Simple Breakfast Chilaquiles: The Authentic Mexican Tortilla Casserole
So remember just a couple of weeks ago when I told you guys about those occasional weekend mornings when I like to keep breakfast on the lighter side? Well, tomorrow morning I want nothing of the sort. I want something bad. And by “bad” I mean artery clogging, delectable. Because I don’t do it all the time. And because this week especially, I deserve it. Ohhh yes, sinning in the name of gluttony will be my focus in the AM when I cook up one of my new favorite breakfast concoctions.
Let me introduce you to a Mexican specialty that stole my heart, my palate, and my stomach when I tasted it for the very first time just a few months ago.
Chilaquiles. If you haven’t heard of this cheesy and saucy mess of a dish, then you my friend, are really missing out. Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-lah-KEE-lehs) is a traditional Mexican meal that’s so special, it’s served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I can only guess that if you haven’t been privilege to the glorious feast you’re probably wondering what the fuss is all about.
Chilaquiles is like a twist between nachos and enchiladas. And if it’s served for breakfast, you can bet some scrambled eggs are in the mix or an over-easy fried egg is thrown on top.
It’s not necessarily the prettiest plate of breakfast fare, but it is knock your socks off, tasty. Generally speaking, the preparation goes something like this. Purposely stale homemade tortillas are deep fried til crisp and then placed in a casserole dish. They are then smothered with salsa roja and sometimes, a generous spread of shredded cheese. The concoction bakes (or broils) for 5-10 minutes and then gets topped with various garnishes like avocado wedges, cilantro, red onion, scallion, chorizo, shredded chicken, and/or queso fresco. The end result is a gorge fest of breakfast nachos. With fried eggs as the “cherry” on top, it’s a weekend brunch fit for a warrior.
But don’t be surprised if the weekend warrior in you decides to lay on the couch for a couple of hours after this fantastic indulgence. Happens to the best of us.
***I simplified this recipe and used a favorite= brand of tortilla chips versus frying my own (stale) tortillas. I also made the salsa the day before so the flavors could really come out. Oh, and speaking of that salsa...big thanks to the always dreamy, Tyler Florence for his killer salsa roja recipe. With the salsa made in advance and the chips from a bag, the prep time was under 10 minutes. I can’t even explain how easy this dish is to make and just how amazingly luscious it is, either.
Super Easy Breakfast Chilaquiles
7 large handfuls of tortilla chips (about 40 chips)
1 1/2 cups salsa roja (recipe here)
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (optional)
1/2 large ripe avocado, chopped or sliced in wedges
1/3 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped or sliced extra thin
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a small saucepan on low, heat up the salsa roja until it simmers. Place the chips in an oven-safe casserole dish. Pour 1 cup salsa on top and mix until all chips are covered in salsa. Then, sprinkle with monterey jack cheese. Cover with 1/2 cup salsa. Put in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chips are softened.
3) While Chilaquiles are cooking, bring a non-stick pan with olive oil spray to medium-high heat. When hot, fry 2 eggs until whites are set but yolk is still runny.
4) Remove Chilaquiles from oven and top with onions, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco, and eggs.
5) Serve and ENJOY!!!!
***Makes 2-3 servings