Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chilaquiles - Ain't Yo' Mama's Nachos

It is NFL Playoff weekend and I am excited to watch my Green Bay Packers take on the Atlanta Falcons. Salsa and chips are a staple when it comes to this sort of experience but I wanted to take it up a notch like my Packers team.

Instead of chips just dipped into store-bought salsa, chilaquiles are tortilla chips that are simmered in a prepared salsa. Its main attraction is chorizo and chipotles peppers. Yeah, that sounds awesome! This dish comes from the Central part of Mexico (I have to get my ass there someday) and it usually served as a breakfest or brunch dish. Due to its spiciness, it is also a cure for a hangover, which I won't have yet at the time I will be eating these so perhaps I should leave some for the next morning. Anyway, leftover chilaquiles can be used for tortilla fillings for tacos/burritos.


  • 6 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and halved
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
  • 4 tablespooons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
  •  corn tortillas, cut into triangles
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 oz. fresh chorizo, removed from casing and chopped into chunks
  • 1⁄4 cup sour cream, optional
  • 2 oz. Mexican cheese, for topping
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
Heat oven to broil and place rack 6" from broiler. In a bowl, toss tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, and onions with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Transfer ingredients to a foil-lined baking pan.

Broil for about 5 minutes and then turn over ingredients. Broil another 5 minutes. Transfer roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add chipotle chiles, 2 tablespoons cilantro, sesame seeds, oregano, and a little water to the food processor and purée until smooth. If you have extras, you have a really nice roasted salsa!

Pour vegetable oil into a skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add triangle-cut tortillas (totopos) and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer chips to a plate.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring frequently and breaking chorizo up into small pieces. Cook for about 8 minutes. Chorizo should be a deep red color.

Add tomato–chipotle sauce to pan, stir to combine, and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, add tortilla chips. Simmer until the tortilla chips just soften, about 2 minutes.

Transfer chilaquiles to a platter and garnish with remaining cilantro, sour cream, cheese, and radishes.

Damn, these aren't your mama's nachos and I totally understand the hangover aspect. Spicy, crunchy, creamy, perfecto! It is a messy plate but that should not be a concern, use your fingers or grab a fork and dig right in. Don't wear a white shirt though. Spilled chorizo really leaves a nasty stain.
The chorizo-tomato/chipotle combination is definitely a winner, very tasty. The radishes and cilantro add a nice garden flavor and work really well as garnishes. The Mexican cheese adds the creamy touch.
Chilaquiles are not Gringo nachos. These are way better than nachos you will get at a chain restaurant or local bar. Plenty of zing and zap!
Oh yeah, tastes great with an adult beverage and it has me ready for the NFL Playoff games today!

EDIT: Packers win in domination 48-21!

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