The Mexican dish chilaquiles (pronounced chee-luh-KEE-less) is a quick, satisfying breakfast made from leftover tortillas. Every cook makes chilaquiles differently. Sometimes it’s lightly fried strips of day-old tortilla, mixed with a spicy tomato salsa and served as an accompaniment to fried eggs. Other versions are long simmered and quite saucy, and some add meat, usually chicken. My go-to variation is more like a cross between a stir-fry and scrambled eggs.–David Tanis
LC Chips & Salsa Note
No stale tortillas? A handful of tortilla chips–yes, even the crumbs from the bottom of the bag–suffice quite nicely. And a word to the wise, if you’re the sort who likes your cereal crisp, not sodden, add the salsa to the chips and eggs after you take the chilaquiles off the heat. Adding the salsa sooner isn’t a bad thing, it just tends to make the crisped tortillas (or crushed chips) sodden. And yes, chilaquiles can be sustenance either during the a.m. or p.m., taking equally well to a cup of hot joe or a bottle of cold cervesa—and even a zippy cup, for that matter, just be judicious with the pepper, the scallion, cilantro, and cheese, depending on your little one’s tastes.
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 25 M
- Serves 1
- Vegetable oil or lard
- 4 day-old corn tortillas, cut into strips
- Salt to taste
- Big handful of chopped cilantro
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- Red or green salsa, if desired
- 2 large eggs
- A little crumbled queso fresco
- 1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add enough vegetable oil or lard to generously coat the bottom of the skillet, then add the tortilla strips and an ample pinch of salt and stir to coat. The tortilla strips will first wilt, then crisp, which is exactly what you want. Taste one and, if desired, add more salt.
- 2. Throw in a big handful of cilantro, scallions, and chopped jalapeños in and stir them around. Add a spoonful of red or green salsa if you like. Now add the beaten eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper. Mix and stir the eggs with the tortillas until the eggs are set. Finish the chilaquiles with a little crumbled queso fresco.
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Chilaquiles Recipe © 2010 David Tanis. Photo © 2010 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.