Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chilaquiles for Breakfast

In another adventure in breakfast I decided to make chilaquiles with eggs on top. I read about them in Saveur magazine I think and was intrigued. I looked at several recipes online, and mostly used this one from

Breakfast Chilaquiles for Two
  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 dried cascabel chile
  • 3 canned tomatoes and some of their juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • 10 (6-inch) tortillas (preferably stale), each cut into 1/2 wide strips
  • 1 medium lime, juiced or 1 TB of bottled lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Black beans that have been mashed, or some refried beans (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, whatever)

  1. Fill a medium bowl with 1.5 cups of hot water.
  2. Heat up a dry cast iron pan over medium high heat. While the pan is heating, open the chiles and shake out the seeds. Tear or cut the ancho chile into strips, and roughly tear the other chiles into big pieces.
  3. When the pan is hot, put the dried chiles in it. Gently press on the chiles with a spatula and move them around the pan. You want them to get roasted/blistered but not burned. After a few minutes, remove them from the pan and put them in the bowl of hot water. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and set it aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Wipe out the cast iron pan, and add about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. You want enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan to the depth of about 1/4 inch. Heat the oil over medium high until hot but not smoking. It is hot enough if the oil bubbles vigorously when you dip the edge of a tortilla in the oil.
  5. Cover a plate with several layers of paper towels and set near the frying pan. Not so close that you set the paper towels on fire. Which I have done before. Oops.
  6. Fry strips of stale tortillas in batches of about 5 at a time. Cook about 1 minute per side until crisp and lightly browned, then remove to the paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt when done.
  7. Turn off the heat under the frying pan and let the oil cool.
  8. Return to the chiles which have been soaking. Lift them out of the liquid, and put them in a food processor with the tomatoes, garlic and 1/2 tsp of salt. Add about 1/4 cup of soaking liquid and process until smooth.
  9. Back to the frying pan which had that oil in it. Pour out most of the oil into a heat proof container. You want to leave about 1/4 cup of oil in the pan. Heat over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully and slowly pour the chile mixture into the pan. It will bubble like mad so be careful. Stir it around until everything smells delicious.
  10. Taste the chile mixture after about 5 minutes. Adjust salt as needed and add lime juice. . At this point, I put half of the sauce into a tupperware container because I was only cooking for two.
  11. Gently stir in the fried tortilla strips so they get covered in sauce. Mix in the beans if you're using them. Let cook for a few minutes.
  12. Crack the eggs into the pan, sprinkle them with salt, and stir the eggs around with all the other deliciousness in the pan.
  13. Sprinkle cheese on top, cover the pan with a lid and let cook for a few minutes. Uncover, and stir everything around. If the eggs aren't fully set, cover and let cook for another minute or two.
  14. When it's all cooked through, taste for seasoning. You may need to add more salt at this point. If you had some cilantro, that would be delicious to have on top. Or maybe a squeeze of lime juice.
  15. Devour!

These came out really tasty. It doesn't look pretty, but oh does it taste great. And as you can see, it is kitty approved.

The sauce is hot with lovely complex smokey flavors. Not just punch you in the face heat. The tortilla strips end up getting sort of crisp/soft which is lovely and the eggs just really meld all the flavors together. Despite the fact that I'm brain dead in the morning, I was able to pull this together in about 30 minutes. If I had thought ahead, I would have made the sauce the night before so that all I had to do in the morning was fry up tortillas and combine everything together.

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