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Chilaquiles Verde


Growing up, when there were stale tortillas in the house, we would fry them up, toss them in salsa and throw as many toppings on that we no longer see the chips! It makes the perfect light breakfast.


I traveled to Mexico earlier this year, literally right before the pandemic hit. We stayed with my boyfriend's family in Guadalajara for his cousin's wedding. His aunt made chilaquiles every single morning, like clock work. The salsa had been cooking over the past few days, each day getting richer than the last.


Little fun history...chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican dish that dates all the way back to the early Aztecs. It’s a dish that repurposed leftover tortillas for breakfast in the days before refrigeration. “Chilaquiles” comes from an ancient word in the Aztec Nahuatl language, meaning “chilis and greens.” It’s been made for hundreds of years, making it an absolute household name throughout Mexico. It was first brought to America in the late 1800’s and here I am in my little Seattle house making it today!



I guess ones could say I did the ultimate most with this dish. I made the tortilla chips from scratch made tortillas, and made my salsa verde from the bare bones as well! While I could have used store bought tortillas and salsa, cooking is a labor of love and everything tastes better home made. WHO AM I KIDDING I didn't have store made tortillas and I had masa harina (the corn flour for tortillas), no jarred salsa but literally every ingredient for homemade salsa. So while the majority of what I make is from scratch, this wasn't planned ha! I was just too lazy to go to the grocery store, whoops. Regardless, this turned out amazing. If you have the time, do it from scratch. If you don't, don't sweat it! Buy them tortillas or even straight up tortilla chips, and that salsa. Although, you really should try this salsa verde. Now if you do make the tortilla chips from scratch, think about leaving the chips out over night so they can get a bit stale first.


First we start with the base of the dish, the tortillas.

In a large bowl combine the masa harina and salt. Whisk together. Add hot water slowly and stir to combine into a ball. You want the consistency to be similar to play dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Portion out the dough into balls that are around 2 tablespoons each. Make sure to cover the balls to ensure they don’t dry out.

I highly recommend getting a corn tortilla press. You can use a rolling pin, but this will be a lot more difficult. Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic in a tortilla press. Gently press until the tortillas press out to around 4-5 inches.

Get a cast iron skillet or comal hot -heat it around medium-high. Place the tortilla on the skillet and cook for around 40-60 seconds on each side. Keep the tortillas warm in a “tortilla warmer” or just in a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel.

You now have two choice. You can bake your tortilla chips, or you can fry them. And you know what everyone says..fried is always better. But, if you're the health conscious type and decide to fry them, here's what you gotta do.


For baked tortilla chips: preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.


Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with oil. Stack the tortillas and slice them into 8 wedges. Sprinkle the wedges lightly with salt and bake for five minutes until the edges curl slightly and they are golden brown.

For fried tortilla chips: In a large cast iron skillet or other pan that can withstand high temperatures, pour enough oil (I use peanut oil but you can also use vegetable oil) in the pan until you've got about 2 inches in the pan. Heat the oil on medium-high. Stack the tortillas and slice them into 8 wedges. In batches, place the wedges in the oil and fry until lightly brown. Place the now tortilla chips on a plate with a paper towel.

Now for the liquid gold. The salsa verde. My favorite salsa verde. I make this every couple of weeks and keep in the fridge just because I love it so much.


Also, you're going to be shocked with how incredibly easy this is to make. The hardest part is finding these precious tomatillos.


All you've got to do is this: line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Place 6-8 tomatillos, 1/2 an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and three jalapenos on the baking sheet. Turn your broiler on. Once heated, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until nice and charred, rotating along the way. Remove the baking sheet and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the jalapeno stem and seeds if you prefer a more mild salsa. Now place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/3 of a bundle of cilantro. Blend until smooth. The most important step here is frying the sauce. This is really what develops the flavor and the richness. In medium to large sauce pan, heat two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, place the salsa in the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Done!

Toss the tortilla chips into the pot with the salsa and allow the chips to soak that amazing flavor in and to soften the chips. Top with the salsa and top with slices radishes, crumbled queso fresco, red onion, avocado, chopped cilantro, crema, and a fried egg. Serve with sliced lime wedges.



Ingredients:


Tortilla chips:

  • 15 tortillas, baked or fried

  • 2 cups oil for frying

  • salt

Salsa verde:

  • 6-8 tomatillos, cleaned and de-husked

  • 3 jalapenos

  • 1/2 onion (white or red)

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peel on

  • 1/3 of a bunch of cilantro

  • 2 Tablespoons oil (peanut or vegetable)

Toppings:

  • 2 radishes, sliced

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1/4 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled

  • Mexican crema

  • fried eggs


Instructions:

Prepare the corn tortilla chips:

1. Prepare the corn tortillas chips. In a large bowl combine the masa harina and salt. Whisk together. Add hot water slowly and stir to combine into a ball. You want the consistency to be similar to play dough.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

3. Portion out the dough into balls that are around 2 tablespoons each. Make sure to cover the balls to ensure they don’t dry out.

4. I highly recommend getting a corn tortilla press. You can use a rolling pin, but this will be a lot more difficult. Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic in a tortilla press. Gently press until the tortillas press out to around 4-5 inches.

5. Get a cast iron skillet or comal hot -heat it around medium-high. Place the tortilla on the skillet and cook for around 40-60 seconds on each side.

6. Keep the tortillas warm in a “tortilla warmer” or just in a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel.

7. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, juice and zest of the lemon and lime, garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes.

8. Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. When shimmering, add the shrimp and cook quickly. Around 2 minutes on each side.

For baked tortilla chips: preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.


Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with oil. Stack the tortillas and slice them into 8 wedges. Sprinkle the wedges lightly with salt and bake for five minutes until the edges curl slightly and they are golden brown.

For fried tortilla chips: In a large cast iron skillet or other pan that can withstand high temperatures, pour enough oil (I use peanut oil but you can also use vegetable oil) in the pan until you've got about 2 inches in the pan. Heat the oil on medium-high. Stack the tortillas and slice them into 8 wedges. In batches, place the wedges in the oil and fry until lightly brown. Place the now tortilla chips on a plate with a paper towel.


Prepare the salsa:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.

  2. Place 6-8 tomatillos, 1/2 an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and three jalapenos on the baking sheet.

  3. Turn your broiler on. Once heated, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until nice and charred, rotating along the way.

  4. Remove the baking sheet and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  5. Remove the jalapeno stem and seeds if you prefer a more mild salsa.

  6. Now place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/3 of a bundle of cilantro. Blend until smooth.

  7. Heat oil in a medium to large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the salsa and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, just letting it simmer. Done!

Preparation:

  1. Toss the tortilla chips into the pot with the salsa and allow the chips to soak that amazing flavor in and to soften the chips.

  2. Top the chips with the radish, cilantro, Queso Fresco, chopped onion, crema, and fried eggs.

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