Crispy homemade corn tortilla chips covered in a warm salsa and topped with a variety of delicious toppings. When friends ask me to describe chilaquiles, I tell them they are they are the original nachos. Basically, nachos are corn tortilla chips topped with a warm sauce, usually cheese and then garnished with almost anything! On many Sunday’s, my Mom would prepare a big skillet of queso panela con chile and salsa. She would simple serve it with warm corn tortillas, tostadas or pan bolillo.
Over the years, chilaquiles became an inexpensive way to feed a large family. They can be prepared with any of your favorite warmed salsa or enchilada sauce. Add in some shredded chicken, beef or pork to make it a complete meal. Garnish with pickled onions, jalapeños, Mexican crema and fresh cilantro. The traditional chilaquiles are made by tossing the chips directly into the warm salsa in the skillet, but I find the chips get too soggy for my liking. This is a great recipe for any day of the week and you can prepare a quicker version with a few premade ingredients from the market.
For Pickled Red Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin strips
2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1/3 teaspoon crushed Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste, I start with 1/2 teaspoon
5 large tomatillos
2 serrano peppers, stems removed
1/2 cup cooking liquid
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder or chicken base
Salt to taste
For Baked Chips
12 corn tortillas
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
You will also need
12 ounces queso panela or queso fresco, sliced into 8 thick slices
Cilantro chopped for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 395 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil paper, set aside. In a glass bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pickled red onions. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and set aside.
2. Peel the husk from the tomatillos and rinse under lukewarm water. Transfer to a pot with chile serrano, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, remove from heat.
3. Brush the tortillas with olive oil on both sides and slice in half, then into thirds so you have 6 chips. Lay the uncooked chips onto lined baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly on one side with kosher salt and red pepper flakes (if using). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through baking time or until crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. In a large skillet, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium for a few minutes. Drain all of the water from tomatillo/chile mixture, reserving 1/2 a cup liquid. Transfer to the blender, add reserved cooking liquid, chicken bouillon and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth and pour into hot skillet. When salsa comes to a boil, reduce heat add cheese slices and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the chips into 4 shallow bowls, then divide the salsa/cheese mixture over chips. Garnish with pickled red onions and cilantro. Serve right away. Yields 4 appetizer servings.
Chilaquiles de Pollo en una Salsa Picante de Mole. All the robust flavors of Mole, but in half of the time it takes to prepare a traditional Mole. Click onto the picture to see the full recipe @ the Hispanic Kitchen site.
For Fried Corn Tortilla Chips~Totopos. Click onto picture for full recipe.
3 cups Everday Mole Sauce, 3 cups shredded (cooked) chicken, (click onto picture of the sauce for full recipe @the Hispanic Kitchen)
10 to 12 ounces of homemade, thick, corn tortilla chips
1 cup Mexican crema
1 cup Queso fresco or panela, crumbled
1/2 cup Pickled red onions, see recipe above
1. Heat the chicken and mole sauce in a large skillet until it comes to a simmer. Shut off heat and toss the chips in gently until evenly coated.
2. Top with crema, crumbled cheese, pickled onions and cilantro. Serve right away. Yields 6 servings as an appetizer.
Mexican Crema. Click onto picture for full recipe @the Hispanic Kitchen