Behold, the Breakfast Taco
Rochelle Bilow, photos by Danielle Walsh
Listen, we love tacos. We love them for lunch, we love them for dinner, and we especially love them for late-night snacks. We love them with meat and we love them with beans, and we’ll happily eat them any day of the week (whoever came up with the idea of “Taco Tuesday” was severely limiting things). So we were pretty pumped when Bon Appétit test kitchen cook Chris Wegan proposed the idea of creating three brand-new taco recipes…for breakfast.
It takes a lot for a brave young recipe to make it big on Bon Appétit‘s website and print pages, all the way from conception to brainstorming to testing and retesting. So how did Wegan make a case for his tacos? “They’re endlessly riffable—meaning they’re kind of a blank canvas,” he says.
So far, so good—we love a good blank canvas. But we’ve created plenty of tacos—why breakfast-specific ones? Why now? Wegan explains that he was inspired by the breakfast taco scene in Austin, Texas. To begin, Wegan wanted all of his tacos to have scrambled eggs as a base—but from there, things got interesting.
He definitely wanted to create a meatless breakfast taco, and black beans were an obvious stand-in for that. Lightly sautéed scallions and poblano chiles bring the heat, while a squeeze of lime juice brightens things up. To really take things to the next level (we’re all about that), Wegan tops it with a homemade ancho chile salsa.
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The next taco, Wegan explains, is inspired by the classic American breakfast sandwich: Bacon, eggs, and cheese on a roll. But why have a roll when you can have a tortilla, right? Wegan’s secret weapon here is cooking hearty russet potatoes in the rendered bacon fat for golden, crispy, meaty bites. Monterey Jack is his cheese of choice, but you can sub in your favorite. And to lighten things up (because, hello, bacon and bacon-fried potatoes), a ripe, creamy avocado is sliced and added on top. We’re into it.
Finally, for Wegan’s pièce de résistance, he created a chorizo and sweet potato taco. “I just wanted to throw everything delicious in this one,” he says. “Everything delicious” includes a lime crema, Mexican-style fresh chorizo, cayenne pepper, and a tomatillo salsa for a bright, fresh note.
With each taco stuffed with unique ingredients, are there any rules across the board for making them? According to Wegan, the key here is flour tortillas. Not corn? “Nope, not corn,” he explains. “I can get down with a restaurant corn tortilla, but the ones available in grocery stores are really just too thick, and a little gritty. A flour tortilla is easier to find and easier to fold.” Also of note: If you’re going to use a hot sauce, go for a Mexican-style one, like Cholula or Valentina. Wegan explains that they’re thicker and add an interesting textural element to the taco.
When you’re whipping up your own breakfast tacos, remember these words of wisdom from Wegan: “I wanted to get creative with these recipes—and ultimately that’s what the goal should be. That’s what breakfast tacos are all about.”