Chilaquiles

Two weeks ago, I went to a Williams-Somona cast iron class and it was amazing. I tried Chilaquiles for the first time and I can say that I am obsessed. I should be making this way more often. The game changer for me was making my own tortilla chips, which I didn’t even realize how easy it was! Depending on your area, you might go with canned or fresh tomatillos. I found some fresh ones, so I HAD to use them. Overall, this is a great recipe that you can make for brunch, breakfast for dinner and it can be a pretty easy to-go meal for weeknights!

The only curveball ingredients would be: tomatillos (which if you have underripe tomatoes, you can use that), jalapeños, Queso fresco (which you can just use a cheese that doesn’t melt quickly OR just use mozzarella), and (if you don’t have it) coriander!

Hi! I’m Jose. I hate cilantro. There. I had to say it. This recipe calls for cilantro and I completely DESPISE it’s taste. THAT SAID, I tried the recipe in the cast iron class and Chef Esther put ALL of the cilantro and I have to say, the tomatillos cuts through the cilantro and the taste is not strong. The cilantro actually compliments the recipe and rounds up the flavor. That is not like Ms. Cilantro, so kudos for her. She toned it down. In my eyes, she had to. Girl, let the other players play!

Chef Esther in action

Ok. So back to the recipe. Compared to the Williams-Somona recipe I actually doubled the tortillas (to add as I was eating), I used fresh tomatillos (which I found had a more refreshing and more fresh flavor), and added more cumin because I love cumin. It is a staple in Puerto Rican cooking.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 20 corn tortillas (I used a combination of white and yellow)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Peanut Oil (or grape seed oil)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 fresh tomatillos
  • Half a bunch of cilantro (Original recipe would call for a full bunch)
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 jalapeño (I like it spicy, feel free to use less)
  • The juice and zest of 1 lime (I used 2 because the lime that I had was not as juicy as I thought it would be)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin (I love cumin, you can add a minimum of 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of coriander.
  • 4 green onions (use all of it)
  • Queso fresco to your hearts content (all of the cheese for me)
  • 1 roasted ear of corn (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 ripe avocado

How to make it:

Preheat the oven for 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper or a silicone pad.

Making the Tortilla Chips

  • Place all of the corn tortillas on top of each other and cut them up I essentially cut in a cross. That way you create the tortilla chip form.
  • Depending on how big your baking sheet is, you might want to split them up. Brush the oil on top of the chips and salt the chips. You will want to season them after you bake them, so that they are to your desired salt level. Bake the chops for 10-15 minutes. I baked mine for 15 minutes, since they were still not as crispy. Trust and believe, you will want to quadruple the chips. They are SO good.

Chilaquiles

  • In a blender or food processor, add the tomatillos (which I cut in half so that it would be easier to bland), Cilantro, broth, jalapeño, lime juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt (to taste), and 2 sprigs of green onion. Purée until smooth.
    
  • Set the mixture aside. Crumble the queso fresco. You don’t want them super small, you want nice chucks of queso. I personally used half of this mix and it was because I was going to reserve some for a friend, who wanted it! #BestFriendEver if you ask me. I had a leftover ear of corn that I roasted in the grill on the weekend, cut the kernels out and set aside! I also had one grilled chicken thigh that I had left over, so I cut it up and set aside.
    After the chips are made, grab that cast iron skillet and you are essentially doing layers. Chips, Queso, Tomatillo, corn, chicken, repeat.

Bake in the oven (425) for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  • In the 5 mins before it is done, make some eggs sunny side up. If you do not like sunny side up eggs, you can make some scrambled eggs or not use it!

Once its all done, place some of the chilaquiles in your plate, top with the egg, add the sour cream if you wish, and some red chili flakes!

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