Chilaquiles

Recently, we have been making more Mexican food at home (rajas con crema, for example).  A side effect of this has been that we have more corn tortillas than we can reasonably eat before they start to go stale.  In an attempt to get some more life out of them, I sprayed some with oil and baked them into chips (instructions at end of post).  They turned out to be a bit, well, robust to enjoy as chips, but they were fantastic for chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles is one of those dishes that we will occasionally get out at restaurants, but it is often somewhat disappointing.  Either the sauce used was the restaurant’s watery, nearly flavorless salsa, or, in one memorable incident, Chris about melted from the spicy heat of the sauce.  To remedy this, we decided to try it at home.  I found a few recipes that suggested similar ingredients, so here is my version of chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles. I love cooking in cast iron so much.

Chilaquiles. I love cooking in cast iron so much.

Ingredients (per 4 servings)

1 tbsp butter

4 eggs

1 tsp canola oil

2 handfulls of chips-homemade* or store bought (enough to cover a 12″ skillet with a couple of layers of chips)

1 10oz can enchilada sauce (more on this later)

1 cup shredded cheese

1 bunch green onion, chopped

Crema and avocado for garnish

Method

Melt butter over medium heat in a large cast iron, or other oven safe skillet.  Fry your eggs over medium, or over well, depending on how you like your eggs.  Remove eggs from skillet and add canola oil.  Dump your chips in and warm them in the oil.  After a couple of minutes, add about 2/3s of your chopped onion and let sauté.  After the onions start to soften, add in your enchilada sauce.  A note on your enchilada sauce: you could make this from scratch if you want, but if you’re just looking for a simple weeknight meal, just grab a can of your favorite brand of enchilada sauce (we like Las Palmas and Herdez).  If you don’t like enchilada sauce, feel free to use your favorite salsa.   Mix your chips in the sauce until well coated.  We usually add about 1/4 cup of water to help the sauce spread enough to really coat the chips.  If your skillet is hot, it will cook off pretty quickly.  Once most of the liquid has cooked off, add 1/2 cup of cheese and mix in to your chips.  Top the chips with your cooked eggs, and top with the rest of the cheese.  Pop the entire skillet under the broiler for a few minutes to help reheat the eggs and get the cheese toasted.  Once it looks good, pull it out, top with 1/2 of a an avocado (chopped or sliced), the rest of the onion, and a good drizzle of crema.

This recipe would scale really easily, and we plan on getting a smaller cast iron skillet for a smaller batch for just the two of us.  The bright side is, this actually makes pretty fantastic leftovers, so you may have just made yourself some dinner and breakfast in one meal, and that’s never a bad thing.

*Ok, if you want to make some homemade baked tortilla chips, it’s really easy.  Just preheat your oven to 400, cut your corn tortillas into wedges (I make 6 wedges out of a tortilla).  Spread your tortillas on a greased foil-lined baking sheet.  Spritz them with some more oil, and top with seasonings and some salt.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.  Let cool and pour into a ziptop bag for snacking and cooking purposes.  The thinner the tortilla, the crispier the chip.  Thick tortillas work great for making into chilaquiles, but if you want to just have tortilla chips for munching, look for a thinner corn tortilla.

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