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CHILAQUILES
Yah, I know this looks like a lot of preparation, but it isn't really. Once your red and/or green sauces are made, then you're almost there, especially if you choose to use canned refried beans (like I do!). Those sauces and refried beans can also be used for other Mexican dishes, and are great to have on hand for instant entertaining. Anyway, this is something you can really go wild with if your choose. Go for it!
Recipe published in the Washington Post 1/5/05
Serves: 6

WHAT YOU NEED:
Tortilla Chips
Refried Beans
Red Sauce
Green Sauce
1/2 medium onion -- thinly sliced
1 cup crema or sour cream
1 1/2 cups crumbled queso fresco or queso anejo
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Shredded Napa cabbage for garnish
Sliced avocado for garnish

TORTILLA CHIPS:
30 corn tortillas (6")
1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil

REFRIED BEANS:
3 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion -- finely chopped
1 clove garlic -- minced
2 cans pinto beans -- rinsed and drained

RED SAUCE:
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1/2 small onion -- coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic -- chopped
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (28 oz.)
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce -- chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried epazote or dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt

GREEN SAUCE:
1 1/4 pounds tomatilos -- husks removed
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion -- coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic -- chopped
2 Serrano chiles -- seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons dried epazote or dried oregano
Kosher salt

TORTILLA CHIPS (can be made ahead) 3 tortillas per person:
Stack the tortillas and slice into strips about 1-1/4 inch wide. Spread out on baking sheets overnight or cook in a 20-0-degree oven about 1 hour until stiff and curling. In a large heavy skillet, heat lard or oil to 350-375 deg. Working in batches, fry tortilla strips using tongs to keep from crowding the pan, until golden. Transfer to paper towels and repeat until all strips are fried.

Alternaely to Bake - Preheat ovevn to 350 deg., place tortilla strips on foil-lined baking sheets, brush with oil and bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

REFRIED BEANS:
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, heat lard or oil and cook onion and gaarlic until softened. Add the beans and mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon, working in batches if needed. Cook and stir 2-3 minites or more until desired consistency is reached.

RED SAUCE:
In a medium saucepan iover medium-low heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the lard or oil and cook onion and garlic until softened. Add tomatoes, chiles, stock and epazote or oregano, cumin and bay leaf; bring almost to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and set sauce aside to cool at least 10 minutes. Pour sauce into a food processor and process until smooth. In a clean skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of lard or oil and add the pureed sauce/ Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve warm.

GREEN SAUCE:
Preheat oven to 350 deg. put tomatillos on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until softed, about 45 minutes. (if using canned tomatillos, this step is not necessary.) In a skillet over medium-low heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the lard or oil and cook onion, garlic and chiles until softened. Transfer to a food processor, add tomatillos and cilantro; pulse until a coarse puree forms. Return skillet to medium-high heat and heat the remaining 1 tablspoon lard or oil. Add pureed sauce and epazote or regano and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve Warm.

ASSEMBLE:
On large serving plates, arrange tortilla strips, top with beans, spoon sauce over and garnish with cheese, cilantro, cabbage, avocado and cream or sour cream.

BREAKFAST TOPPINGS: Fried or poached eggs; cooked chorizo or other sausage.

LUNCH OR DINNER TOPPINGS: Marinated strips of chicken, pork or beef; Cooked taco meat or chorizo.

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Copyright 2005 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved