These Middle Eastern ‘Nachos’ are my take on one of our favorite appetizers, perfect for Game Day snacks or a romantic dinner for two ~ you decide!
*This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef® brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own. It gives me great pleasure to team up a brand that I feel so passionately about, thanks for supporting both of us!
I’m thrilled to be partnering with the Certified Angus Beef® brand today. If you’re a beef lover you probably already know that this is the top of the line. But don’t be confused, ‘Angus’ is the breed of cattle, and Certified Angus Beef® brand represents the best of the breed ~ only 1 in 4 Angus cattle meet the 10 tough standards for quality in order to be sold under the Certified Angus Beef® brand name. When you see the Certified Angus Beef® brand label on your meat, you know it’s the best beef you can buy.
To the extent that I have a ‘food philosophy’ here on tvfgi, it could be summed up in a couple of words... quality matters.
The single most important thing I can do to eat well (in all senses of the word) is to be mindful of the food I bring into my kitchen. It’s not about cutting out any particular food or food group, it’s about enjoying food that is grown, farmed, caught, or processed in the healthiest, most responsible manner, and that goes for everything from a simple tomato all the way up to a herd of Black Angus cattle.
Is there anything better than a platter of fresh hot nachos? I don’t think so. In this case, I’ve just subbed in some of our favorite Middle Eastern ingredients like toasted pita, spiced beef, chick peas, and a creamy tahini sauce. Lots of roasted pine nuts, too. I chose a Certified Angus Beef® brand top sirloin steak for this dish because it’s a lean cut of meat that’s juicy and delicious. With no bones to deal with, it slices up into little chunks easily. I could have also used a tri-tip or even a London broil.
When you choose your meat, look for marbling, the little white flecks within the meat, it’s what gives beef its flavor, tenderness and juiciness.
I have to admit I could have stopped at the point when those bits of tender steak hit the hot pan, the smell was intoxicating and I think I could have made a meal right then and there out of my cast iron skillet!
But one of the joys of exploring other cuisines is getting to experience completely different taste combinations. For these Middle Eastern style ‘nachos’ I season the beef with a combination of spices that is common in the Middle East, but not so much here. A 7+ spice mix called baharat is a heady blend of:
You can buy baharat ready made, there are many variations, or grind it yourself from the whole roasted spices (highly recommended.)
The base of my ‘nachos’ are fresh baked pita chips, and I made them myself, it’s so easy. (I follow my husband’s instructions to a ‘t’, he’s the chief pita chip maker in our family.)
- Cut pita rounds in half, then in quarters. Cut each quarter into 3 triangles.
- brush the top side with olive oil, and sprinkle with onion salt.
- bake at 350F for about 8-9 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes until golden.
While I call this an appetizer, it goes without saying that you can absolutely make a meal out of it. Add a nice fresh Greek salad and you’re set.
If you’re thinking about doing a special roast or steak for a Valentine’s dinner ~ check out the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Facebook Live series of videos, Chef Michael and Chef Gavin take you through everything from choosing the perfect cut of meat, to seasoning, cooking, and carving it up. These guys are pros! You’ll find lots of great beef recipes on the Certified Angus Beef® brand website, as well as the super cool Roast Perfect app.
Whether you eat beef several times a week, or more like once a month, you can enjoy the same top quality cuts of beef that top chefs and 5 star restaurants work with. Certified Angus Beef® brand is sold around the globe, and you’ll find it in your best local grocery stores and butchers ~
You can see all my Middle Eastern inspired recipes, HERE.
*This recipe is adapted from The Palestinian Table
Middle Eastern ‘Nachos’
- 4 round pita breads
- olive oil
- onion salt
- 1 lb top sirloin steak, Certified Angus Beef® brand
- 1 1/2 tsp baharat seasoning
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 jalapeno, finely minced, seeds and all
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup tahini, stir well before measuring
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice, about 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/3 cup cold water
- set oven to 350°F.
- Cut each pita round into 4 quarters, and then cut each quarter into 3 triangles. Lay the bread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly brush the top of each triangle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with onion salt. Bake for about 8-9 minutes, or until golden. Flip, and bake for another 4-5 minutes. Let cool and then arrange the pita triangles in a single layer on a serving platter.
- Put the chickpeas in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, cover, and set aside to keep warm.
- Whisk together the tahini sauce ingredients, adding the 1/3 cup water to loosen it up to make a thick but pourable sauce. Add more water if necessary. Taste to adjust the salt or lemon juice.
- Cut the steak into small 1/2 inch cubes. Season with the baharat spice. Heat a heavy skillet on medium high until quite hot. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan and then, working in 2 batches, brown the meat, letting it sear on the first side, and then shaking it around to brown it all over. You're looking for some good color on the beef, so make sure you've got a pretty high heat. This will only take a few minutes.
- Drain the chickpeas well, and spoon them over the pita chips. Sprinkle them liberally with the cumin. Follow with a layer of the tahini sauce, and then add the meat. Top with the toasted pine nuts and another drizzle of the sauce. Scatter the jalapenos over all.
- Serve immediately.
Make it your own ~
- A first layer of hummus would work nicely in this dish.
- You can use lamb as well.
Don’t forget to pin these Middle Eastern ‘Nachos’!
Questions and Reviews
We make this with chopped tomato and cucumber scattered on top as well as a layer of hummus before the chickpeas. Also scatter feta cheese on top. Could also lighten it up with grilled shrimp instead of beef. It is a family favorite. Oh, and I season my pita bread with garlic as well.
Yours was really ‘loaded’ ~ it sounds wonderful. A all veggie version would also be good, maybe I should do that before farmers market season is over, thanks for the feedback Becky, and glad you enjoyed it.
Recipe looks great can’t wait to try it. Do you have a recipe to make the baharat? TYY= kATHY
I link to one in the past, Kathy, and I plan to do it on the blog soon. This is Yotam Ottolenghi’s ~ http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/cookbook-of-the-week-jerusalem-a-cookbook-yotam-ottolenghis-baharat-recipe-2374614, but there are a lot of other variations.
These nachos look so delicious, the perfect appetizer idea!
This is such an interesting post to read, I took away quite a few nuggets! I love the creativity of your nachos. I would love to sit down to a plate of these!