Food & Drink
RECIPE: Homemade Chilaquiles Verdes
by Lea Faminiano
So I’ve been on a Spanish-Latin-Mexican-Venezuelan-what-have-you food kick recently, and it’s no wonder why – the cuisine, if done right, is always colorful, flavorful, delicious, and often cheap to buy, or make. I had chilaquiles verdes a couple months ago at Long Island City’s Sage General Store and haven’t really been able to stop thinking about them, so I decided to take a shot at making my own.
Some of these ingredients may be hard to find – particularly the tomatillos, cotija, and crema – I was lucky to be in Astoria the day I planned to make these, so I stopped by Trade Fair (near the 30th Avenue N/Q stop) and was able to find all those there. If you’re in NYC, this Serious Eats article was extremely helpful in locating Mexican ingredients.
Ideally, you should really make your own tortilla chips by frying up corn tortillas in the pan, but if you’re trying to save some time (or if you don’t want your apartment to smell like a deep fryer for days) then regular salted tortilla chips should work perfectly fine, I picked up a big bag at Trader Joe’s.
I made these for dinner but I would highly recommend eating them for brunch, as they are best known for a brunch dish – plop some fried eggs on top and you’ll have yourself chilaquiles verdes con huevos!
1 16oz bag of salted tortilla chips (I didn’t use the whole bag – it really depends on how much you feel like eating)
1 pound green tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Half of a large white onion
1 serrano or jalapeño chile
1 garlic clove
1 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 tablespoons oil (I used olive)
If you like cilantro, you should add about 2-3 sprigs – we forgot to get some but it works well without.
1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija (can substitute with mild feta)
1/4 cup Mexican crema (can substitue with sour cream)
1 15 oz can of black beans
We didn’t do this, but you can add cilantro and thinly sliced onion as well.
For the tomatillo sauce:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the tomatillos, onions, garlic and chile in a bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil and rub all the ingredients until everything has a light coat of oil. Lay the ingredients evenly on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Bake until tomatillos are soft and plump, possibly until charred. This took a little over half an hour – you should continually check the oven. I waited until the ingredients were soft and barely starting to brown (I was really hungry).
Let the ingredients cool. Add the vegetables, the cilantro (if you have it) and the broth to a blender and mix well.
Heat a pan over medium heat, adding one additional tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sauce from the blender and finish cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
When the sauce is hot, quickly but carefully add the tortilla chips. Stir the chips into the mixture so that they are fully coated with the sauce – they may start to get soggy, which is okay.
Serve the chilaquiles in a large platter. Garnish with the cheese, cilantro, onions, and drizzle with the Mexican crema. Serve with a side of black beans. Eat immediately…like you need any convincing!