The sauce that gives a plate of nachos so much appeal, nacho cheese is flavorful blend of melted cheese that is often combined with a few light spices and chopped or sliced chili peppers. The combination is poured over tortilla chips and served immediately, or served as a side dip for corn chips, tortilla chips, or flavored taco chips. These cheese sauce can be prepared with ease in the home, or purchased in prepackaged containers in most supermarkets.
Nacho cheese sauce can be created using mild or sharp cheddar, or with any blend of cheese that a person wants. Usually, the cheese will be grated and then allowed to slowly melt into a thick sauce. As it melts, some recipes call for adding some sort of liquid as a means of thinning the mixture slightly. One popular recipe calls for the addition of chopped tomatoes and chili peppers to the melting cheese, and a further refinement adds ground beef or sausage that has been crumbled and cooked to the mixture. This type of dip has been popular as a party dip for many years, and is often served in small slow cookers that help to maintain the temperature and texture of the cheese.
In addition to use in the creation of nachos and as a hot dip spiced with meats and peppers, nacho cheese can also be used in other types of recipes. For example, the sauce can be added to elbow macaroni to create a simple macaroni and cheese side dish that has a more exotic taste than the traditional recipe. It can be substituted for other cheeses in a variety of casseroles as well, often adding another layer of creamy texture to the dish. Even a simple omelet can be enhanced with a filling of cheese and various peppers and herbs.
Relatively inexpensive and versatile, nacho cheese can be used in a number of simple and tasty dishes. Commercial versions of the cheese can be found in jars, cans, and even in the frozen food section of some supermarkets. Often, the sauce can be heated in a double boiler or melted in a microwave oven with ease, making it simple to work with.