Ultimate Game Day Nachos + MVP Cheese Platter

Nachos are the ultimate DIY game day food. And with the ultimate game day just around the corner, we figured we’d take a moment to discuss the proper way to prepare the dish.

When done right, a good nacho is a veritable frenzy of flavor and texture, everything contrasting and complementing at once. It is crunchy and chewy and creamy and gooey, spicy and roasty and tangy and sweet. And while it’s quite a straightforward dish to make, it’s not as simple as dumping stuff on a tray and sliding it all into the oven.

After all, we’ve all had nachos that amount to less than the sum of their parts. The tortillas turn soggy under too much weight. The meat seems to be there more to tick off a box than to provide texture and taste. The cheese comes shredded from a bag and is mostly reminiscent of wax. There are plenty of potential pratfalls while navigating your way through NachoLand. So we are sharing our recipe to help you find your way. Behold, Murray’s Monger’s Nachos:

murray's best cheese chorizo nachos recipe super bowl party football mexican food

murray's best cheese chorizo nachos recipe super bowl party football mexican food

At the core of this recipe is the selection of cheese and meat. We use wheels of Arzúa-Ulloa and Pawlet, both of which are exceedingly excellent melters and combine for a buttery profile that provides the ideal base on which to build the bold flavors of a proper nacho. And you’ll be getting some of that boldness from La Quercia Nduja—a spicy prosciutto spread—and Palacios Chorizo, a smoky, chewy, dried sausage.

murray's best cheese chorizo nachos recipe super bowl party football mexican food

The technique for making your nachos sturdy and durable is straightforward but essential: you want to build them in layers. A common mistake is laying down all the chips, then plopping on all the toppings. You want build your nachos almost like you would a club sandwich or a lasagna: there should be a couple levels of chips, each layered with cheese, meat, and toppings. That’ll keep the textures, flavors, and proportions balanced throughout. Keep that in mind, and you’ll have your nachos looking like the ones above by following this recipe:

murray's best cheese chorizo nachos recipe super bowl party football mexican food

murray's best cheese chorizo nachos recipe super bowl party football mexican food

Naturally (or shall we say: nachorally), that’s not going to be enough for game day. Your average football game lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes—and this is no average football game. Factor in the pregame broadcast, a glut of commercial time, and the high-production halftime show, and you’re looking at an event in excess of 4 hours. Kitchen expertise—what we’ll call conventional oven wisdom—has established that the primary folly of game day-hosting is frontloading the food offerings. If you prepare everything to be served at kickoff, your food will be fresh for about the first half of the first quarter. That leaves you and your guests snacking on limp, lukewarm food for most of the night.

Instead, you want to get everything set beforehand, and then bring the food out in waves. For example, prep your nachos before the game, and then pop them in the oven at the beginning of the second quarter. They’ll be ready before halftime, and will carry your crowd through to the latter part of the game, at which point it’ll be time to bust out the sweets.

Still, you need to hit them with a solid spread upon arrival, and we’ve designed one for that express purpose. We call it The MVP:

game day sports cheese and meat platter spread board

game day sports cheese and meat platter spread board

That’s 2.5 pounds of cheese and half a pound of premium charcuterie, along with buttery olives and two types of crackers. It easily serves 8-10 people and requires absolutely no prep on your part. It is also best enjoyed at room temperature, meaning you can put it out before your guests arrive and they can return to it throughout the game for periodic pecking.

Between your nachos and your cheese platter, you’ve got a first-rate, sharable feast that will minimize your time in the kitchen and maximize your time enjoying the game. And just like that, no matter who ends up winning, you’ll be sure to come out on top.

Nacho Average Taco Toppings

It’s Cinco de Mayo, it feels like it’s summer out, and we want one thing – Tacos! But the problem is, we’re totally over our usual cheese choices. We want to spice things up, so we set out today to create some unique tacos with some delicious cheeses. And hey, we even threw in a nacho option for those of you who prefer the super cheesy option!


While cotija is traditional, there was something missing when we sprinkled the crumbly white cheese over our tacos. We wanted a little more tang, a little bit more of a kick to go with each flavorful bite. We settled on Capri – a fresh goat’s milk chevre from Massachusetts. Capri is lovely and lactic, with delicate citrus notes that really brighten up that taco flavor – think of it as a squeeze of lime. We really loved them on top of shredded chicken tacos, since Capri adds a rich creaminess that balances well with the light meat!

Tickler Cheddar

We’re totally tickled by the idea of adding an English cheddar to our tacos – and you’ll be surprised how well it works. Freshly shredded, we sprinkled this nutty, tangy cheese over some pork tacos (with some pinto beans, of course) and yum! A little bit of sweetness from the cheddar makese the spices in the taco shine, especially with a peppery salsa. The combo definitely benefits from a cold, crisp Mexican cerveza, just in time for that summer weather!


A hint of smokiness was just what our beef tacos needed, so we broke out a Spanish standard. From Basque country, made with raw sheep’s milk, Idiazabal spends some time over a smoldering fire, lightly smoking the cheese. Spaniards have been doing this for years, hanging the wheels over a fireplace in order to let the wet whey dry a little quicker. This toothsome, rich cheese is super buttery and just a little bit meaty, which makes it great for upping the robust flavor of your taco.

Arzua Ulloa

What if we told you we found the perfect nacho cheese? A cheese so creamy and gooey that you don’t even have to melt it? That’s what you’re getting with Spain’s Arzua Ulloa. It is mild, yet complex, with hints of freshly churned butter and proofing bread dough. Arzua Ulloa packs all this delicious flavor and still boasts unrelenting creaminess. It will melt the moment it hits your warm tortilla chips, and will leave them tasting whey better than that bright orange nacho cheese we usually think of. Nachos: Murray’s Style.

These Gorgeous Spanish Cheeses Selected by Enric Canut for Murray’s Will Blow your Mind

arzua_ulloaLet’s say you’re throwing a party. You’re planning to wow your guests with gorgeous cheeses, because you’re awesome. It’s our job to make you look great, and it’s a job we take incredibly seriously.

Our buyers constantly scour the world for wonderful, unique cheeses and other deliciousness. Their most recent trip to Spain was a gigantic win. They travelled with Spanish cheese superstar Enric Canut, who Food and Wine calls a “cheese revolutionary turned ambassador.” They came home with magnificent booty.

“After the Civil War and World War II, for a long time Spain was a very poor country,” Canut told Food & Wine. Technocrats associated with Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic organization that was particularly powerful under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, required industries to work to minimum production standards. “They said, ‘We don’t need producers of 50 kilos of milk a day; you work 10,000 liters a day or you don’t work at all.”

The sad outcome: Spain’s artisanal cheesemakers went out of business, and a few went underground. Spain lost many of its beloved cheeses, and much of its deep-rooted cheesemaking tradition.

But democracy returned, and with it, the craft of making small-batch cheese. Enric Canut was very much in the center of Spain’s slow yet significant cheesy rebirth. He shepherded the return of the Catalan favorite Garrotxa, and is now a sort of spokesperson for incredible cheese being made throughout the diverse regions of Spain.

He helped introduce us to some of these beauties we brought home from Spain—Enric is also a cheese matchmaker. Some of these cheeses have never set (cheese)foot into the USA until now are not available anywhere else in the country.

All that wouldn’t be so exciting if they weren’t absolute stunners. Their flavors, textures and aromas burst with personality, funk, and love. These are the products of time, place, really hard work, and big imagination.

That character shines through on any cheese plate. Break out some marcona almonds, membrillo and crusty bread—perhaps a cold sherry and some warm friends. Life is good.

Arzua Ulloa

On the banks of the Ulluo River in Galicia, where Arzua Ulloa (pictured above) is made and loved, it is sometimes called queixo do pays, meaning “cheese of the land”. A shining example of Spain’s recent cheese renaissance, Arzua Ulloa is creamy and mild, redolent of freshly warmed cream and toasted walnuts.

Arzua Ulloa is a superstar melter. Make a no-joke grilled cheese, with or without quince paste (we vote with). Or serve with honey and marcona almonds, beside a crisp Albariño.

torta_de_cabraTorta de Cabra

Who needs subtlety? Go for this farmstead, raw milk beauty from Extremadura’s Sierra Suroeste Mountains if you like your cheese briny, goaty, walnutty and fabulously bawdy. It’s handmade and carefully aged in earthenware pots. Toast Spain and break out a cask of sherry.




barra_maduratBauma Madurat 

Cheese pioneer Toni Chueca put goat cheese on the Catalan culinary map with Bauma Madurat. His bright, lemony log is covered in veggie ash, and it’s genius crumbled in salads and omelets. Pop open a bottle of lively Cava, or a crisp Pale Ale.




mahon_meloussaMahon Meloussa

It makes perfect sense that Mahon has been made since Roman times. It’s just so lovable. Is it the balance of salt and sweet toffee? Firm texture and buttery smoothness? Its sheer tastiness?

The DOP regulations allow for a maximum of 5% sheep milk to be used—a throwback to when farmers needed to use whatever milk they had on hand. Mahon DOP Meloussa is made from 95% raw cow’s milk and 5% raw sheep’s milk, and the latter delivers just a hint of briny tang. Serve with juicy figs and a hoppy IPA.

piconPicon Bejes Tresviso

Check out how pretty this is! Piquant teal veins zigzag through Picon’s luxuriously buttery paste. It’s musty and earthy in a way only European cheeses can be—bold and balanced, salty and refined. Serve on baguette with a drizzle of honey for an elegant appetizer. Pair with sherry or tawny port for dessert.