Best Eaten Alone Without Pants On: Pineapple and Bacon Nachos

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Pineapple and bacon nachos. [Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Reversing the role of the pineapple and the pork in tacos al pastor to produce my bacon-wrapped-roasted-pineapple tacos was an easy way to make a familiar dish exciting and new. Sort of like using soppressata instead of pepperoni on my pizza, or putting on pants before I go to work.* But there are only so many tacos I can eat. With tons of pineapple and bacon left over in my fridge, and nachos on the brain, I decided to adapt the recipe to work as individually topped nachos.

* Ahh, the joys of working from home.

The first step was to simplify the preparation. In my taco recipe, I rub my pineapple with an adobo-style marinade, drape it with bacon, and slow-roast it until it's tender and browned. Nachos should be a much more straightforward affair, so for this recipe, I instead brown bacon in a skillet, then brown the pineapple right after. In place of the adobo marinade, I use a couple of chipotle chilies (already conveniently canned in adobo) and blend them with orange juice, which provides bright acidity and sweetness to balance out the heat.

I tried playing with a number of cheeses here, including your standard nacho options, but it turned out that the best choice was an unexpected one: Brie. There's something about its nuttiness and funk that goes really nicely with the sweet smoke of the pineapple and bacon combo. An Alpine-style cheese, like Gruyère or Comté, would also work really well.

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Once the bacon, pineapple, and cheese are all nice and gooey on the chips, I top them off with a few fresh ingredients: thinly sliced red jalapeño chilies, a dollop of my Charred Salsa Verde, a little of the chipotle-orange sauce, and some fresh cilantro.

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I gotta admit, they are a little bit odd-looking, but their flavor makes up for it.

If anyone walks in on you eating these, with a puzzled look on their face, you can proudly state, "Yes, there is pineapple on my nachos, and yes, they are delicious." Then go put on some pants. They weren't puzzled by the nachos.