Having lived most of my life in WV, my experience with authentic Mexican food was pretty limited. Living in the southwest had given me a whole new appreciation for Mexican flavors, as well as access to high quality, affordable ingredients – if you haven’t been to a Cardenas, you are really missing out!
The first time I had chilaquiles, I was actually at a casino buffet. As you can imagine, they would get progressively better each time I order them somewhere. I woke up today jonesing for the dish, so I decided to make my own. If you are looking for something extremely authentic, this probably isn’t the recipe for you, but they are pretty delicious.
1 tbsp olive oil
14 oz can tomato sauce
Medium white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp paprika (try using half hot paprika for extra heat
1/2 tbsp cumin
2 heaping tbsp good chili powder
Dashes of Jalapeño Tabasco or Chipolte Tabasco to taste
Combine onions, garlic and olive oil on sauce pan, cooking for a few minutes til tender. Add tomato sauce, and remaining ingredients. Simmer 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
For the Chips
I took half a bag of white corn tortilla chips and stirred into the red sauce mixture, making sure they were well coated.
I covered a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and added additional tortilla chips, including several handfuls of Food Should Taste Good Cheddar tortilla chips – you can use what you like. I used several handfuls, and then topped the dry chips with the chips coated in red sauce. Next, I added black beans.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Fresh or dried cilantro to taste
1 can black beans – I prefer organic, no salt added.
Optional: Tajín seasoning
Drain and rinse beans, add garlic, juice from lime, cilantro, and a shake or two of Tajín. Cook for a few minutes, til heated through. Turn off heat, and partially mash with a spoon, or a sturdy glass.
Spoon beans over chips, aiming for even distribution.
Top with cheese of your choice and quantity. I used shredded quesadilla cheese, about a cup. Queso Fresco, cojita, pepper jack, Monterey Jack would all be good choices.
Pop the cookie sheet into a pre-heated 350° oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is at desired brownness.
Baking your chilaquiles allows the sauce to soak into the chips, making them soft, while the dry chips get nice and toasty, it creates a fantastic balance of textures. While they are in the oven, I scrambled up some eggs (I used 4) adding a dollop of sour cream and a few shakes of hot sauce. I also diced up some bacon that needed used (doesn’t all bacon NEED to be used?) and once it was crispy I drained it on paper towels. Leave out the bacon and you have a delicious vegetarian meal.
When the chilaquiles were done, I spooned the eggs over top, sprinkled on bacon, added dollops of sour cream and some salsa that I canned last summer, some chopped cilantro, and cubes of a big fat avocado.
I served it on the baking sheet, with a big spatula to dish it out. I made way too much for the two of us this morning! This would easily serve 4 people. It went really well with an easy fruit salad on the side.