Ali Slagle, a recipe developer, food stylist, and frequent contributor to The New York Times, has a new book out, I Dream of Dinner (so you don’t have to). It’s filled with 150 low-effort, high-reward recipes, all of which call for fewer than 8 ingredients and come together in less than 45 minutes.
I have made three recipes from the book: good sauce from so-so tomatoes, skillet broccoli spaghetti, and crispy potato, cheese, and egg tacos, the recipe featured in this post, the one I think captures the spirit of the book best of all: it takes all of ten minutes to make, and it might be the most delicious thing you eat all year.
Truly, I am astounded by this little recipe and the beautiful way Ali writes it. First, before the cooking begins, Ali instructs: “Read and rehearse what’s happening next. It comes together quickly.”
It’s true. In short, you spread grated potato into a skillet in a very thin layer. Ali notes: “You want the strands touching but not clumped, like a snowflake.” Then you top the potato with a thin layer of grated cheese and an egg and cook it covered for about 3 minutes. When the egg is cooked, you slide it all onto a warmed tortilla. Ali suggests eating “with hot sauce and lime wedges or whatever toppings you like (keeping in mind that the yolk is a built-in sauce)”.
Friends, I do not know how to eat these tacos slowly — they disappear from my plate about as quickly as they emerge from the skillet. There is something magical about the combination of the crispy potato and cheese frico-like crust — “so crisp,” Ali notes, “you could even skip the tortilla” — with the runny egg and warm tortilla. The tacos don’t need anything more than fresh lime and hot sauce, but I have been dotting them with garlic scape pesto, a gift from a friend, and I love the bite it adds.
This is a weekend of cookouts and cobblers, but if you have time to slip these tacos into your cooking agenda, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
PS: Thank you Amanda for pointing me to this wonderful recipe in the book 🎉
Ali Slagle’s I Dream of Dinner
Crispy Potato, Egg & Cheese Taco, Step by Step
Gather your ingredients. You need a small potato here as you’ll only need 1/2 cup total of grated potato.
Separate the grated potato into two lightly packed 1/4 cup portions.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter, then add the grated potato in two thin piles. Season with salt.
Sprinkle two tablespoons of grated cheese over each pile of potatoes. I’ve been using Asiago.
Make an indent in the center of each cheese pile, then drop an egg into each center.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Uncover then …
… slide each potato-cheese-egg pile onto your warm tortillas.
Finish with hot sauce and fresh lime, if you wish.
A friend gave me a little tub of homemade garlic scape pesto, which I have been loving with these tacos.
See that crispy potato-frico layer?
From Ali Slagle’s new book: I Dream of Dinner
- You only need 1/2 cup of grated potato, so if you are shopping, look for small potatoes. Even a 3-oz potato will give you more potato than you need for this recipe.
- The key to success here is to not use more than 1/4 cup of lightly packed grated potato per taco — it will be tempting to use more. Try to refrain.
- I’m using these red hatch chile tortillas from The Fresh Chile Company, which one of you — thanks, Larry! — introduced me to.
- The green sauce you see in the photos is a garlic scape pesto my friend Courtney gave me.
- 2 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 1/2 cup grated Russet potato, see notes above
- 1/4 cup grated Cheddar or Asiago or cheese of choice
- 2 eggs
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- hot sauce
- Warm the tortillas however you wish: in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat or directly over the flame or in your toaster or toaster oven. Transfer to a plate.
Read and rehearse what’s happening next. It comes together quickly:
- Heat the olive oil or butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Sprinkle the potato into two piles in the pan, then use a spatula or fork to spread out each pile to about the size of your tortilla. You want the strands touching but not clumped, like a snowflake. The more space between the potato, the crispier the final result.
- Salt the potato, then evenly sprinkle the cheese over the potato. It’s OK if some cheese comes into contact with the pan—it’ll taste like the crispy edges of a grilled cheese.
- Make an indent in the center of each pile and crack an egg right in there. Salt and pepper the eggs, then cover the skillet and cook until the cheese and potatoes are golden and the egg white is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Use a spatula to wiggle the potato and cheese loose from the skillet, then slide them onto your tortillas. Eat with hot sauce and lime wedges or whatever toppings you like (keeping in mind that the yolk is the built-in sauce).
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keywords: egg, potato, taco, cheese, crispy, tortillas