I've had this post sitting in my draft folder since June 25, 2016. It's been a long time coming, just waiting on me to hunt down the pictures and get some graphics ready. The photos were taken with my iPad. Tyler Florence shot a whole cookbook with one...so, a blog post now and then is okay, right?
Up until about a month ago I'd never heard of Chilaquiles. I'm not sure how I've lived this long without knowing what they were, but I'm glad I know now! Here's the story...
I was sitting in my living room watching a new to me show (Guy's Grocery Games) when a contestant decided to make a batch of Chilaquiles. He had this really touching story about his Mom. He said that all her life she was always cooking whatever people wanted to eat. He said that he appreciated her cooking, but that the fact that she cooked what they loved really meant a lot to him. He got all teary when he explained that the last thing his Dad asked his Mom to make was Chilaquiles.
With a story like that, I figured these things MUST be good. So, I watched him make them. I watched the judges rave about them. And then I started seeing them everywhere. One of my favorite food bloggers made a batch, but used canned enchilada sauce. I wanted the REAL deal. Her post convinced me that I COULD do it and that I HAD to.
So, I scoured the internet for recipes and having never tasted them in m life, decided to take a stab at it. I used a combination of these three recipes to get the finished product that I had in mind. I can officially say that I LOVE CHILAQUILES!!!! And I hope you will too.
Ingredient gathering is super simple. Canned tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, garlic, cilantro (or not), chicken broth, salt, oil, corn tortillas, and whatever toppings sound good to YOU are all it takes.
It's not as complicated as you might expect. This is one of those 30 minutes or less dinners. You make your sauce, you fry your tortillas (or use pre-made chips), and then you make a heaping mess on your plate and stuff your face.
They're goooood, I tell ya!
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
2 jalapenos, charred, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped (I had to leave this out because my store was OUT, yes OUT. I'll start with about a 1/2 cup and then add more according to taste and color. I suggest you do the same!)
1 Tbsp. veggie oil
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chicken stock
Place tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, onion, and cilantro into a blender. I used a Vitamix and blended it until it was nice and smooth.
Heat oil in a sauce pan over med-high heat. Add the sauce to the pan being aware that it will start bubbling and spitting right away. Be careful and start stirring. You'll want to boil it for about 7 minutes, stirring very often.
Reduce heat to keep things at a gentle simmer and stir in the salt and the chicken stock. Let it continue to simmer while you work on your tortilla chips. The sauce just keeps getting better the longer it cooks.
When you're happy with the way your sauce tastes, prepare the tortilla chips OR use pre-made tortilla chips. If you go that route, skip to the assembly step.
20 (6 inch) white corn tortillas, left out for a day or so and cut into 8 triangles each
oil for frying
Place tortilla pieces into hot oil. I could give you a temperature, but you'll know it's hot when you put your tortilla in and the oil starts to fry it. Cook until golden brown on each side.
Remove chips to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle hot chips with a little salt.
Continuing frying the chips until you've got enough to go around. You'll have to work in batches.
All the recipes say to put the chips directly into the sauce pot. That's not how I work....
Place some sauce into a bowl or a small pot (I went the bowl route). Add chips, add more sauce, and stir until the chips are thoroughly covered.
Transfer your chip mess to a plate, being sure to pour the excess sauce that was left in the bowl onto the chips. Top with shredded cheese, onion, cilantro, lettuce, sour cream, and whatever else your little heart desires.
Repeat until everyone has a plate and DIG IN! These are traditionally a breakfast dish meant to use up old, dry tortillas, so feel free to top them with a fried or scrambled egg if that sounds good to you.
That's it! That's all there is to it. I REALLY like the way they turned out, but I've got plans to play around with different combinations of chiles (3 dried ancho chiles and 3 serrano chiles were recommended in one recipe) and I'd like to try to make it with fresh tomatoes (2 medium tomatoes OR 5 small tomatoes and 5 tomatillos) once as well.
Store the extra sauce in the fridge until you're ready for seconds. You can also do like I did and use it to make a batch of enchiladas. It's ESPECIALLY good for making cheese enchiladas, but that's a story for another day.
What's a food you've recently discovered?
Have you tried to make recreate it in your own kitchen?