I ventured out the entire way to Mexico City last month looking for the best chilaquiles, tacos and quesadillas I could find. I found the entirety of the abovementioned, in addition to many new-to-me Mexican mixes of cheddar, flatbread and cactus or mushrooms.
On our last morning there, I strolled to the loveliest French-Mexican bistro down the road called Lardo and requested chilaquiles verdes. Chilaquiles are a customary Mexican breakfast made with tortilla chips stewed in sauce — green (verde) or red (rojo).
I joyfully sat at the bar solo, tasting my cappuccino, respecting all of the copper configuration subtleties, snoopping on the American family close by, and envisioning how fun it very well may be to go with my own family sometime in the not so distant future.
Then my chilaquiles showed up, and all center moved to the lovely food put before me. I didn’t realize that tortilla chips and salsa could be so lovely, however these were heaped high and covered with touches of queso fresco, new green cilantro leaves and loads of velvety diced avocado. (No egg; clearly I should arrange that independently, however I cherished them with no guarantees).
The chips were completely delicate, not soaked or excessively poky. The salsa tasted really new, and wasn’t overwhelmed by the kind of broiled chips. I’ve perused that the sauce for chilaquiles changes by area (in some cases it’s red), yet I feel that green sauce is more conventional in Mexico City. Those chilaquiles tasted as great as they looked, and I promised to reproduce them quickly when I returned home.
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Which I did, picking to prepare my tortilla chips as opposed to utilizing locally acquired or searing my own (huge pots of oil alarm me). I likewise made my #1 salsa verde.
I attempted different garnishes and arrived on a mix of feta (in lieu of queso fresco or Cotija), red onion (for some tone and intensity), new cilantro, seared eggs (discretionary), and, obviously, avocado.
And i painstakingly chose just-ready avocado at the store, and afterward I neglected to add it for the photographs. I went the whole way to Mexico City for this chilaquiles recipe, and I neglected to add the avocado. Head smack!
I could re-try these photographs soon to add the avocado. It’s more fundamental than the eggs! Assuming you might want to put in any amount of work and dab the absolute best guacamole at any point on top, I don’t think you’ll think twice about it.
Baked Tortilla Chips*
- 16 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups (24 ounces) salsa verde—either homemade** or store-bought***
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 fried eggs (optional)
- 1 avocado, diced
- ⅓ cup crumbled Cotija, queso fresco or feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped red onion or green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- To bake the chips: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with oil. Stack the tortillas, 4 at once, and slice them into 8 wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Divide the wedges between the two baking sheets and arrange them evenly across the pans (it’s ok if the chips overlap; they’ll shrink significantly as they bake). Sprinkle half the salt over one pan and half over the other.
- Bake, swapping the pans on their racks every 5 minutes, until the chips are curling up at the edges and some are starting to turn golden on the edges. This could take as little as 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the top rack especially, as those tend to finish baking first. Once you see the chips on the top rack turn golden on the edges, remove that pan and move the pan on the lower rack up to the top. Bake until those chips start turning golden on the edges, then remove from the oven.
- Once the chips are out of the oven, warm 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large, non-reactive (stainless steel, enameled cast iron or non-stick) skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s shimmering, add the salsa verde, being careful to avoid splatters.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the tortilla chips and cilantro until all of the chips are lightly coated, then cover and let the mixture rest (off the heat) until the chips have softened slightly, about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add the toppings of your choice, then divide the chilaquiles onto individual plates. The chips will continue softening with time, so chilaquiles are best served promptly (do not re-cover the pan to preserve heat; the chips will get far too soggy).