The summery days are fading quickly but that’s not to say we’re complaining! For Celebrity Chef Matt Basile, he tells us Fall is a great opportunity to do all sorts of activities before it gets too cold. “I love cooking outdoors around this time of year- the fire I cook off is just hot enough to keep everything comfortable.” He also tells us he loves outdoor movie watching when the sun goes down!
For those who are familiar with Chef Basile’s style of cooking from his shows, cookbooks, or his famous food truck, you already know his approach to food is a little about nostalgia (think carnival foods), and a lot about comfort and fun. He takes the most well-loved dishes and gives them an unexpected “oh wow!” twist.
Chef Basile tells us there’s nothing like a warm, cozy meal in these months. “Mac n’ cheese is normally my go-to comfort food, but this year I’m putting my unique spin on the dish – I’ll be making my Bacon & Eggs Mac n Cheese dish with Tostitos Strips tortilla chips on repeat.”
Now that kids are in some sort of school groove and activities are starting back up we need to hustle fast to get everyone fed. Admittedly, we often find ourselves in a rut on what to make that’s quick and yummy…and maybe the kids can help too!
“Whenever I need to throw together a quick meal, I always think of nachos. Steak & egg nachos are my all-time favourite. I love to layer Tostitos Restaurant Style tortilla chips like a lasagna with cheese, grilled striploin steak and sunny side up eggs.
Sounds drool-worthy? Yep, we thought so too. We made this dish on a crazy weeknight and thought it would be a fun one to have even for Halloween night to get a meal on the table before your little ghouls and goblins disappear for their night out. (Hey ever tried to order a pizza on Halloween night? We made that mistake before).
This is a versatile dish that can easily add or swap out protein – instead of bacon, try replacing it with roasted chicken, cooked ground beef, chopped Black Forest ham, or even roasted cauliflower. You can also use any noodle shape, so don’t worry about getting stuck on macaroni elbows. Like a little heat? Add salsa, jalapeño peppers, or your favourite hot sauce.
We know he’s the chef ambassador for Tostitos but honestly that crunchy topping is yum!
Here’s the recipe…
Chef Matt Basile’s Bacon & Egg Mac n’Cheese
1/2 bag Tostitos® Strips tortilla chips
1 jar Tostitos® Salsa con Queso (note: we used 1 cup of Salsa con Queso)
10 thick slices of bacon
2 tbsp canola oil, divided
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 ½ cups shredded marble cheddar
1 ¼ cup 2% milk
5 tbsp flour
5 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp chives, chopped
black pepper for garnish
How to Make It:
1. On a wire rack-line baking sheet, bake your bacon at 375F for 12 minutes until crispy. Chop the bacon into large bits and use the excess bacon fat to grease a large cast iron pan.
2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add 1 tsp of salt and then add macaroni once the water is back to a boil. Cook macaroni for 8 minutes or until al dente. Strain the pasta in a colander and then toss with 1 tbsp canola oil and place on a baking sheet to cool.
3. Next, melt butter in a large non-stick pot or pan on medium heat. Once melted, remove from direct heat and gradually add in flour, stirring simultaneously with a spoon or rubber spatula. Once a loose paste forms, slowly incorporate the milk into the roux (flour-butter mixture) on medium heat, constantly stirring. Once fully combined, gradually add up to one jar of the Tostitos® Salsa con Queso (you may want to adjust the amount to your liking here, it’s a very flexible recipe that way!) and incorporate it into the sauce making a salsa con queso cheese sauce for the macaroni. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce with half of the bacon and mix it all together.
4. Sprinkle half the shredded cheese onto the cast iron pan and make sure the entire base is covered. Add all the mac and cheese to the pan and evenly spread it around. Place it in the oven at 425F for 15 minutes. Remove it and place half the bag of Tostitos® Strips tortilla chips around the perimeter of the cast iron, then sprinkle the remaining bacon and cheese and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Ensure you leave a space in the centre for your eggs.
5. In a non-stick pan heat 1 tbsp oil on medium heat. To ensure an even cook on the eggs, crack the eggs into a bowl first, then pour the eggs from that bowl into the pan. Crack 3 eggs and then add them to your hot pan. Cook until whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny. Remove pan from the oven and transfer eggs to the centre. Season with salt, pepper and chopped chives, and serve.