While I’d like to tell you my husband has a very refined palate and is my best recipe “taster,” he’s not. Of the three boys in my house, you’d think he’d have the most potential. I mean, for starters, he’s over seven years old.
The thing is, he thinks everything is great. Wonderful, right? Well. . . not always. He says things like, “I loved these grilled peaches,” when he’s actually eating roasted acorn squash. Yes, I know, it’s great he likes what he’s eating, but as a chef, I’m not thrilled to hear that he thinks he’s eating a completely different food than the one I’ve thoughtfully prepared. Or, how about the fact that he doesn’t eat meat, poultry, and gluten (the last to stand in solidarity with our son with Celiac Disease — which I do think is the sweetest thing ever). Oh, and he recently added “bottom feeders,” to his list (you know, many different shellfish, catfish, eel, etc.) — don’t ask. All of this, however, is part of what makes him the guy he is. And I really, really love that guy.
My husband absolutely loves Mexican food, specifically nachos. I know: fancy. These nachos are, however, sort of fancy. Fancy in flavor, that is — they’re smoky, sweet, spicy, and full of fresh scallions and cilantro. There’s no meal that can make my husband happier to come home to than nachos — except nachos with an egg cracked over them! These nachos could easily be called a caserole or Mexican lasagne; they’re really a layering of wonderful Latin flavors and textures. And of course, like my husband, the recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free!
Earlier this week, when we made the Vanilla Fig Preserves, I said that we’d be building a brunch menu. These breakfast nachos are a fabulous main course!
Oh, and my husband also loves Bloody Mary’s, and that recipe will be coming to you soon, too.
Recipe is below.
Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
3-1/2 pound tomatoes
1 generous tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
6 finely chopped scallions
1 bunch roughly chopped fresh cilantro
About 12-ounces corn tortilla chips
1-1/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (Sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack is great)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Lightly coat the bottom surface of a baking sheet with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Use a paring knife to remove the cores from the tomatoes and cut them in half. Then cut an “X” on the round side of each half. Only cut enough to slit the skin. Place the tomatoes flat side down on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven until the skin begins to pull away from the “X,” and they are starting to bubble.
Once the tomatoes are cool enough to touch, you can easily use your hands to slip the skin off each half. Then sprinkle them with salt and pepper and place them under the broiler just until they begin to char, about 3 minutes. Remove them from the broiler and turn the oven back on — this time to 350 degrees F.
Pour the tomatoes, along with all of their juices into a food processor. Add the chipotle peppers and blend until you have a smooth mixture. Season to taste with salt.
Pour about 1 cup of the roasted tomato-chipotle sauce into a rectangular baking dish, approximately 9 X 13 X 2-inches. Sprinkle the sauce with about 1/3 of the scallions and cilantro, followed by half of the chips. Then add about 1/2 of the remaining sauce, scallions and cilantro on top of the chips. Now sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese. Add the remaining chips topped with most of the scallions, cilantro and cheese — saving a bit of each for the end of the layering process. Crack 12 eggs into crevices on the top, with at least an inch or so between them. (It helps to use your hands to sort of make a tiny space for each egg, between chips.) Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the final bits of ingredients.
Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, until the eggs are cooked. Cook the eggs to your liking — I cook this just until the eggs are set, much like I’d cook a sunny-side-up egg — so that when you puncture the yolk, it runs a bit. The cooking time should be about 35 minutes. Let the nachos cool for about 10 minutes and serve.
FYI these make for just as great a dinner, as they do breakfast or brunch!