Book: “Ultimate Nachos: From Nachos and Guacamole to Salsas and Cocktails”; 134 pages, $19.99, by Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013.
What you get: Sweet and savory recipes — 84 in all. Chapters are divided into Salsa, Guacamole, Queso and Cheese Sauce, Nachos in Small Bites, Nachos for Breakfast, The Main Event, Dessert Nachos, Drinks and Extras. A simple recipe for homemade tortilla chips calls for only four ingredients: oil, corn tortilla, salt and cayenne pepper (Page 5) and a quick-and-easy recipe for guacamole calls for only five ingredients: avocados, red onion, tomato, lime juice and salt (P. 18). The book also includes more unusual recipes, such as Roasted Pineapple Salsa (P. 14), Tequila Mockingbird Guacamole (P. 20), Personal Pepperoni Pizza Nachos (P. 42), Hawaiian Nachos (P. 83) and, for dessert, Poached Pear and Gorgonzola Nachos (P. 99).
The mission: This book sets out “to elevate nachos from their status of neon-yellow-cheese-smothered chips to delectably gooey treats to share with friends and family.”
What we made:
Sunny-side Nachos (P. 53)
1 pound ground breakfast sausage (vegetarians can substitute Gimme Lean)
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
1 white onion, diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups, divided)
4 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a skillet, crumble and brown the breakfast sausage as per the package directions. Sprinkle in some cayenne for an additional kick.
3. Layer the tortilla chips in a 9 x 13-inch roasting pan. Evenly distribute the sausage, onion and tomato over the chips. Cover the chips with 1 ½ cups shredded cheese.
4. Bake the nachos for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
5. While the nachos are baking, fry 4 eggs sunny side up, leaving the yolks runny.
6. When the nachos are done, place the eggs directly on top of the nachos. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese over the eggs and season generously with salt and pepper.
7. Serve the nachos with a side of home fries and a hot cup of coffee.
Our assessment: Quick, affordable and easy! If you can dice vegetables and fry an egg, you can put this dish together in minutes. Ours baked in a cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. It’s a hearty, flavorful meal that will feed 4 to 6. To cut down on fat, we used turkey sausage, and to make it pretty, we used blue corn chips — red chips would also look nice.
Cost of ingredients: $11.50.