Chilaquiles with roasted tomatillo salsa

  • For the tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
  • 450 g fresh tomatillos
  • 3 fresh serrano chillies
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 115g fresh coriander leaves
  • For the chilaquiles
  • 70 ml vegetable oil
  • 10 corn tortillas, cut into eighths, preferably stale (spread out to dry overnight)
  • 60ml chicken stock or more as needed
  • For the cooking
  • 680g roasted tomatillo salsa
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 115g crumbled queso fresco or a mild feta
  • 2 thin slices onion, separated into rings
  • 115g Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 60g chopped fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
  • 4 individual casserole dishes
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) To make the salsa: preheat the grill or oven to 290°C.



2) Remove husks from the tomatillos and rinse under warm water to remove the stickiness. Put the chillies, garlic, onion and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Season with a little olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Put on a rack about 2 - 4 cm from the heat, and cook, turning the vegetables once, until softened and slightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic and pull off the tops of the chillies. Add all the grilled ingredients to a blender along with the fresh coriander and puree. Pour in 60ml of chicken stock and blend to combine. Add more stock, if needed, for desired consistency.

3) To make the chilaquiles: pour about four tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tortillas, working in two or three batches, and cook until lightly browned and nearly crisp. Drain the tortillas on paper towels and discard the remaining oil. Wipe the pan with a paper towel.

4) In the same pan, add the tomatillo salsa and bring to simmer over low heat. Add the tortillas and cook until soft but not mushy, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide the mixture among four individual casserole dishes. Top with the cheese crumbles and onion rings. Drizzle with Mexican crema, sprinkle with some chopped fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Cook's Note: salsa verde means "green sauce" and is typically made with tomatillos, green chiles and coriander. Make your own fresh, or you can also find it canned at most supermarkets.

Tomatillos are a small green fruit encased in a tissue paper-like husk. They should be used when they are still green, before they are ripe and the husk has turned brown. Before using, remove the husk, rinse and dry the fruit. (They do not need to be seeded).

Chilaquiles is a Mexican brunch dish invented to use leftovers. It is made with day old tortillas (cut or torn into chips) and salsa verde. They are cooked together until the tortillas are slightly softened. Chilaquiles are eaten alone or with beans, eggs or shredded chicken.

Cook's Note: Queso fresco is a white, mild, fresh Mexican cheese with the texture of fresh farmer's cheese in the US. Queso fresco can be found in many supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online. It can be substituted with a mild feta cheese.

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