Chilaquiles (I found out that it's pronounced Chee-lah-KEE-less) is my vegetarian offering for dinner tonight. I found two yummy versions, and accompanying photos, on a food blog that I often read called Simply Recipes. Rather than re-typing everything, below is the link to the other blog post that explains this recipe beautifully.
I have had my eye on this recipe for quite a long time. I heart Mexican food! It reminds me of a deconstructed enchilada or tostada. Seriously, what is better than that??? All the flavor but half the work!
Traditionally, this dish is served as a brunch or breakfast item with fried eggs, and beans or cactus paddles. I am not adventurous enough to try to figure out cactus paddles tonight, so I think I will just go with the refried beans and the eggs. I haven't decided if I am going to poach or fry the eggs...I guess I will just see what I am in the mood for later. There are a couple of other substitutions that I need to make; so I can use what I have on hand. I don't have Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese, so I will probably just use some Monterrey Jack. Also, I only have dried espazote in my pantry, which I really don't like and I will probably toss. I think I will substitute fresh cilantro in lieu of the espazote and call it good. I am going to make a homemade batch of corn tortillas today at nap time, since I didn't buy any at the store this week. It sounds impressive, but it is really easy (see link below). I also have some ripe avocados to use, so those will certainly come into play for this meal.
This is probably not the most healthy vegetarian dinner we have had,especially considering the lack of vegetables, but I am sure it is going to be really tasty. I am looking forward to our Mexican comfort food feast!
Rick Bayless Easy Corn Tortillas
Someone recently asked me how I make my tortillas; specifically, how I flatten them out. Simple...I have a tortilla press! This little baby makes the tortilla-making process go very smoothly. I picked this one up online, for a song...totally inexpensive, but worth every cent. This is one of my favorite kitchen tools.
Here is the batch of tortillas I just made. Ummmm....don't they look yummy???? I heart fresh tortillas.
I am really looking forward to having Chilaquiles tonight!
Oh man. These are going to be a real problem for me...and my thighs. These were so fantastically fan-freakin'-tastic, I am going to CRAVE them. Yup. I am in real trouble with this dish. It was soooooo beyond good. I can totally see why this is considered Mexican "comfort" food. It is awesome. Really. The fresh corn tortillas were a little thicker than your average store-bought variety, and when you cook them, they become soft and slightly chewy. Pillowy, yet meaty and substantial at the same time. Yum. Then, dip 'em in the sauce and pile 'em up, and you have Mexican food bliss. The best way to describe them is to imagine nachos, enchiladas, and tostadas having an orgy...BAM!...Chilaquiles. If you notice from the photo, I even forgot the egg, and they were still delicious. Next time, I fully plan on a yummy, runny poached or fried egg to go with this...that would make this dish pure decadence. Sigh. Thumbs up for Chilaquiles all around at my house. My toddler had a full portion and the husband and I both had seconds. Big seconds! This is going to have to be a once in awhile dish, because once I started eating this, I could not stop until I was beyond stuffed. It was so good...but I totally over did it.
I garnished each serving with cheese, white onion, green onion, cilantro, pickled jalepenos, sour cream, and a little mashed avocado (mashed avocado=lime juice, lemon juice, salt, and ripe avocado). Yum!
Now I need to talk about the sauce. I did not follow the recipe when it came to the red sauce. Instead, I doctored up a can of red enchilada sauce. I did not want to make the sauce from scratch (I have in the past, and it is quite the pain). So, to save some time...I used canned sauce. Don't judge me. Instead of trying to describe what I did to the sauce, I am just going to write a recipe for it (see below). Like I said, even with my substitutions and less than authentic sauce, this dish was still amazing. If you love Mexican food, you will love this dish.
Jen's Doctored-Up Red Enchilada Sauce
1 28 oz. can of hot red enchilada sauce (I use Macayos brand)
1-2 Tablespoons of canola oil (I reused some of my fry oil)
1/4 cup of hot sauce (I use Tapatio brand)
1 Tablespoon of Ancho Chile powder
1 Tablespoon of canned Chipotle chile Adobo sauce (use just the sauce;do not use the Chipotle chile itself)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add canned enchilada sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer. Mix in all remaining ingredients, and stir thoroughly to combine. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until reduced by approximately 1/3 to 1/2 in volume. Sauce with thicken and flavors will concentrate.