Killer 'quiles

I often go on these random blogwalks that land me in the most unexpected places. A most recent one landed me on this recipe for Chilaquiles, which I learned is a Mexican comfort food, a way to use up stale tortillas, and often eaten for breakfast. Kind of like French toast (aka pain perdu) without the syrup.

I am always looking for an excuse to eat corn tortillas so I had to give it a try. I knew frying the tortilla chunks and making homemade salsa would not be Project Weeknight-friendly, so I opted for a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of a nice-looking salsa verde (green salsa).

Assembly was ridiculously simple. I dumped the salsa (16 oz jar) into a skillet and heated it to simmering, then added chips until it seemed like it wouldn't take any more, about probably five ounces by weight. I started to worry it would be too dry so I added about a 1/3 cup or so of chicken stock. I turned the chips over to be sure they were coated, then let them soak and heat through for a few minutes.

I had sold it to my son as a way to eat nachos for dinner, so I carefully moved the mass into a small casserole dish, added a layer of dry chips, and grated a half cup or so of Monterey jack cheese on top. I slid that into the toaster oven until the cheese melted. I served it with our favorite black bean and corn dish, avocado, and chopped tomato.

I'm sure it was not the most health-conscious dinner I've served (carb, much??) but it was pretty darned good. I could probably bake some plain tortillas next time, but the lure of opening a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of salsa and calling it dinner is pretty irresistible.

Hey, I haven't posted our now-standard black bean and corn concoction. I'm sure I learned it as a component of other recipes (like maybe this or this?) but it has kind of morphed into its own thing. We now serve it any time we make Mexican food. It pretty much takes the place of ground beef for us.
Black Beans and Corn
1 cup frozen corn
1 Tablespoon oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

Heat a skillet really hot, then add the frozen corn and bell pepper and toast until, uh, it starts getting brown and toasty. Set aside.

Heat the oil in the skillet. Saute the onion and garlic, add the corn and bell pepper, then add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the beans and heat through.

Anyway, Husband and son both loved the chilaquiles. I thought my son might balk at the green salsa but he didn't even seem to notice. I may try my trusty Pace Picante next time.

Next time you're tempted to toss a bag of chips and a jar of salsa on the table for dinner, try chilaquiles instead. It's much more civilized.

No comments: