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Chilaquiles…You Had Me At…El Pato, North Valley Magazine, February, 2016

Chilaquiles…You Had Me At…El Pato, North Valley Magazine, February, 2016

chilaquiles

http://www.northvalleymagazine.com/

 

Chilaquiles. Yesterday’s Tortillas Are Todays Breakfast!

Chilaquiles, a collection of crispy golden fried tortillas, which soften and absorb the spicy liquid of whatever delicious chili sauce they are immersed in. Yesterday’s tortillas are today’s breakfast.

The beauty of chilaquiles lies in the incredible versatility of the dish. Although the basic ingredients consist of tortillas and sauce, additional ingredients can be added, such as eggs, bacon, chicken, cheese, and my favorite, roasted chili peppers. Nothing compares to fresh roasting. I love to roast just about anything I can get my hands on.

The best time to eat chilaquiles is just before they turn completely soft and still have a little crunch.
It is of course all about the texture which is equally important to the palate. This is one of my favorite dishes to prepare as it is not complicated and completely delicious, offering elevated flavors with simple ingredients. Your family and guests will never know that it was thrown together in a blink from ingredients on hand in the refrigerator.

In ancient Nahuatl, Chilaquiles means “chilis with herbs.” It originated in Central Mexico and is still spoken today in select communities. Chilaquiles continue to be a very common food in many Mexican families. Carrying on a legacy that has existed for hundreds of years.A favorite is to find a local neighborhood tortilleria where tortillas pressed from freshly ground corn can be found. Tortillas are still one of the best bargains around.

In Mexico City, Chilaquilles are often served in a sauce made of tomatillos, green chili and cilantro. My love for cilantro has grown over the years and I wonder how I ever lived without it. Preparing Chilaquiles is more of a method of cooking and whichever ingredient is chosen you are sure to be successful. Next time you find yourself with extra ingredients, try serving them up as a savory, satisfying Chilaquile.

 

Ingredients:

8 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying
1 can Rosarita refried beans
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cans el pato hot sauce
8 oz white cheddar cheese
3 oz cojita cheese
3 Jalapenos roasted and chopped

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

1. Heat oil medium high in small cast-iron pan

2. Fry tortillas singly to golden crisp. Remove, salt, drain on baking rack.

3. In separate bowl mix 1 can refried beans with 1 can El Pato hot sauce, salt & pepper.

4. Cover beans, heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove, stir, set aside.

5. In large cast-iron pan layer tortillas, beans, another can of El Pato sauce, both cheeses, and roasted jalapeno .

6. Place into oven for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to sit 5 minutes before serving!

7. Serve with guacamole and mini butter lettuce

 

Char roasted is probably my most favorite flavor.  Charring concentrates and deepens the flavor of ingredients.

1. Heat a Cast-Iron pan lined with foil to medium high. Place vegetables, garlic, onions peppers, chilies  and such into pan until semi-blackened on all side. Remove and cover in the foil for 5 minutes, which will allow veggies to steam. Peel and enjoy!

 

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Ease of Preparation: Simple
Total Time: 45 Minutes

 

Tips or Notes:

1. Cast-Iron pans are perfect for authentic Mexican dishes as they can go right from stove-top or oven to the table and served family style.

2. When charring garlic always leave skin intact and make note that garlic will need to be removed first as it will burn if left too long. Peel once removed from pan.

3. I prefer to layer tortillas whole but they can be cut into strip or triangles also.

4. When I have a little extra time I will make this dish with freshly made refried beans and salsa Verde. It is nothing less than awe-inspiring.

Char Roasting Method:
Char roasted is probably my most favorite flavor.  Charring concentrates and deepens the flavor of ingredients.
1. Heat a Cast-Iron pan lined with foil to medium high. Place vegetables, garlic, onions peppers, chilies and such into pan until semi-blackened on all side. Remove and cover in the foil for 5 minutes, which will allow veggies to steam. Peel and enjoy!

 

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