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.
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