Chilaquiles are, hands down, my favorite Mexican breakfast dish. Fried corn tortillas soaked in red or green salsa, topped with some cheese and, sometimes, a fried egg, braised chicken, or pork—what's not to love? Chilaquiles are breakfast nachos!
This recipe comes from L.A.'s Original Farmers Market Cookbook by JoAnn Cianciulli and is adapted from Loteria Grill, a taqueria inside the market. The spicy and carb-heavy nature of this dish makes it a great hangover helper, but it's good anytime. If you have an open package of corn tortillas sitting in your fridge, chilaquiles is a great way to use them up. You can also make a quick version of this dish using canned salsa verde and store-bought tortilla chips.
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- Salsa Verde
- 8 medium tomatillos (about 1 1/2 pounds total weight), husked and rinsed
- 1 serrano or jalapeño chile, stemmed
- 1/2 white onion, halved again
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 bay leaf
- Pinch of dried oregano
- Pinch of dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon corn oil
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 12 six-inch corn tortillas
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- Crema fresca or sour cream for garnish
: Put the tomatillos, chile, onion, and garlic in a medium pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are soft and the tomatillos turn pale green, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Carefully transfer the boiled vegetables, along with the cooking water, to a blender. Puree for a few seconds to blend; be sure to hold down the lid with a kitchen towel for safety. Add the 1/2 bay leaf, oregano, thyme, salt and broth. Continue to puree until smooth. You should have 1 quart of salsa verde.
Place a wide pot or pan over medium-high heat and coat with the corn oil. When the oil is hazy, pour in the salsa verde; it will bubble a bit. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and keep warm while you fry the chips.
Pour the vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot or countertop deep fryer to a depth of about 2 inches and heat to 375& deg F over medium-high heat. Stack the tortillas and fan them with your thumb to separate. Cut the tortillas into 8 wedges like a pie.
To finish the chilaquiles, uncover the salsa verde and raise the heat to medium. Just when it starts to bubble, stir in the beaten eggs. Cook and stir it for about 5 seconds, until the egg feathers into the sauce, thickening and binding it. Immediately add the chips, tossing gently until they have absorbed enough sauce to become soft. Take care not to brake the chips. Sprinkle the Jack cheese on top and let it melt.
Divide the chilaquiles among 4 plates. Sprinkle with the queso fresco, chopped onion, and cilantro. Garnish with the crema fresca and serve immediately.