays and cover with grated cheese.
Place under the grill (in rotation if necessary).
When the cheese on one batch has melted, cover with another layer of tortilla crisps and cheese.
Meanwhile, place all other toppings on the table and provide individual plates.
Transfer the nachos to a large plate and serve with the toppings. 
(You can put them all on the same plate, but I think it is good to allow guests to choose their own).

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