By Cynthia Sadurni
Having lived most of my adult life in Mexico, I miss the tastes from home. Luckily, many of the ingredients have become more readily available in the United States. It has taken a bit of imagination, but it is not that hard to adapt well-loved recipes to come up with flavors that are very close to those from home. I am very happy for the opportunity to share a little taste of Mexico with you!
Chilaquiles are an all-time favorite, but can be labor-intensive when prepared from scratch. This recipe is a variation of the beloved classic, adapted for a busy lifestyle by taking a few shortcuts, while maintaining all the flavor. Chilaquiles are a great option for any meal, including brunch, or a quick weekday meal. You can serve them without the chicken or as a side-dish for steak or pork. I hope that you will enjoy them!
- A rotisserie chicken, shredded, bones discarded.
- ½ bag of good triangular-shaped tortilla chips
- 2 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 large, white onion, quartered
- 1 peeled garlic clove
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- A small bunch of epazote herb (if available)
- ½ can of chipotle chiles (optional, for a spicy-hot sauce)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mexican crema (you can make your own using crème fraiche and a little milk, mixed together)
- Feta cheese, or crumbled Mexican queso fresco
- A few rings of raw red onion
In a blender or food processor, put the tomatoes, white onion, garlic, about 1½ tsp salt and a dash of pepper (If you want it spicy, also add the chipotle chiles). Blend until smooth.
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil until it’s sizzling but not smoking, and pour in the blended tomato mix. It’s important to have the heat on medium-high, as the sauce needs to be “shocked” to release the flavor. Be careful, as it may splatter, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the epazote herb, if available. Lower the temperature to medium-low, and cover the pot. Let it simmer 5-10 minutes until it changes color to a darker red/orange.
In the meantime, warm up the shredded chicken.
Once the sauce is cooked, (it’s okay if it’s not thick), add the tortilla chips. Half a bag will usually work just fine. Turn the fire off and let sit for a couple minutes.
To dish up, spoon a portion of the tortilla chips on a plate, add a generous portion of shredded chicken, then garnish with the crema, crumbled cheese, and a ring of red onion.