Nothing brightens my day more than a delicious, crunchy, spicy plate of Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde. They’re the only Mexican dish I know that you can prepare on a whim, unlike Chiles en Nogada, which can take hours.
No one knows the origin of Chilaquiles for sure. Some say they were prepared in Aztec times, others say they were born during the clash of cultures in New Spain.
What is certain is that the name chilaquiles originated in the Nahuatl language from the word chilaquili, which derives from chil (chili) and aquili (inside of) and means “inside of chili” or “submerged in chili.”
Chilaquiles pair well with beef, eggs, and refried beans to create a complete meal.
If you’ve been in confinement for a while during this pandemic, you’ve probably spent more time cooking than usual. And in a moment of anxiety, you probably made your go-to comfort food.
Whenever I’m anxious or sad, I prepare a plate of Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde. Unlike other Mexican dishes, they are easy to prepare and can be enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or at lunch with a variety of salsas. For a Mexican salsa guide, click here.
To prepare Chilaquiles with Salsa verde, you’ll only need a few ingredients:
For the Salsa Verde:
- 2 lbs. of green tomatoes
- Serrano chilies, 2
- Cloves of garlic, 2
- 1 medium white onion, plus extra slices for garnish
- 10-15 sprigs of fresh cilantro
- 1-2 tsp of sea salt
- ½ Tbsp of Canola oil
- 15 oz Corn tortilla chips
- 3.5 oz Cotija cheese
- Mexican Sour Cream
- 1 sliced avocado
Cook the vegetables
Cover green tomatoes, Serrano chilies, and garlic cloves with water and boil them until the tomatoes start to change color. Set aside.
Blend all vegetables
Cut onion into smaller pieces put in the blender with salt and cilantro sprigs. Add tomatoes, chili, garlic, and 1 cup of the cooking water. Blend until smooth. If the Salsa is still thick, gradually add more cooking water. Salsa shouldn’t be too watery.
One Salsa, many uses
Not only can you use Salsa verde for chilaquiles, but you can also add it to tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and tostadas. It perfectly combines with meats and poultry, too.
Time to add Tortilla chips
In a medium saucepan, heat the canola oil until it starts to smoke lightly. Pour the Salsa and sauté it for about 5 minutes. Add Tortilla chips in batches. Leave in for about 2-3 minutes. Make sure they’re not soggy and lightly covered with Salsa before moving them to a plate.
Pour extra Salsa on tortilla chips. Garnish with grated Cotija cheese, Mexican sour cream, cilantro leaves, onion, and avocado slices.
If you decide to make Chilaquiles, let me know how they turn out in the comments.
- For the Salsa Verde:
- 2 lb of green tomatoes
- 2 Serrano chilies
- 1 medium onion, set aside a few slices for garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 10 to 15 sprigs of fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tsp sea salt
- For the Tortilla Chips:
- ½ Tbsp of canola oil
- 15 oz. of corn tortilla chips
- 3.5 oz. of Cotija cheese
- Mexican Sour Cream
- 1 sliced avocado for topping
- Cover green tomatoes, serrano chilies, and garlic with water and boil until tomatoes start changing color—reserve about 1 to 1½ cups of water.
- Cut one medium onion into smaller pieces and place in blender. Add 10-15 sprigs of cilantro and 1 tsp of salt. Add more salt to taste if needed.
- Cut serrano chili in smaller pieces and place in blender. Add green tomatoes and garlic cloves, plus 1 cup of the boiled water. If the salsa is too thick, add more water.
- Blend ingredients well until the salsa are semi-smooth.
- In a saucepan, heat ½ Tbsp of canola oil, add salsa and sauté.
- Lower heat. Add small batches of tortilla chips to the salsa, make sure they're lightly covered with salsa and set aside on a plate. Chips should never get soggy.
- Grate Cotija cheese and add it on top of the chilaquiles.
- Garnish with Mexican sour cream, onion and avocado slices, and cilantro leaves.
Another way to prepare Chilaquiles is to put Tortilla chips in an ovenproof deep dish, add the salsa, Cotija cheese, Mexican sour cream, and avocado and bake at 150ºC (300ºF) for 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves.