Last Saturday, I catered a wedding reception on Lucy Creek. The bride and groom chose to have two stations. One station featured southern favorites like pork tenderloin, meatballs and pimento cheese and the other station was a Nacho Bar. The Nacho Bar was so much fun! With Cinco de Mayo coming up on Sunday, May 5th, I thought a column featuring Nacho Bar recipes would be a buena idea. Saturday’s wedding reception was for 100 guests, so I adapted a few of my catering recipes to accommodate a smaller party. If you want to host an event for lots of people, you can easily double and triple all the recipes. Be sure to offer a bunch of accoutrements like guacamole, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos and black olives. To see a short video clip of my wedding Nacho Bar, complete with plating ideas and set up, visit or @chefdebbicovington on YouTube. Feliz Cinco de Mayo and Congratulations to Halli and Zach!



Spicy Sausage and Tomato Queso

Velveeta isn’t technically cheese. It’s actually a processed cheese product that’s similar to American cheese. Velveeta is great for dips because it melts evenly and has a creamy texture.

1 (32-ounce) package Velveeta

2 (10-ounce) cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

1 pound pork sausage, cooked and drained

Cut Velveeta into 1-inch cubes. Place in a medium pot and melt over medium-low heat. Add tomatoes with chiles and cooked sausage; heat through. Serve queso in a crock pot or small chafing dish. Recipe may be doubled or tripled. Serves 10 to 12.


Buffalo Chicken Dip

Spicy and delicious! Use your favorite bottled hot wing sauce to make this wonderful dip. I like Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 cup bottled hot wing sauce

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (16-ounce) bottle ranch dressing

½-¾ cup chopped celery

1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Celery leaves, optional

Tortilla chips

Celery, cut into 3-inch sticks

Boil chicken breasts until cooked through. Cool and shred.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken with 1 cup hot wing sauce.  Spread chicken mixture evenly in a lightly greased casserole dish.  In a saucepan, combine cream cheese and ranch dressing over medium heat until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over the chicken.  Sprinkle with chopped celery and then with the shredded cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with fresh celery leaves, if desired. Serve warm with sturdy tortilla chips and celery sticks.  Serves 8 to 10.


Corn and Black Bean Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Southwestern Caviar!

2 (15.25-ounce) cans yellow corn, drained

2 (15.25-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

½ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons ground cumin

¼ cup vegetable oil

In a medium bowl combine corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and red onion.  In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, vinegar, mustard, cumin, and vegetable oil. Toss dressing with vegetable mixture. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.  Serves 8 to 10.


The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. For more great recipes and to view her cooking demonstrations, visit and subscribe to Debbi’s YouTube channel. Debbi’s website address is She may be reached at 843-525-0350 or by email at