To prepare chilaquiles, cook corn tortillas in salsa while adding cheese, eggs, or beans. A simple and satisfying breakfast!
Chilaquiles. Chee-lah-KEE-less! The other day, I told a Mexican buddy that I wanted to prepare chilaquiles, and you should have seen the smile and pleasure on his face.
This is an authentic Mexican comfort meal, the breakfast your mother prepared you when she needed to use up stale tortillas.
What are Chilaquiles?
Chilaquiles are essentially fried corn tortilla pieces cooked in salsa and topped with cheese. They are frequently served with eggs and a side of beans or nopalitos for breakfast.
The Tex-Mex version was made by my mother’s mother with green chile tomato salsa and shredded longhorn cheese.
Red or Green Sauce for Chilaquiles?
Recently, I brought homemade salsa verde to the home of my friend Arturo, and he prepared two typical Mexican dishes for me, one with the salsa verde and one with a red chile sauce made from dried ancho chiles. Both recipes are listed below.
Do you like enchiladas? Chilaquiles have the same ingredients but require far less effort to prepare. Do not roll.
- 12 corn tortillas, preferably stale, or left out overnight to dry out a bit, quartered or cut into 6 wedges
- Corn oil, or other neutral oil for frying
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups red chile sauce or salsa verde, store-bought or homemade (see the end of the recipe for homemade versions)
- Sprigs of epazote, optional
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Crema Mexicana or creme fraiche
- Cilantro, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- Avocado, sliced or roughly chopped
Fry the tortillas:
To fry the tortillas, generously spray a large sauté pan with corn oil (1/8 inch) and heat it over medium-high to high heat. When the oil is very hot, cook the tortillas until they are golden brown.
Transfer tortillas to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle the tortillas with a little salt.
Wipe the pan clean of any browned tortilla remnants.
Heat the salsa:
Reheat the salsa: Add two teaspoons of oil to the pan and return to high heat. Allow the salsa to simmer for several minutes after its addition. If you have some epazote, add a few sprigs to the salsa.
In a skillet, prepare chilaquiles with red sauce.
Add fried tortillas to the salsa:
Add quarters of fried tortilla to the salsa. Turn the tortilla pieces over so they are evenly coated with salsa. Allow cooking for a few more minutes.
Turn off the heat. Serve chilaquiles with garnishes, beans, or nopalitos, as well as fried eggs.
Red chile sauce
Remove seeds, stems, and veins from four dried ancho chilies. To bring out the taste of chiles, cook them briefly over medium heat in a skillet. Place chilies in a pot and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes. In a blender, combine chiles, 2 garlic cloves, 12 teaspoons of salt, and 1 1/2 cups of chile-soaking liquid. Hold down the blender’s lid firmly while blending, and blend until the ingredients are thoroughly puréed. To create chilaquiles, strain the mixture through a strainer onto a frying pan.
Put 1 pound of tomatillos with the husks removed into a saucepan and cover with an inch of water. Remove the stalks and seeds from one jalapeño. Add 2 garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer. 5 minutes, or until the tomatillos have changed color and are completely cooked. Utilizing a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic to a blender. Add a cup of cooking liquid to the dish. Blend until thoroughly puréed. Add salt to taste.
It will help with the frying if your tortillas are a little dry. If they are fresh, cut them first, put them in a warm oven for a few minutes first to dry them out a bit, then proceed.