Monday, January 25, 2010


If my TV is on, that means one of two things is playing: HGTV or Food Network. Last Saturday morning E and I were lounging and drinking coffee when a new show came on FN. Our ears perked because we heard "real Mexican food". I had seen the promo for this new show before and Saturday was the premier dia. Chef Marcela Valladolid is from Tijuana, just like E. Her show Mexican Made Easy is on Saturday mornings at 930am. She made three recipes, and within a couple days we made 2 of them. I was happy to see Chilaquiles on her menu Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-la-key-les) are a traditional Mexican food. There are many variations, but typically tortillas are cut in quarters, fried and then red or green salsa is poured over top and softens the crisp tortillas. Usually this dish is served for breakfast or brunch and uses leftover tortillas and salsa. We made this 2 times in one week. Once with red salsa and once with green. Serve with beans. Both are muy rico!
{chilaquiles with red salsa}
{chilaquiles with green salsa}

Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
1 pound fresh tomatillos
3 fresh serrano chiles
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
Olive oil, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup chicken broth or more as needed

Preheat the broiler or oven to 550 degrees. Remove husks from the tomatillos and rinse under warm water to remove the stickiness. Put the chiles, 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 1 or 2 inches 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 chiles. Add all the broiled ingredients to a blender along with the fresh cilantro and puree. Pour in 1/4 cup of chicken broth and blend to combine. Add more broth, if needed, for desired consistency.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
10 corn tortillas, cut into eighths, preferably stale (spread out to dry overnight)
3 cups roasted Tomatillo
Salsa Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
2 thin slices onion, separated into rings
1/2 cup Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Pour about 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tortillas, working in 2 or 3 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. 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 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide the mixture among 4 individual casserole dishes. Top with the cheese crumbles and onion rings. Drizzle with Mexican crema, sprinkle with some chopped fresh cilantro and serve immediately.

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