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Family Table

Chilaquiles

(Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
August 26, 2009

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Serves 6

You can substitute tomatoes for the tomatillos to make a tomato salsa, but tomatillos, which look like small green tomatoes enclosed in a papery husk, yield a more interestingly flavored and somewhat tart sauce. For breakfast, serve the chilaquiles with fried or scrambled eggs.

SALSA

10 medium (1 to 1 1/4 pounds) fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
1 fresh green serrano chili or jalapeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1 cup water, or more if necessary
Black pepper, to taste

1. In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, chili, and garlic. Pulse the mixture to form a puree.

2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatillo mixture, salt, and 1 cup of water. Simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Add a little more water to thin the mixture, if you like.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl. (Make and refrigerate 1 to 2 days in advance.)

TORTILLA CHIPS

12 corn tortillas (6-inch rounds)
1 cup vegetable or canola oil

1. Stack the tortillas on a cutting board and cut through the stack to make 8 wedges per tortilla.

2. In a large deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry the tortillas (the oil will be bubbling), working in at least 5 batches, using tongs to turn the triangles, or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

ASSEMBLY

3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons milk
2 to 3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken
1 cup (about 1/4 pound) crumbled cheese, such as queso fresco, ricotta salata, or shredded Monterey Jack
3 thin slices sweet onion, separated into rings
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and milk to make a thick but pourable consistency.

2. Just before serving, heat the tomatillo salsa in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, bring to a simmer, and stir in the chips. Turn the chips in the salsa to coat them.

3. Transfer the chilaquiles to a platter and sprinkle with cheese, onion, and cilantro. Drizzle with 1/2 of the sour cream; pass the remaining cream at the table. Adapted from Tu Y Yo