Spring in North Dakota is an exercise in patience.
You cannot allow yourself the sigh of relief that the people of Missouri or Arkansas might feel when March rolls around. Sure, they might experience their freak snowstorm every now and again but they know it won’t last. For all of us north of I-80 we know it most certainly will, probably until sometime around mid-June.
So we soak up the sun when we can. Peak at the green triangular tips of the tulip leaves popping up out of the ground and hope they will last through the inevitable 15°F nights surely coming sooner or later. And then we tuck that optimism away where it will be safe, zipped inside our parkas or underneath our stocking caps.
We soothe our frayed nerves with melted cheese, roasted potatoes, and fried eggs. Because if there’s anything that can calm the anxiety of one more bitter cold morning it’s nachos for breakfast.
The base for these nachos are hunks of sweet potato tossed in taco seasoning (aka cumin, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne) and roasted in a super hot oven until browned and just cooked through.
There are two levels of toppings on these nachos and you can pile on whatever you’d like, you really can’t go wrong here. For the first layer I chose chorizo, black beans, and sharp aged white cheddar. Under the broiler it goes until it reaches the optimum bubbly-slightly-burnt-in-some-spots-cheese-effect.
The second layer I’ve gone with fried eggs and a fresh mango-tomato salsa with jalapeño, cilantro, and tequila because I like to maintain some level of hopefulness and there’s nothing like fresh fruit and tequila to help me put on those rose-colored glasses.
- 1 ripe mango, pitted and diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed and diced, seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, store-bought or homemade
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided
- 9 ounces Mexican-style pork chorizo
- 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained but not rinsed
- 2 cups grated aged white cheddar
- 4-6 large eggs
- Sliced jalapeños
- queso fresco
- sour cream
- cilantro leaves
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and add more salt or lime juice as needed.
- Heat oven to 450°F and arrange rack in the upper third. Lay sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon of oil. If your seasoning doesn't contain salt add a teaspoon of kosher salt too. Toss sweet potatoes in the oil and spices then lay in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Roast until golden on the edges and a knife easily slides through, about 10-15 minutes. Don't overcook or they'll be too mushy.
- While sweet potatoes are cooking, place chorizo in a medium frying pan and cook over medium heat until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and heat broiler to high. Top potatoes with chorizo, beans, and cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly and browned, about 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Fry eggs to desired doneness.
- Remove nachos from the broiler and either place eggs on top or place each egg on an individual plate with some nachos. Top with garnishes and salsa and serve.
One More Thing
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