July 28, 2010

Say it with me…chee-lah-KEE-lehs.

Being a book worm, English teacher, & general language nerd means I have a pretty decent vocabulary.  But there have been times—many an embarrassing time, in fact—when I have run across a word that I know the meaning of but have NO idea how to say aloud.  Like at a restaurant, for example.

I hate feeling like an ignorant dweeb when I want to order a dish but don’t know how to pronounce it.  Luckily, I find that a gentle shrug and point at the menu generally results in help from a good waiter or waitress.

Once I learned how to say “chilaquiles,” I was all over ‘em.  This simple and satisfying Mexican dish is a easy to make for a crowd on weekend , and it also makes an excellent breakfast-for-dinner.  You don’t have to top your chilaquiles off with a farm egg fried in bacon fat, but I did.


This chilaquiles recipe is of my own making, and may or may not pass an authenticity test, but it’s damn tasty.


corn tortillas
red or green salsa

Cut tortillas into strips or wedges.  Heat a little vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet until very hot, almost smoking.  Add enough tortilla pieces to cover the bottom of the pan and cook on both sides until crisp.  If working in batches, keep cooked pieces warm in a low oven.  Set cooked tortilla strips aside while frying the rest of the rest in batches.

Once you’ve worked through all of your tortillas, return them all to the skillet over low heat and pour in salsa so it nearly covers the tortilla strips.  Simmer for a minute or two, then serve with as many extras as you see fit.


beans of your choice—black, pinto, refried
chopped bacon, chorizo, or veggie crumbles
queso fresco or other cheese
diced onions
fried egg



  1. I love chilaquiles so much, now if I only I had a good green sauce recipe to use.

    Comment by Sharon — July 28, 2010 @ 3:10 am

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nishta Mehra, JillCarroll and Carlos E. Rodriguez, Sharon Stinson. Sharon Stinson said: Mmmm…Chilaquiles RT @BlueJeanGourmet {new post} chilaquiles, which I can barely pronounce but which I love to make: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention CHILAQUILES « Blue Jean Gourmet -- — July 28, 2010 @ 3:33 am

  3. Oh wow! That photo of the chilaquiles (what a fun name to say!) is amazing. My mouth started watering looking at it. I’m with Sharon, though — a good green sauce recipe would be a good thing. *hint hint* (lol). Thanks for sharing this one — it looks like a great brunch dish.

    Comment by Karin (an alien parisienne) — July 28, 2010 @ 7:23 am

  4. Once again, I want to go back in time and eat this dish again. So good.

    Comment by Sonya Cuellar — July 28, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  5. oh how i would love a nice long weekend in mexico right about now…these look yummy!

    Comment by the urban baker — July 29, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  6. Sharon & Karin ((hee! a rhyme)– I will work on that green sauce–a friend of mine made a killer tomatillo salsa once, I’ll see if I can get her recipe.

    Sonya–I know, me too!

    urban baker–man, that sounds fantastic. we were lucky to spend a few days near Playa del Carmen in April & it was basically heaven. I recommend it!

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — August 5, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  7. I love chilaguiles. This sounds like the perfect way to make them at home. And an egg fried in hog fat? Count me in!

    Comment by Phoo-d — August 7, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  8. Mmm… I like those might be the prettiest chilaquiles I’ve seen. Ooh, and with a warm egg fried in bacon fact — perfect way to Southernize them! I do have a salsa verde recipe floating around. Basic instructions are to boil your tomatillos (maybe 3/4-lb. worth) with a serrano chile or two, whole, until softened. Add ’em to a blender with garlic (1 or 2 cloves, your choice), chopped onion (again, to taste, but you don’t want a lot) and cilantro. Pour into a bowl and salt to taste. Voila. 🙂 This salsa has the kind of muddy green color of cooked tomatillo sauces, and it’s the traditional kind folks use in chilaquiles here in Mexico. There’s also a raw tomatillo sauce that’s bright green, and used for putting in tacos.

    Comment by Lesley — August 13, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  9. green sauce:

    throw a few tomatillos, an onion, jalapeno(s), lime juice, cilantro in a food processor or chop finely by hand.

    Comment by dani — September 9, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

  10. Those Chilaquiles look amazing! I am drooling!

    Comment by susie @ foodie fabulista — November 18, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

  11. […] pho for breakfast (though I haven’t tried making my own yet), and the Mexican/Tex-Mex classic chilaquiles (breakfast tacos with black beans & vegetables are also […]

    Pingback by THE FOOD OF MY PEOPLE: UPMA — April 17, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

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