Home cooking: Dad makes chilaquiles

posted on August 24, 2007 at 4:14 am
If I had to credit one person with my never-ending curiosity about food, it would have to be my Dad. When I was growing up, he was working for a large Atlanta-based company that required him to travel a lot–I remember him telling me he had done something insane like 200 countries in 5 years. Since he was traveling the world, Dad was exposed to many different cuisines and constantly brought us home little food souvenirs like stinky cheese from Paris, odd candies from Africa, immense bags of breads and smoked fish from Zabars, and dried fish snacks from Japan. When he wasn’t traveling, Dad would cook. And, man, did he cook. Braised legs of lamb in white wine, amazing risottos, cassoulet, and all sorts of Mexican dishes. One of our family-favorites was a simple Mexican breakfast of chilaquiles (a peasant dish that uses leftover salsa and tortillas). There is something about them that is so satisfying and nobody makes them better than my Dad. There are many varieties of chilaquiles. Some people add shredded chicken or turkey to the mix, but we normally make them plain. You can use a red or green salsa–whatever you prefer. Every family does them a little differently. This is how we make them:

Cut up some corn tortillas into strips or squares and fry them in oil until they get some color on them. When they are done, place them on a paper-lined plate or bowl to absorb some of the oil.
Watching Dad make chilaquiles

Watching Dad make chilaquiles

Watching Dad make chilaquiles

If you don’t have leftover salsa from the night before, make your favorite red or green salsa–just be sure it is homemade because the store-bought versions won’t cut it for this dish. Dad just normally throws one together with some tomatoes, onion, lots of salt, and whatever chiles he has on-hand.

Watching Dad make chilaquiles

Watching Dad make chilaquiles

Toss the fried tortillas strips with the salsa and top with crumbled queso freso, chopped onions, and drizzle with a little crema Mexicana. A little cilantro ain’t bad either. I like to serve with a big bowl of scrambled eggs for a bit of protein, but you can just have them on their own.

Watching Dad make chilaquiles

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One comment

  • Re: Home cooking: Dad makes chilaquiles
    posted by: lenny · July 2, 2008  12:40 PM

    OMG that looks sooo good!!

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