…or, “how to eat chips and salsa for breakfast without explaining yourself.” This is one of my captain’s favorite breakfasts, making it a real shame that this is the first time I’ve made it for him…and is our twelfth wedding anniversary! I had never heard of it, so when he and his mom — who taught Mexican cooking professionally — were enthusing about it I assumed it was extremely complex and difficult and wrote it off as beyond my galley’s capabilities. Then I happened to see a recipe — it’s chips and salsa with an egg on top. The secret is a good, fresh, rich salsa rioja and contrasting cheesy and crunchy toppings.
ChilaquilesJump to Recipe
4 dried guajillo chiles
1-1/2 cups boiling water
4 cloves garlic
2 small (or one large) white onions
4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (canned)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Bag of corn tortilla chips
2/3 cup queso fresco
Handful cilantro leaves
I had hoped to have lovely Ensenada-like photos to accompany this post, but even when it’s in the 70’s in Louisiana, it can be really foggy, so this is what you get … it ain’t Playa Del Anywhere, but it’s pretty in its own way!To start your salsa, soak the quajillo chiles in the cup-and-a-half of boiling water for about 10-15 minutes until they start to soften and plump back up a bit. While they are soaking, slice one onion (or half of the large one) into thin slices, and chop the other.
Toast the garlic cloves in a dry, hot frying pan until browned.
Throw the guajillo chiles and soaking liquid, the chopped onions, garlic cloves, and chipotle peppers with a bit of the adobo sauce (as much as comes out with the chile when you pull it out of the can) into your hand cranked food processor, and grind mightily for as long as you can stand it, to get a somewhat smooth, well-incorporated salsa. Salt and pepper to taste.
I was trying to give the Captain a well deserved sleep in this morning, so I got absolutely everything ready that I could before I started banging pots and pans. This turned out to be fortuitous and I recommend it — once you start cooking, things move quickly and you want to keep everything hot until you serve. So make your salsa, get your eggs and chips out, and prepare your toppings (slice the radishes thinly, pull the cilantro leaves off the stems and roughly chop, get your avocado and cheese ready.) By the way, you want a good, heavy, thick chip like the ones you get in Mexican restaurants to hold up under the hot salsa.
A tip on avocados that I learned from the Captain (despite my being the one who grew up in an avocado grove) — keeping the seed in them slows the browning process. So to prepare for topping, I cut it in half, sliced one side down to the skin, pushed the pit into that side, sliced the other side and sandwiched it back together around the pit. Now all I have to do is push the pit out and spoon out the slices and it will stay nice and green.
Heat the oil and add most of the sliced onions. Caroline and I have resolved not to show you sauteeing onions anymore — you know how — but I include this in case you don’t believe me that you want a full 1/2 cup of oil. You will see why in the next step.
Once the onions begin to soften, add the entire bag of chips and toss to coat. I decided to use the salad servers for this and they worked well!
Add the salsa and toss to coat and heat through, without letting the chips totally collapse.
Transfer the chilaquiles to plates or a platter and immediately return the pan to the fire.
Cook your eggs however you like ’em, but I highly recommend a runny yolk to get all over things! While the eggs cook, crumble the cheese over the hot chips, adding the eggs on top of the cheese and then topping with radishes, cilantro, avocado and a few raw onion slices.
Serve to a happy Captain, attentive Spaniel Swab, and look forward to a great thirteenth year!
- 4 dried guajillo chiles
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 small (or one large) white onions
- 4 chipotle chiles in adobo (canned)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 bag thick corn chips
- 4 radishes
- 2/3 cup queso fresco
- 1 handful cilantro
- 1 avocado
- 6 eggs
- Soak dried chiles in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes until starting to soften. Toast garlic in a dry, hot pan until lightly browned. Slice one onion and chop the other.
- Combine soaked chiles and soaking liquid, chopped onion, garlic, and chiles in adobo in a food processor and grind until fairly smooth and well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat oil in frying pan and add most of the sliced onion. When onion begins to soften, add chips and toss to coat. Add salsa and toss to coat and warm through without letting chips totally collapse.
- Top with eggs cooked to order, crumbled cheese, remaining onion slices, radishes, cilantro and avocado.