Deerslayer and I had the opportunity to travel to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in June.The son of our dear friends was getting married and we headed down to attend the wedding The small town was beautiful. Cobblestone streets, breathtaking cathedrals, wonderful traditions, fabulous food, great shopping. We spent five days and would like to go back again.
There were many terrific restaurants, some with traditional foods, some with cutting edge cuisine. While I loved both, one of the traditional breakfast dishes really stood out in my mind…so much so that we went to the same restaurant twice and ordered it both times. Deerslayer and I had chilaquiles, originally a breakfast for the working classes, a way to use day-old corn tortillas, softened with salsa, flavored with leftovers, usually chicken, some cheese, some crema fresca. A poached egg was added atop the recipe we had.
The great thing about this recipe is that, to the basic corn tortillas and red or green salsa, the extra additions are as limitless as your imagination. Cheeses, onions, cilantro, varieties of meats, eggs (fried, poached, scrambled) and avocado are just a few examples. To bring a wild game aspect to the recipe, I substituted some leftover whitewing breasts,for the chicken, to create a special occasion breakfast.
Don’t freak out! You do, in fact, see venison tenderloIn rather than whitewing breast, in this photo. I actually prepared the whole thing twice, once with venison (recipe soon) and once with whitewing, since it’s almost whitewing season in this neck o’the woods.The second time I whipped up the recipe, I used leftover whitewing breast, already cooked up from a meal the previous evening.
2 corn tortillas per person
corn oil, enough to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet by about ½ an inch
a little olive oil
1 ½ jars (24 oz.) of green salsa of choice, from a jar (We like tomatillo but hatch chile or other variety would work fine.)
Leftover, cooked whitewing breasts, three or four per person
1 egg per person, poached with a little white vinegar for flavor and to set the egg whites
crumblled, white Mexican panela cheese to sprinkle
crema fresca to drizzle
cilantro and avocado for garnish
In a cast iron skillet, add about a half inch of corn oil and bring to medium high heat. Add quartered corn tortillas, one at a time, and fry until just brown around the edges and slightly crispy.
Nicely browned and crispy.
The chilaquiles that we had in San Miguel were made with a green salsa, tomatillo, to be exact. The dish can also be made with salsa roja (red sauce).
Hatch chiles also would work beautifully.
Heat enough salsa to cover your tortillas. For four servings, I used about a jar and a half or 24 oz
Poach your eggs. Set aside on a plate once they are cooked the way you like them. You don’t want them overcooked.
Arrange a pile of chips on each plate.
Pour salsa over the chips.
Crumble cheese and drizzle crema over chips and salsa.
Arrange whitewing breasts and poached egg atop the pile.
Add cilantro and avocado for fun.
The assembly of the dish was rather complicated since I was making four servings. The second time I prepared it, after frying the chips and poaching the eggs, I set out the chips, heated salsa, crumbled panela cheese, whitewing breasts, poached eggs, crema fresca, avocado, and cilantro. Everyone built their his/her own plate, adding as much or as little of the ingredients as they desired. This method was much easier for serving several people.
If you are serving this fabulous dish to first-timers (people who have never had chilaquiles before) just take the bull by the horns and show everyone how it’s done. They’ll get the hang of it.