My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Recipe of the Week…TIN CAN NACHOS with Mix Master – Michael Perea

Greetings fellow Dads That Cook, my name is Michael Perea…. aka “Mix Master Michael”.  A little background on myself, I was born in San Francisco CA, grew up just north in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa to be exact…. and for the past 15 years have called Las Vegas, Nevada home….

Way back in time July of 1988, I played hooky from my marketing career, shut my pager off, and went to see the movie “Cocktail” with Tom Cruise…. the next day I signed up for bartending school, and have been in the business 31 years now….

As much as I have loved mixology, traditional and flair bartending, my BIG personal passion is cooking.  I have ZERO formal training, have never been employed as a cook or chef, and rarely if ever follow a recipe.

Where do I get my ideas for cooking? Great question…. I love shopping for food! I don’t mind spending my day going to several ethnic grocery stores, deli’s, butchers, and seeking out fresh produce and specialty ingredients…..

Yes, I am a Dad…. I have one son named Jarek Perea, who is 14 years old, very academically inclined, loves baseball, and gaming.  He occasionally watches me cook, asks a few questions, but really hasn’t been bit by the cooking bug yet….  but I try to teach him a few tricks here and there…. But he loves trying my creations, has his favorites, and usually gives me a 1-10 grade the next day….

Today I’m going to break down one of Jarek’s favorites, Tin Can Nachos.  This dish comes from my buddy Guy Fieri of The Food Network, and can be found on the menu at many of his restaurants, including here in Las Vegas, and goes by the name of “Trash Can Nachos”

So, I’ve taken this idea and concept, and put a personal spin on it by incorporating and/or omitting ingredients that work for my families tastes.

Here is a list of the ingredients I like to use, again, many of them are optional and your only limited to your imagination…. so go for it!!!!

Most importantly you’re going to need the tin can mold…. I recommend buying an extra large can of something you can freeze and use later, such as tomatoes or sauce.  Cut the lids off both ends, and remove any labels, wash & dry.

On a sheet pan lay out:

*Fried corn tortilla chips
*Shredded cheeses ( Mexican Blend )
*1 can black and 1 can pinto beans rinsed
*Meat  ( I use smoked pork )
( and for you meat cookin bbq Dads, great way to use up left over meats )
*Cube 1 or 2 whole avacados
*Fresh corn off Cobb
*Small diced zucchini
*BBQ sauce

Lay all ingredients out on sheet pan evenly distributed with plenty of shredded cheese. Go light on the BBQ sauce not to over power. Bake in oven on broiler setting, keeping a close eye not to burn.  Once cheese is melted and some slight color on chips, pull from oven.

You’ll also need a cheese sauce ready to go at this point.  You could use the same cheese from earlier, but I recommend making it contrasting by using something different such as all white, Monterey Jack, smoked Gouda, queso, etc…

*Make a rue equal flour and butter
*Add milk or half and half
*Stir until thickened
*Add cheeses
*Splash of white wine never hurts
*Pinch of nutmeg and pepper

Place tin can mold on large plate.  Pour small amount of cheese sauce on bottom.  Using tongs start adding in chip mixture.  At half way point add more cheese sauce and continue filling with chips.  Add one more cheese sauce on top.

Now add final ingredients on top for presentation.  I like to use:

*Fresh Pico de Gallo
*Jalapenos or poblano peppers
*Thin sliced radishes
*Pickled onions
*Mexican Crema

Now gather the family around for the unveiling….. Slowly slide off the tin can mold to showcase your amazing tower of family fun Nachos!!!!!

This is an awesome interactive meal and a great way to sneak in and hide some vegetables on the kids…. Also, PRESENTATION is an important element to my style of cooking…. remember… “We eat with our eyes first”… so always keep in mind when plating, colors, final touches, etc…. If you can make them drool before they ever have a bite, your a rockstar!

Hope you enjoy this, and please put your own spin on it, and call it your own!  Until next time…. Cheers….


Michael Perea
Mix Master Michael