Chilaquiles

I call this the Mexican hangover breakfast. Made with odds and ends from the doggy bag at the Mexican restaurant. They always give me too much food!

Chilaquiles

You don’t really have to have a hangover to make this or eat it. And I hope you don’t have one! Those are awful.

This is something I make with leftovers from the Mexican restaurants when I go, since they always give me too much food. I hate to waste it, and the leftovers never seem quite as good reheated when you try to recreate them into their “former selves”. But tossed into a skillet, and cooked for just a few minutes, you can create something totally different- and wonderful, that makes a perfect easy breakfast after a night at the cantina or local taco stand, especially when no one feels like cooking (people with hangovers seemingly never cook).

Traditionally, I think chilaquiles are made on-purpose, using corn tortillas instead of leftover chips, and the added ingredients are specially prepared. But we know what happens in real life. There are leftovers and leftovers must be dealt with. The great thing about this is that if no one knows it is leftover, they will think you made it special. And it is special! And the most special part is that after breakfast, no more leftover food is hanging about in the refrigerator.

You can use just about any type of leftover in this from main dish to rice and beans, even the chips from the basket along with that salsa. The only thing I tend to avoid is the shredded iceberg lettuce because usually it bruises overnight while waiting for the morning. Plus, it doesn’t take to heat very well. So I discard all of the lettuce when packing leftovers away the day before. I also don’t usually save the guacamole because it oxidizes (turns brown) quite often, no matter how you try to pack it up. I might suggest, that if you feel strongly about either, to have some arugula or baby kale on hand if you want to mix in lettuces that can withstand heat, and if you like avocado, just slice up a nice new one in the morning. To make quack, you just simply need to mash it with a fork, add some lime juice, salt and maybe a pinch of garlic, and add finely diced tomato if that suits you. Guacamole really isn’t hard to do.

In this recipe I have used chips, leftover fajitas, tomatillo salsa and eggs. Use a sauce you can withstand the spice when eating. I like things pretty spicy so the green sauce is okay for me. You can make a mild green salsa at home if you like having that. Generally, that is tomatillos peeled from the husks and rinsed, and chopped, cooked down into a sauce with onion, garlic, salt, pinch of ground cumin,  maybe a little bit of cilantro and a little water. You can add a little vinegar if you like the taste of the bottled salsas, but it doesn’t need it. If you want to make a spicy green salsa, adding fresh hatch chiles or other green chiles, stems and seeds taken out, will spice it up. If you add a hotter, more pointy-ended pepper, like jalapeno or serrano, use a judicious hand so it doesn’t get too spicy. That cooks up in about 25 minutes- just enough time to make the vegetables soft. It can also be pureed in a blender or food processor if you want your salsa really smooth. If you like it a little chunky, then leave part out of the blender and just stir it all together when you are done making puree.

I have a recipe up for tomatillo salsa here if you want to look at it:

Tomatillo Salsa

tomatillo
The optional ingredients below (cheese, crema) are nice to add to the chilaquiles if you have them but if you don’t, it’s not an issue. I only use them if I already have some on hand and don’t buy anything special for this recipe).

I also used a smaller skillet for this recipe, about 8-inches. If you do four eggs, you might want to go with a slightly larger, 10-12 inch skillet. I would say that skillet size isn’t all that important, that using a bigger skillet might lower the cook time slightly (since more food contacts the hotter skillet surface), but then again, Bill (of Potable Pastime) and I were out antiquing over the weekend and we came across this monstrous copper skillet. It “might” be a little bit too big. You decide!

giant copper skillet

Chilaquiles

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

3.27.14

 

Chilaquiles

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chilaquiles
Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1-2 handfuls crushed crisp tortilla chips
  • 1-2 cups leftover Mexican food, such as fajitas, rice, beans, chopped enchiladas, chopped burritos, etc., warmed
  • about 1 cup mild salsa
  • 2 large free-range, organic eggs
  • 2 ounces shredded or crumbled cheese (cotija, queso fresco, cheddar, etc.)(optional- not necessary)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream or cream fraiche (optional- not necessary)

Method:

  1. Melt butter or heat oil in an 8-10 inch nonstick skillet and add crumbled chips.
  2. Cover/sprinkle  with leftovers and let cook a few minutes to heat up. It will sizzle.
  3. Heat up your salsa. I use a microwave but you can do this in a saucepan if you like.
  4. Break eggs into small saucers and then pour the eggs right on top of the food in the skillet.
  5. Pour the salsa over that, then cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5-8 minutes until eggs are as set as you like them. If you lift the lid too soon and it’s not done, just return to heat and cook longer. Generally, you can take a spoon and try to jiggle the egg around the yolk and tell how set the yolk and white are.

chips in pan topping on chips
eggs added to pan chilaquiles with soft eggs

Chilaquiles

You might also like:

Eggs Chilaquiles Verde

Tomatillo Salsa

Chicken Fajitas

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