The group I hunt corn with and cook for in corn camp raves about my nachos. But sometimes they can be very repetitive (like the contrails of drones across a bloody sky, for example). Whenever I ask what special dish I can make for them, they come up with the same three requests.
One is Tall Corn Nachos that they have named Stan’s Big Head Thought Up Corn Camp Nachos. (I have no idea where they clunked this lively moniker, but Tony [movie theater owner] is a minor poet and a drunk and probably had them singing it over the fire while handing out malted milk balls, stale popcorn, hand mirrors, tiny stapled cardboard chapbooks of poetry about moviegoers and birds, and warm cans of Coors.) It’s one of the simplest dishes I make (see recipe below). It contains roasted corn kernels, chopped onions and peppers, muenster cheese (why? it melts so well and the annatto reminds me of Christmas elves), and a few simple spices, and it is served over a bed of blue tortilla chips.
Two years ago, knowing the guys like to eat this meal at least twice during the first week of corn camp, I prepared enough of this dish to feed the 12 people we had in camp three different times during the week. (Two were members of the food celebrity industrial complex, one was a journalist, long story.) On Sunday, as we were packing to leave, I asked if anyone wanted to take some of my various nachos leftovers home. Even though there were some very delicious bowls and plastic trays left of congealed cheeses and various hardened vegetables and wire brush stiff chips, there were a bunch of sour faces (especially Tony, who was on his knees vomiting behind his Escalade) because there weren’t any Stan’s Big Head Thought Up Corn Camp Nachos leftovers!
When you need to put a delicious meal on the table with minimal fuss, turn to this recipe, as I often do (especially during the busy cilantro processing season). They’re great for family-style meals, or if a friend is on your couch hiding out from his wife’s lover; and most also work well in corn camp. Not only are these nachos appetizing, but they provide a complete, well-balanced, harmonious, patriotic, gluten-free meal in a single dish.
1. Try to get corn that tastes like corn. This will most likely be impossible. Try roadside stands or gather a group of your friends and visit local farms, moving quietly by night and early morn (we call this “corn camp,” referred to as gleaning in local European law and perfectly legal in most U.S. counties if under a cloak of darkness). Don’t feel guilty–your tax dollars insure every crop in this crashed republic. Browse along with your hoe and water jug. Stumble through the stalks like a clumsy ghost. Just think like a deer that has been run down by a Subaru. (If you see an injured deer while corn hunting, strangle it and place its heart and liver inside your water jug for later.)
If you find any corn shorter than 14 feet tall, it is non-GMO.
Raid Choose those fields first and take every exposed ear.
(Tony, with spike sweet corn, indigenous to the valley)
2. Roast in the oven. Maybe 333, place in aluminum foil, add salt, pepper, olive oil, some garlic. Check every 15 minutes, twice. You can cook the corn how you want, but be sure it’s oven roasted, to bring out the parallelization of the fibers, flavor, to anchor its essence in the corners of the room we call your mouth.
3. WHILE the corn is roasting, rough-cut peppers and white onion. If you are betting on the game tonight, make the bet now. Open a can of seltzer. The moon should be up and resemble a water tower or pale belly of flesh.
(salsa peppers, traded to me for a brass Zippo lighter I found in a movie theater)
4.) After the corn is roasted, chop the kernels off the cob with a Japanese-made knife. Then toss in a bowl with onions, peppers, sea salt, black pepper (ground), a dash of olive oil for no other reason than everything is better with olive oil.
Turn OFF oven.
Let mixture breathe for so-so minutes easy, like grass.
PRO TIP!!! Now layer a 44 X 14 cooking pan with blue chips, a single strata, like with dominoes. Place torn chunks of cheese all over chips. Slide tray into oven. The residual HEAT left from corn roasting will perfectly melt the muenster cheese into what will resemble Jackson Pollock meets summer wind, yellow rain, the twittering of birds made of flecks of gold.
Remove chips from oven after 6 minutes.
Now mix in any salsa to mixture you prefer. (I use Fresh Thyme here because I earlier went to Fresh Thyme to purchase organic pecans and to flirt with privileged moms.)
(Note: In my home region of Soconusco, they add garlic and the crushed and finely mortared gonads of cattle, mules, sheep, llamas, sleek horses, and goats at this step. I do NOT.)
5. Layer blue chips, using the usual vortex method. Wooden spoon. Always wooden spoon. Layer your sub-chip (add a scoop of chopped mixture), then regolith, litho, bed-chip (add a scoop), then layer the top-chip and dump the remaining mixture atop.
When complete, Tall Corn Nachos should look exactly like photo below:
(Do not deviate from recipe. This is like a semicolon or a pipe bomb behind your toilet–do NOT touch.)
You would slap your grandmother to eat these nachos. (The resemblance to Munch’s famous “the Scream” is no accident.) We eat with our eyes! Open them