Ina Garten's Favorite Nachos Feature Some Uncommon Ingredients

When Ignacio Anaya inadvertently created the first plate of nachos in 1940, he had no idea how far its popularity would stretch. Per The New York Times, Ignacio, maître d'hôtel of the Victory Club in the border town of Piedras Negras, Mexico, found himself at work one day when a group of hungry American women entered the establishment. It happened to be after business hours and the kitchen was closed with no cooks in sight. Ignacio hurried to the kitchen to see what he could whip up. What he found was fried tortilla chips, cheese, and pickled jalapeños. After layering the ingredients and baking them in the oven, he served his guests his new creation. The women absolutely loved it, and playfully called the dish "Nacho's special" ("Nacho" is a Mexican nickname for anyone named Ignacio).

His dish became regularly featured at the Victory Club and slowly spread throughout the region, over the Texas border, and into the U.S. Ignacio never could have predicted that nachos would sweep the nation! Food Network even researched the best nachos in every state. They come covered in neon-tinged "cheese" at every ballpark in the country, and are even a staple for the culinary queen herself, Ina Garten. Now, anyone who knows Ina knows she doesn't do "typical." Simple, sure, but everything that comes out of her kitchen is the stuff of a hungry person's dreams. So when she makes nachos, they are anything but ordinary.

Uncommonly crabby

We know from a video about her fresh crab nachos that Ina's version includes plenty of the ingredients we know nachos to have: tortilla chips, lots of cheese, onions, avocados, and a pico de gallo to put on top. Where it gets crazy is when she includes lump crab, cream cheese, and mayonnaise. Unconventional, to say the least, but she claims on her Barefoot Contessa show that they are her "favorite nachos ever," so it's worth giving it a shot. She combines cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream and blends until smooth before adding green onion, green chiles, lime zest, and chunks of lump crab meat. On a baking pan, Ina then places two layers of tortilla chips, the crab mixture, and two kinds of grated cheeses before baking everything until hot and melted. Before serving, she tops the pan with pico de gallo and lime juice.

No, these nachos don't resemble anything like Ignacio Anaya's original creation, but Ina certainly isn't the first person to go outside of the box on this Mexican favorite. According to Business Insider, you can order barbeque nachos in Chicago topped with pulled pork, barbeque sauce, and fried onions, or sushi nachos in San Francisco complete with brown rice chips, spicy tuna, and seaweed. Face it, nachos are a dish that never get old, especially with the endless variations out there. And it's all thanks to a hardworking man from Mexico with excellent customer service.