Cleaning up after making my hockey game nachos, I opened the fridge door to put away the jalapenos, and I saw it. Shining bright like a diamond was a log of Salume Beddu's nduja, a fiery hot spreadable salami. It beckoned me closer and whispered, "put me in the cheese sauce." I had no choice but to obey, and into the cheese sauce went the nduja. Within seconds, the pale orange sauce turned dark with specks of red throughout. I had created liquid gold.
This cheese sauce recipe, while simple, is just outstanding. Pour it over a burger or hot dog, dip stuff in it, toss macaroni in it; the possibilities are endless!
I quickly poured the cheese over the chips, took a picture, then devoured them all.
I then sent the picture to Marco, the brains behind the Beddu, and asked him how he would make the perfect Salume Beddu nachos. His answer was simple: nduja cheese sauce, crispy potatoes, radicchio slaw, roasted serrano peppers, and roasted scallions.
The resulting dish could (and should) make an appearance as one of Beddu's incredible Saturday specials. It's got heat from the cheese sauce and serranos, it's got salt and crunch from the potatoes and chips, and it has vegetables, which I hear are healthy.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Calabrian nduja (nn-do-yuh), it can be found at Larder & Cupboard, Straubs, or Salume Beddu itself. Next time you go to Pastaria, get the nduja pizza and you'll really understand just how wonderful it is.
These are, without a doubt, the most beautiful, colorful nachos I've ever made. These are the kind of nachos you can make for your girlfriend's parents to really impress them that first time they come over for dinner. Nothing says "I'm an adult man who deserves your daughter" like salami cheese sauce.
YIELD: 4-6 | PREP: 1 HOUR | COOK: 5 MIN | TOTAL: 1 HOUR AND 5 MINUTES
NDUJA CHEESE SAUCE (ADAPTED FROM SERIOUS EATS)
4 oz American cheese, shredded
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 T corn starch
1 c evaporated milk
2-4 oz nduja
1/2 head radicchio
1 lemon, juiced
1 russet potato, diced
1/2 head radicchio
1 lemon, juiced
4 large scallions, whole
4-6 serrano peppers, whole
Note: I recommend buying blocks of cheese and shredding them yourself instead of buying pre-shredded cheese.
Fill a small pot with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil.
Dice the potatoes, then blanch in the boiling water for about 3 minutes. Remove the potatoes and set them in a colander to dry.
Once dry, you can cook them one of two ways: you can toss them in oil then roast in a 450F degree oven until crispy (about 20 min.), or you can put them in a hot cast iron pan with oil. You pick! After they’re done, toss them with some salt and pepper, then set aside.
Chop the radicchio up into thin strips. Toss with lemon juice. Set aside.
Put foil on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Place whole scallions on the sheet, then drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 450F until they start browning (5 min. or less).
Remove scallions from the tray and roughly chop. Set aside.
Turn the oven to broil. Put serrano peppers on the sheet and broil, rotating every few minutes, until the skin is mostly charred. Remove from the oven and put in a plastic bag for 5 minutes to steam. Peel the skins and remove the seeds. Chop, then set aside.
Putting It All Together
Cover all the plates you’re going to use with chips. Put the crispy potato over the chips.
Put the shredded cheeses and cornstarch in a small pot and mix. Add the evaporated milk and cook on low, continuously stirring with a whisk. Once the cheese has melted, dip a chip in and make sure that the taste of the cornstarch has cooked out. If it’s all good, add the nduja. Prepare yourself for a foodgasm. Keep adding nduja until it has the spice level and texture you’re looking for.
Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes and chips, then scatter the scallions, peppers, and slaw on top.