chilaquiles tortilla strips
ChilaquilesPronounced [chee-lah-KEE-lehs]. This dish is popular from the U.S. border all throughout Mexico and downward into Guatemala because it is a popular way to use stale corn tortillas.
Article by: Barbara Bowman
Chilaquiles HistoryThe name chilaquiles is derived from the word chil-a-quilitl which means "herbs or greens in chili broth" [In Nahuatl] or "a broken-up old, sombrero".
As with most dishes there are regional versions. In Sinaloa, Mexico the chilaquiles are prepared with a white sauce.
Mexico City is known for using a spicy tomato sauce and always tops each serving with an ample sprig of epazote.
In Guadalajara cazuelas are kept simmering filled with chilaquiles that become thick in texture similar to polenta.
Recipes Dating Back To 1898
Recipes for chilaquiles have been found in a U.S. cookbook published in 1898. The book was Encaracion Pinedo's El Cocerina Espanol (The Spanish Cook). She included three recipes one for Chilaquiles tapatios a la mexicana, Chliaquiles a la mexicana, and Chilaquiles con camarones secos.
Depending on the dish the tortillas are cut in strips or broken into pieces and
topped with a sauce or layered, casserole style. Chilaquiles are frequently
eaten as a breakfast food. One traditional variation mixes the tortillas strips
with freshly scrambled eggs and roasted chiles.
fried tortilla strips en molcajete ready for use in the
Based on a recipe from Epicurious.com
i n g r e d i e n t
1 dozen stale corn
2 1/2 cups Mexican-style tomato sauce (below)
1/2 cup chicken
2 fresh or canned jalapeño chilies, or to taste, seeded and
(wear rubber gloves)
2 cups grated Monterey Jack (about 1/2 pound)
or a combination of 1 cup Longhorn or Cheddar and 1 cup Monterey Jack.
35-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained
1 onion, chopped coarse
cloves, chopped coarse
2 fresh or canned jalapeño chilies, or to taste,
seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves). You can also used canned chipotle chilies to add a nice smoky flavor.
tablespoons vegetable oil
In a blender purée the tomatoes with
the onion, the garlic, and the chilies. In a large skillet heat the oil over
moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking, add the tomato purée, and
cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with
salt and black pepper.
d i r e c t i o n s (Chilaquiles)
In a skillet heat 1/2 inch of the oil over
moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking, in it fry the tortillas in
batches for 10 to 20 seconds, or until they are pale golden and almost crisp,
and transfer them as they are fried with a slotted spatula to paper towels to
drain. In a bowl stir together the tomato sauce, the broth, and the chilies. In
a greased 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish layer the tortillas, the Monterey
Jack, and the tomato sauce, beginning with a layer of the tortillas and ending
with a layer of the Monterey Jack, and bake the chilaquiles, covered with foil,
in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 20 minutes. Drizzle the crema over
the chilaquiles and serve.