Nachos are a crowd-pleaser, but they have to be done right. They’re a structural undertaking. You need to have chips that are sturdy enough to stand up to the weight of toppings. That means creating a foundation layer of cheese before adding other toppings, so it forms a protective barrier that prevents the chips from getting soggy. And you need a cheese mixture that’s flavorful but also gooey and gives you cheese pulls (that’s why this recipe uses both cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack). Seared skirt steak takes these nachos into the realm of gourmet finger food. Skip the pre-shredded cheese; it’s tossed in a mixture to help keep the strands separated but doesn’t melt as well and the stuff you grate yourself.
4 5-oz. cans chopped green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), plus wedges for serving
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1¼ cups cilantro, divided
12 ounces skirt steak
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces tortilla chips
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2½ cups)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Pulse chiles, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and 1 cup of the cilantro in a food processor until mostly smooth.
Season steak with salt. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Cook steak, turning once, until deeply browned, 1½ to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes; roughly chop.
Layer chips, chile mixture, cheeses, and onion on a rimmed baking sheet (line with foil for easy cleanup). Bake until cheese is melted, 7 to 8 minutes. Top with steak, lime wedges, remaining ¼ cup cilantro, and radishes.
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