Bomb Nachos

Bomb nachos

Bomb nachos, Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook by Kelsey Barnard Clark. Photography by Antonis Achilleos.

Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook

A modern take on Southern cooking with 100+ accessible Southern recipes and hospitality tips, from Kelsey Barnard Clark, 2016 Top Chef winner and Fan Favourite

From preeminent chef, multitasking mom, proud Southerner, and 2016 Top Chef winner Kelsey Barnard Clark comes this fresh take on Southern cooking and entertaining.

In Southern Grit, Kelsey Barnard Clark presents more than 100 recipes that are made to be shared with family and friends. Indulge your loved ones in delicious modern Southern meals, including Bomb Nachos, Savannah Peach Sangria, Roasted Chicken and Drippin’ Veggies, and six variations of Icebox Cookies.

Featuring beautifully styled shots of finished dishes and the Southern home style, as well as Kelsey Barnard Clark’s tips for stocking the pantry, entertaining with ease, and keeping your house guest-ready (with or without toddlers).

Readers of Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines and Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon, fans of Kelsey Barnard Clark and her stint on Top Chef, and any home cooks who love cooking and serving Southern food, have a young family, and like to host guests will appreciate these modern homemaking tips, the approachable instruction, and the contemporary repertoire of recipes that brim with flavours of the Deep South.

SOUTHERN FOOD IS PERENNIALLY POPULAR: With 100 simple recipes that cover all occasions, plus entertaining tips throughout the book, Southern Grit has wide-ranging appeal for the broad audience of people who love Southern flavours.

TOP CHEF WINNER & FAN FAVORITE: Kelsey Barnard Clark is a self-branded “spicy Joanna Gaines.” Her personality and talent were showcased on Top Chef, leading her to win the title of Fan Favourite in addition to winning the season overall—only the second time in 16 seasons when that’s happened.

Perfect for:

• Fans of TOP CHEF and Kelsey Barnard Clark
• Southerners and fans of Southern cooking
• Home cooks who like to host and entertain
• Home cooks with young families

Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook is available at and  

Bomb Nachos

My girls’ group inspired this entire chapter. We started out as a few young women who would meet once a month, alternating houses and sharing potluck dishes. Dinners were late, drinks were ample, and conversation was adults-only. Our group is now a strong, close-knit crew of twelve women who have carried, showered, birthed, prayed over, cried for, and nurtured sixteen babies together. We’ve survived infertility, miscarriages, and devastating loss. We’ve guided, supported, and celebrated each other’s careers. We’ve been secret-keepers, protectors, and healers. By sharing both the mundane and the profound, we’ve created a steadfast bond and unwavering support system. I doubt I’ll ever be able to adequately show my gratitude for each of these women, but I’ll continue to try my damnedest, one plate of their favourite, flavorful nachos at a time.



2 lb [900 g] ground beef, pork, or turkey
½ cup [120 ml] olive oil
1 cup [150 g] chopped onion
½ cup [75 g] chopped bell pepper (any variety)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup [120 ml] red wine vinegar
4 cups [960 ml] classic salsa, store-bought
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder


3 cups [450 g] thinly sliced bell peppers (any variety)
3 cups [450 g] thinly sliced onions
1 cup [240 ml] olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder


Two 16 oz [450 g] bags tortilla chips, from your local Mexican restaurant or grocery store
2 cups [440 g] canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups [960 g] queso fresco
2 cups [475 ml] queso cheese dip, store-bought, melted
3 cups [720 ml]

Homemade Salsa or store-bought salsa
1 cup [240 g] sour cream
1 cup [150 g] sliced fresh jalapeño peppers
4 cups [150 g] shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup [20 g] cilantro leaves, packed
1 cup [150 g] diced or thinly sliced English cucumbers
1 cup [150 g] diced or thinly sliced radishes
2 whole avocados, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
3 limes, cut into wedges

To make the bolognese: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the meat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove the meat and set aside.

In the same pan, combine the oil, onion, peppers, and garlic and sauté over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

With the heat still on low, add the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions and peppers. Turn up the heat to high and deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove browned bits. Cook for 2 more minutes, or until the vinegar has almost evaporated.

Add the salsa, 2 cups [480 ml] of water, the meat, cumin, paprika, and garlic and onion powders and let simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced, leaving very little liquid in the pan. Season with salt.

To make the veggies: In a large sauté pan over high heat, sauté the peppers and onions with olive oil, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika and garlic powder. Season with salt.

To assemble the nachos: Preheat the oven to 350°F [175°C].

On two half-sheet pans, spread out the chips. Evenly layer the Spanish Bolognese, Fajita Veggies, and black beans over the chips, then add a few more chips to create more crunch, and sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle with the crumbled queso fresco and drizzle 1 cup [240 g] of the warmed queso cheese dip over the top. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted.

After removing the chips from the oven, spoon the salsa over the top, then add dollops of sour cream, and drizzle with the remaining warm queso cheese dip. Layer with jalapeños, then iceberg lettuce. Evenly sprinkle with the cilantro, cucumber, and radish. Add slices of avocado and top with green onions. Serve on trays with lime wedges on the side. I typically offer forks and knives for eating, as these nachos are the quintessential beautiful mess.

VARIATION Smoked Nachos

Sub your favourite smoked meat from your local barbecue shop for the Spanish Bolognese, drizzle the nachos with ½ cup [120 ml] of your favourite barbecue sauce, and you’ve got the best Tex-Mex mashup of all time.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books.

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