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Dinner Tonight: Chilaquiles Verdes

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

When I set out to make chilaquiles, I had in mind the brunch dish, a sort of tortilla and egg casserole with melted cheese. And while I found recipes for what I was looking for, I also stumbled into a fierce debate about the difference between chilaquiles and a Texas dish called migas, which I've cooked before for Dinner Tonight.

The answer was that proper chilaquiles are not defined by eggs at all: The only essential ingredients are thick tortilla chips, a salsa of some kind, and cheese—a tortilla casserole. While Nick has covered Chilaquiles Rojos, I turned to this Rick Bayless recipe for the verde version, which is baked in the oven rather than finished on the stove, making it a little less attention-hungry. But the salsa alone is the real story here: charred tomatillos and onion, pulsed to a purée and loosened with rich chicken stock and Mexican crema. it is rich and gently acidic, chickeny and creamy. The result here is soul-satisfying fare, comforting and delicious.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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