Chilaquiles from Mexico
Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican breakfast prepared with leftover tortillas. Bite size or wedges of tortillas are either deep fried or shallow fried and soaked in salsa until just soft. It is garnished with cotija cheese and served with eggs and black beans. Pieces of chicken and pork can also be added to chilaquiles. Salsa used for chilaquiles can be either salsa verde; green sauce made with tomatillo, salsa roja made with red tomatoes and chilies or mole. I used salsa roja for my chilaquiles. I substituted cotija cheese with a blend of Mexican cheese that I had in my freezer. The egg can be either sunny side up or a scrambled egg. Some versions of chilaquiles recipes mixed the egg with tortilla & salsa. I chose to serve it on the side. I chose not to serve black beans with my chilaquiles. If one likes Indian chaats such as papdi chaat, they would like this. Though the ingredients & preparation of chaat is different, spicy sauce/salsa over toasted tortillas reminded me of papdi chaat and papad chaat.
There are many version of chilaquiles recipes online and the preparation varies from region to region and household to household. I found a Abuelita’s ( Mexican grandma) recipe on Youtube and adapted her recipe. The first time I made this, my salsa roja was very spicy and I used less salsa in my chilaquiles, as you can see in the pictures. Second time I made milder salsa roja and used lot more salsa than seen in the pictures. I could not take pictures the second time I made it.
Adapted from: here
Preparation: 10 – 15 minutes
- 4 White Corn Tortillas (preferably stale and heck note below)
- 1 tbsp. Oil
- 4 – 6 tbsp. Salsa Roja (more can be added. I used less as my salsa roja was fiery hot when I took the pictures)
- 1 tbsp. Cotija Cheese or more (I used Mexican Blend Cheese)
- 1 – 2 Eggs (I used one egg)
- Stack the tortilla and cut into 8 wedges. Stack two stacks of wedges, that is 8 wedges and cut into 4-5 bite size pieces. Repeat the same by stacking 2 stacks of wedges at a time and cutting into bite size pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan, add the bite size tortillas and toast until crisp and light brown, on medium – medium high heat. This will take about 7 – 10 minutes. Reduce the heat if tortillas are burning. Tortilla bites can also be deeep fried or shallowed fried.
- Reduce the heat to low, add 4 – 6 tbsp of salsa roja to toasted tortillas and mix until the salsa is absorbed and tortilla are soft. Mind you only half the tortillas should the soaked. Tortillas should be partly soft and partly crunchy.
- Add some cheese and mix. Transfer to a serving plate, pour some extra salsa roja on chilaquiles and sprinkle some cheese.
- In the same pan, add few drops of oil, add the egg and make a scramble. While scrambling the egg, add some salsa roja for seasoning or add some salt and paprika or chili powder for seasoning.
- Transfer the egg to the chilaquiles plate and serve hot.
- Stale tortillas are preferred for chilaquiles. If you have any leftovers from previous night, it works great. If using store bought tortillas, leave them in a plate on the countertop for few hours. Leaving them out for at least 1-2 hours makes the tortillas dry and helps in getting crunchy toasted tortillas. First time I pulled the tortillas straight out of the fridge and toasted them. The second time I left them out a cutting board for 1 – 2 hours. The ones let to air dry toasted faster and were crunchier.
- From the pictures I have seen online, chilaquiles has lot of salsa. As I mentioned earlier, the day I took my pictures my salsa roja was very spicy and I added less salsa. You can pour additional 2 – 3 tablespoons or even more salsa roja on chilaquiles when serving.
- I do not like too much cheese in my food and used it sparingly. Be liberal and add cheese to your liking.