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.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of This is a Cookbook to give away.