Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chilaquiles

I had a huge stack of corn tortillas left over this week, after making the "Chicken Tacos" recipe, and since piggy2 enjoys Chilaquiles, I thought I would try that. First off, I have no clue what in the world chilaques are. Everytime we've ordered them, it's for breakfast and there are eggs involved. In any of the recipes, it was difficult to find one that included eggs and cheese (two of my requirements, since I have an extra jar of Mexican Crema to use, and don't know what do to with it). This is my modification to recipes I've found at Food.com and the Food Network.

For Tomatillo Sauce

15 tomatillos (I used 7)
4 jalapenos cut in half (I used a small can of chiles and diced them)
1 Spanish onion (I enjoy red onions, for a slight sweet taste)
4 cloves of garlic (1 tablespoon of chopped garlic from a jar)
2 leaves epazote
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 cups chicken broth (3/4 cups, just enough to thin the tomatillos and chiles)
olive oil

15 corn tortillas (I used 10)
6 eggs (I used 4)
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (Cotija cheese, Monterey Jack both OK too)

1/2 cup crema (sour cream OK)

Gently lower 1 or 2 tortillas into the hot oil with a pair of metal tongs and fry for about 1 minute on each side, until golden. Remove from oil and transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining tortillas. (If you don't want to fry tortillas, you can toast them in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.).

In a preheated 400 degree oven, roast the tomatillos and the jalapenos until the skins on the tomatillos blister. (I did about 25 minutes, until the tomatillos got soft, they never blistered on me)
Place the tomatillos and the jalapenos in a food processor and blend.
In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions, cook on low heat, approximately 10 to 12 minutes, until caramelized.
Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the onions and garlic to the tomatillos mixture and the epazote, cilantro and chicken broth.
Blend to combine.

Combine the tomatillos mixture, tortillas and eggs in a large saute pan and simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked.

To serve, spoon the chilaquiles onto a plate and top them with the queso fresco, melt in a hot oven. Remove from oven and drizzle with Mexican crema, sprinkle with some chopped fresh cilantro and serve immediately.

*Notes: Tomatillo sauce is a salsa verde, that means "green sauce". You can buy it at most supermarkets, but you will be surprised at how easy and effortless it is to make!

Tomatillos are the small green fruit that are covered in a paper like husk and can be found in the vegetable area of the supermarket. You should used them while still green and the husk has turned brown. Before using, remove the husk, rinse and dry the fruit. (They do not need to be seeded.)

Chilaquiles is a Mexican brunch dish invented to use leftovers. It is made with day old tortillas (cut or torn into chips) and salsa verde. They are cooked together until the tortillas are slightly softened. Chilaquiles are eaten alone or with beans, eggs or shredded chicken.

Queso fresco is a white, mild, fresh mexican cheese. It's a little dense and takes a bit of time to melt, so be sure to shred, or crumble it. It can be substituted with a mild feta cheese and has a slight salty taste.

Stay hungry my friend!