From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our fall rains have started a bit early this year. Today was cold and wet enough to chill those of us who were outside when the deluge began. Once home, we set the first fire of the season and it quickly warmed these old bones that seem to be growing more cold sensitive every year. With the fire blazing and snug in a Northwood's fleece and wool socks, I set about making a lunch that would that would add some fire to our bellies as well. I decided to make chilaquiles (chee-lay-KEE-less) which is a traditional Mexican dish that is made with strips of fried corn tortillas, salsa and cheese. In some parts of Mexico, the tortilla strips are cooked in salsa until they start to soften, but there are exceptions to the rule, and in other areas of the country your plate will contain crisp tortilla strips that are topped with chicken, salsa, eggs and cheese. We first had chilaquiles while whale watching in Baja, and our introduction to them was the crisp fully loaded version. I still make the fully loaded variety, though I suspect the simpler version is more authentic. This is an extremely easy dish to make if you have the ingredients on hand. You'll need corn tortillas, salsa verde, chicken, eggs and cheese. Now, while you didn't hear it from me, rotisserie chicken and corn tortilla chips can make this dish even easier to prepare and just about as good to eat as the from-scratch variety. Refried beans are often served as an accompaniment to the chilaquiles and they add substance that will please those with large appetites.You can serve the chilaquiles with the same topping as you would use for enchiladas. The dish is quite filling and perfect for a fall brunch or lunch. Here is how they are made.
Chilaquiles...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine
1 cup canola oil
8 corn tortillas, cut into 3/4-inch strips
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 tsp salt
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup salsa verde
Shredded queso fresco, sliced scallions and chopped cilantro
1) Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 350 degrees to 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry tortilla strips in 3 batches until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes each, gently moving around in oil with a slotted spoon. Remove with spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season strips with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
2) Carefully discard all but 1 tablespoon of oil. Add eggs and cook over medium heat until scrambled, about 2 minutes. Season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Meanwhile, heat chicken and salsa verde in a medium pan.
3) Arrange tortilla strips on a large platter. Spoon chicken mixture on top, then scatter eggs on top of chicken. Garnish with shredded queso fresco, sliced scallions and chopped cilantro, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
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