Thanks so much for all the nacho suggestions. I decided to go with Akatonbo's idea of using chorizo and it was a winner. My nacho-loving friend (I made these for his birthday instead of a cake) thought they were awesome, as did everyone else at the gathering. Here's what I did:
In a 15x10 shallow roasting pan I layered:
- Tortilla chips (locally made)
- A bit of shredded cheese (blend of Jack, Cheddar, Asadero, and Queso Quesadilla)
- Refried beans which I softened in a skillet with a bit of oil, and added a couple of chopped chipotles in adobo sauce.
- Pork chorizo, browned and crumbled
- LOTS of the aforementioned cheese
Baked at 400 until hot and cheese is thoroughly melted and gooey.
Topped it with :
- Guacamole (3 avocadoes, garlic salt, a bit of tomatillo salsa, squeeze of lime)
- Dollops of sour cream (I put the birthday candles in the dollops and it looked quite festive)
On the side, so people could add as much heat as they wanted:
- Salsa fresca (I used 4 tomatoes, 1/2 large white onion, 3 serrano chiles, cilantro, squeeze of lime, a bit of garlic salt)
The salsa was a huge hit with my friend. It packed a very nice heat.
But the revelation was using chorizo. So rich and flavorful.