Nachos for breakfast? It may sound strange until you consider that one of the greatest breakfast dishes of all time—chilaquiles—is basically a dressed-up version of nachos. In their cookbook, Ultimate Nachos, Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson offer more than a few tortilla chip-based breakfasts (including chilaqueles, of course). This particular dish, the Breakfast Nachos Skillet, is a take on baked eggs with spinach. They nacho it up by adding generous amounts of fresh mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes, and plenty of chips. The whole dish is baked in a cast iron skillet for pretty presentation as well as the practical need to contain all of that oozing cheese.
Why I picked this recipe: Nachos for breakfast? I say yes.
What worked: The spinach-tomato-egg-mozzarella combo is spot on. The mix of slightly softened chips on the bottom and crispy corners on the edges made for a delightful range in texture.
What didn't: I had to bake the nachos for an extra 10 minutes in order to get the egg whites to set, which unfortunately left me with less-than-runny and slightly blistered yolks. The final result was still tasty enough that I could (mostly) ignore the over-done yolks.
Suggested tweaks: Fiddling with the oven temperature would hopefully help the egg cooking problem. You could also play around with the greens mixture: anything soft and wilty will work well in place of the spinach. A bit of bacon wouldn't go amiss, either.
Reprinted with permission from Ultimate Nachos: From Nachos and Guacamole to Salsas and Cocktails by Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson, copyright 2013. Published by St. Martin's Griffin. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- One 6-ounce bag baby spinach
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 7 ounces corn tortilla chips, approximately half of a store-bought bag, or, if prepared fresh, use 15 corn tortillas, each cut into 6 triangles
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 large eggs, preferably organic if you prefer runny eggs
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat.
After a minute add the onion and leeks to the pan and season with the salt. Cook the vegetables until translucent and tender.
Add the spinach and continue to cook, turning the spinach over, until wilted and coated in oil. Add the lemon juice and continue to cook.
Meanwhile, evenly arrange the tortilla chips in a cast-iron skillet. (An oven-safe 10-inch pan will work as well.) Cover the chips with half of the cooked spinach-leek mixture. Evenly distribute the fresh mozzarella slices over the vegetables. Spread the remaining vegetables over the cheese.
Make four wells an equal distance apart in the vegetable mixture. Crack an egg into each well.
In a small bowl, toss the halved cherry tomatoes in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the tomatoes around the edge of the skillet to garnish.
Bake the nachos skillet in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the egg whites have firmed up. Bake for longer if you do not like runny eggs.