Mix up your morning routine by making these breakfast nachos

Who doesn’t love a good mash-up? Done right, it can turn disparate things into something deliciously different for the ears – or the taste buds.

That’s what we have with this breakfast nachos recipe from Nachos for Dinner by Dan Whalen, a man who has garnered a following by playing with ingredients since starting his blog, The Food in My Beard, in 2008. Whalen’s latest cookbook jacket touts his popular quesadilla bun burger video, which has 47 million views on Facebook and is basically a big, flat burger sandwiched between two melty quesadillas and cut into wedges.

Like that dish, this one is simple. It’s so basic that I was on the fence about sharing it in this column. Then I made it, watched folks devour it and knew it was a winner.

Besides, I’m a firm believer in breakfast for dinner, and an advocate of snacky suppers, too. A scrambled egg with cheddar and salsa scooped into a tortilla has been my evening meal more times than I can count. On weeknights, my husband and I have been known to cobble together a dinner from odds and ends in our cupboards and fridge.

That’s how the original nachos were born. Whalen shares the dish’s origin story: restaurant maitre d’ Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya first made the snack for a group of US army wives in 1943 in Piedras Negras, Mexico, using foods he had on hand: chips, cheese and jalapeños.

Whalen’s recipe combines two traditional breakfasts: Mexican chilaquiles – a recipe for that dish is featured in his cookbook as well – and American bacon and eggs. For many of us, it could probably be pulled together almost any night. Like all nachos, it is easy to vary and fun to eat, too, so, as Whalen points out, it would make a solid company’s-coming brunch dish as well.

He first gently scrambles the eggs and then makes them creamier with the addition of sour cream (or crema). Chips are layered on a baking tray; topped with cheese, cooked bacon and sausage; and grilled until the cheese melts and chips just start to brown. Then the custardy eggs are spooned on top. Finally, it’s dotted with salsa.

This recipe, like most of the others in the cookbook, definitely falls into the occasional indulgence category.

Whalen describes his recipe collection as “pretty traditional” and “really far out” (think Italian sub nachos or lamb gyro nachos). He said he draws on food that he’s enjoyed, including Mexican salsas and sauces, but also classic dishes from his childhood, such as beef stroganoff, and from other lands, including Vietnam, India and China.

Whalen said he strives to “appreciate, not appropriate” flavours from around the world, writing: “I want to make one thing very clear at the outset: I’m a white man writing a cookbook about recipes that riff conceptually (and sometimes materially) on Mexican dishes and also play with ideas from culinary traditions from all over the world.” His goal, he says, is to learn about different cultures through food and encourage others to explore all kinds of cuisines in a fun, creative way.

And while he plays pretty fast and loose with the definition of nachos, creating some eyebrow-raising combos, he urges us all to continue to rely on Anaya’s three pillars for building them: “crispy base (chips), melty layer (usually cheese) and flavorful toppings (such as jalapeños).”

Breakfast nachos

Love breakfast for dinner? This riff on nachos may be right up your alley. Soft, creamy eggs and crema are spooned on top of cheesy, meaty chips that have been crisped in the grill. Add your favourite toppings and dig in.

Total time: 35 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

6 large eggs

¼ tsp ground cumin

60g crema or sour cream, plus more for serving

340g tortilla chips (about 100 chips)

130g shredded pepper jack cheese

170g cooked sausage (any flavour), thinly sliced

5 slices thin-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

200g shredded cheddar cheese

130g salsa, for serving (optional)

Chipotle sauce, for serving (optional)

Sliced spring onions, for serving (optional)

Method:

Position the rack 10-12cm from the grill and turn it on.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the cumin and whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan and cook, stirring constantly and lowering the heat as needed, until the eggs just start to set and you get soft curds. Remove from the heat, stir in the crema or sour cream and cover.

On a large, rimmed baking tray, evenly arrange the tortilla chips, overlapping as little as possible. Top the chips with the pepper jack, sausage and bacon, followed by the cheddar. Transfer the baking tray to the oven and grill for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chips are starting to brown. Watch carefully to make sure they do not burn.

Remove the baking tray from the oven and, as evenly as possible, top the nachos with the scrambled eggs. Spoon the salsa, additional crema or sour cream and/or chipotle sauce on top and sprinkle with the spring onions, if using. Or serve the toppings on the side.

Nutrition information per serving (about 12 chips plus toppings, using salsa), based on 8 | Calories: 520; total fat: 34g; saturated fat: 14g; cholesterol: 216mg; sodium: 909mg; carbohydrates: 32g; dietary fibre: 4g; sugar: 3g; protein: 12g.

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

© The Washington Post


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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