Max and Eli Sussman's Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa

[Photograph: Alex Farnum]

The "Lazy Brunch" chapter in This is a Cookbook is, by far, the most decadent. This fact comes with the territory, though, since for most of us, brunch means cheese on top of meat on top of butter on top of something fried. And that'll be served with a couple of fried eggs and a strong Bloody Mary. Any of the meals in this chapter would be excellent contenders for a home-cooked hangover helper, but perhaps the most appropriate is Max and Eli Sussman's recipe for five-minute Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa. (Okay, it takes five minutes if you've made the salsa ahead of time and like runny yolks. Who doesn't like runny yolks?) Simply a pile of chips smothered in warmed salsa, leftover chicken, eggs, and cheese, the dish isn't (I would say) true chilaquiles, but it certainly fills that greasy, rich void when the most you can handle in the morning is to fry an egg.

Why I picked this recipe: I'll eat freshly made tomatillo salsa on anything.

What worked: Tomatillos, tortilla chips, and fried eggs taste pretty great even when you're totally sober, and the whole dish is a snap to prepare (once the salsa is made) when you're more than two sheets to the wind.

What didn't: In my mind, chilaquiles involves soaking or stewing fried tortillas in sauce, not serving them up cold underneath sauce and eggs. Still, given five minutes under the hot salsa, the chips turned fork tender.

Suggested Tweaks: I'd at least soften the chips up in the salsa next time I make this (tomorrow) if not try baking the whole thing in a dish with melty cheese before topping it with a fried egg.

Reprinted with permission from This is a Cookbook by Max and Eli Sussman. Copyright 2012. Published by Olive Press, a division of Weldon Owen, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Max and Eli Sussman's Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:25 minutes
Total time:1 1/2 hours
This recipe appears in: Max and Eli Sussman's Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

  • For the Tomatillo Salsa
  • 3 pounds tomatillos
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into big chunks
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups leftover or store-bough roasted chicken, shredded (optional)
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips, preferably thick cut
  • Crumbled queso fresco, for serving

Procedures

  1. 1

    To make the tomatillo salsa: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the papery husks off the tomatillos and rinse under warm water to remove the sticky coating. Put the tomatillos in a large bowl along with the onion, jalapeño, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt to taste. Toss to mix well. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until the skins of the tomatillos and jalapeño are blistered and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove the stem from the jalapeño, along with some or all of the seeds if you want a milder salsa.

  2. 2

    Transfer the jalapeño and the rest of the contents of the baking sheet to a food processor and process to a coarse purée. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then stir in half of the cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

  3. 3

    In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Carefully crack the eggs into the pan without breaking the yolks. Cook, without disturbing, until the whites are just set, about 5 minutes.

  4. 4

    To assemble the chilaquiles: Warm the tomatillo salsa and the chicken, if using, in a saucepan until the salsa is just simmering. Spread the chips on a serving platter and arrange a layer of the salsa and chicken, if using, on top. Sprinkle with some crumbled queso fresco and half of the remaining cilantro. Carefully slide the fried eggs on top. Garnish with more queso fresco and cilantro and serve right away.

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