Go tortilla-less, if you dare
copycat naked egg taco
Credit: Photo by @TacoBell via Twitter

Waiting in line (or in a line of cars at the drive-through) isn’t exactly how I want to spend my mornings. I also don’t love leaving my house for food, unless I’m looking to try out a new restaurant. So, when Taco Bell came out with the Naked Egg Taco I was intrigued, sure, and a little weirded out too. I did, however, know that I needed to try one. Since we’ve already established I don’t like leaving my kitchen very often, a copycat recipe was in order. The Naked Egg Taco is a bit of a strange take on a breakfast taco: a sturdy fried egg acting the shell lined with thick swipe of cheese sauce (glue to hold the tortilla-less taco together) filled with bacon or sausage, fried potatoes, and shredded cheddar. It looks like a structural nightmare, but it’s actually not that tricky to put together.

Begin the Naked Egg Taco by preparing the fillings: At the fast food restaurant, the taco comes with a choice of crumbled bacon or sausage, so make your choice (or say the hell with it and use both) and crisp up the meat in a pan, then set it aside on a paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile prepare the seasoned potatoes: Whisk together 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika paprika, and ½ teaspoon turmeric in a small bowl. Cube 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, boil them until you can pierce a paring knife through their centers, then drain the potatoes and dry them well on a dish towel.

Heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the potatoes to the pan and sauté, letting them get golden brown and crisp on each side. Dump in the spice mixture, as well as plenty of salt and pepper, and give the whole mixture a good toss. Continue to cook for another few minutes, or until they taste done.

While the potatoes cook, separate 2 eggs, leaving the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another. In a small bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon xanthan gum and 2 teaspoons water, then pour the mixture into the bowl of egg whites and whisk well.

Heat a small nonstick pan spritzed with cooking spray over medium. If you want to be precious about a perfectly round egg taco shell, place a large pastry ring on the pan. If you don’t have a ring, use a 6-inch nonstick pan and let the whites spread to the corners. Dump in the egg white mixture and let sit for a few seconds to set. Scoop up 1 of the egg yolks and drop it slightly off center of the egg white. Use the other yolk if you’d like, or save it for baking. If you’d like a more flat taco “shell,” break the yolk. It won’t look as perfect, but it will make a smoother surface. Let cook for another minute or so, then pull off the ring if using and gently flip the egg. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the yolk is no longer jiggly, then slide out onto a plate.

Open a jar of queso and warm it in the microwave, or melt a good hunk of Velveeta in the microwave. Spread a few teaspoons of queso on the egg taco shell, then begin bend the taco gently in half. Fill the taco with shredded cheddar cheese, potatoes, bacon, and bacon or sausage. Save any leftovers for round 2. I recommend eating this bad boy with a knife a fork, or holding it together with a piece of waxed paper.