Red (Strawberry), White (Chocolate), and Blue (Blueberry) Nachos Print This
Mascarpone cheese has always been a bit of a mystery to me. The name itself sounds sinister, don’t you think? Like it might be related to Al Capone and the mafia or something.
Instead of hanging with my favorite Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Philadelphia Cream Cheese at the grocery store, it can usually be found in the high rent district, otherwise known as the deli cheese case. Up until now, if a recipe specified a choice of Mascarpone or cream cheese, I would choose cream cheese because of the price and easy availability.
After creating these nachos, I am now a Mascarpone fan–especially with fresh strawberries. This exquisitely flavored Italian cream cheese is worth the money. Slather it on cinnamon-sugar, baked flour tortilla chips. Then top with fresh fruit and white chocolate shavings for a snack or dessert that will start a celebration in your mouth. Come to think of it, the crunchy chips do kind of explode when you bite into them. I experimented with making tostadas instead of nachos, but they were awkward and messy to eat because the chips break into a thousand pieces when they meet your teeth. Better to cut small wedges you can enjoy in one bite.
If you can’t find Mascarpone, substitute softened and sweetened cream cheese, or whipped cream cheese. Calorie watchers might try yogurt cheese or a low-fat Swiss cheese.
For you organized types, bake the chips ahead of time. They will stay crisp in a plastic bag for at least a day or two (maybe longer, but I’ve never had any stick around long enough for me to research the matter). Fresh flour tortillas are quick to cook up in a pan and produce unbelievably flaky chips when baked. Any brand of flour tortilla should work, although the thinner the better, in my book.
Red White and Blue Dessert Nachos
4 flour tortillas, cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
8-ounce container Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 pound fresh strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries (or other fresh fruit such as peaches or kiwi)
Whipped cream, sweetened
2 ounces white chocolate, grated with a potato peeler
Cut 8-inch flour tortilla into 8 wedges. Squirt each triangle with one pump of butter spray.
Mix cinnamon and sugar together and place it in small container with holes (like a jar previously containing spices). If unavailable, you can just use your fingers to sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the wedges.
Bake wedges at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes or until crisp. They should shatter when done. If they are still chewy, leave in the oven a bit longer. Tortillas vary in thickness so yours may take more or less time to become crisp. Allow to cool. These can be made ahead of time to this point.
While waiting for chips to cool, clean and quarter strawberries. Place in a bowl with clean blueberries and sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over all. If you want additional flavor, now is the time to add some amaretto, vanilla or lemon to the fruit. Allow to sit while you bake chips.
Place a dab of Mascarpone cheese on top of each chip.
Arrange quartered strawberries and blueberries on top of cheese as desired, and squirt a generous amount of whipped cream in the middle of the plate.
Sprinkle grated white chocolate over all, if desired. When making these up ahead, prepare up to the point of garnishing with whipped cream. Once you add the whipped cream, nachos should be served immediately to avoid soggy chips.
Total Preparation Time: Makes Several