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Chipotle Chilaquiles

Without fail, if my hubby ever asks me what I want him to make me for breakfast, I say CHILAQUILES!  I love them, you see.  I'm trying to remember the first time that I ever tried them.  And as far as I can tell, it was my wedding night.  For dinner.

We didn't have much money.  We didn't have a fancy wedding.  Heck, we never really even got a honeymoon.  We shacked up in a cheap motel on our wedding night.  Truth.  But we didn't care.

I don't remember many of the details, but I do remember looking out the window and seeing that dark was setting in.  Of course, it was February, so for all I know, it could have been just after 5:00 pm.  Either way.  We were both starving.
So we hopped into the car and wound up driving down the lighted city streets almost instinctively towards a little taqueria that we know.  I wasn't in the mood for tacos or carne asada or tostadas.  So my new husband (what a novelty that is for the first year or so) asked for something that wasn't on the menu.  He described them to me.  Basically chips smothered in salsa.  Seriously, that's fundamentally what it is.  Sounded good to me.

Not long after, two huge steaming plates are set before us.  Plus a couple of Negro Modelo's to wash them down with.  I was hooked.

Not long after, hubby made me some for breakfast (my most favorite time to eat them).  Sometimes I'm in the mood for Chilaquiles Verde.  Other times Chilaquiles Rojo.  Today Chipotle Chilaquiles.  Sometimes they're mild and smothered with shredded chicken.  Other times they're so spicy that they make tiny beads of sweat break out on my forehead.  Sometimes I crave a runny egg yolk seeping down through the chips.  To me, chilaquiles are the ultimate comfort food.  They just fold you in their arms and hold you close.

 And of course, this day so many years later, I know how to make them.  And I've made them often.  But I still think he makes them the best.
Chipotle Chilaquiles

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Keywords: breakfast entree chiles tortillas tomatoes Mexican

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
    for the chilaquiles:
    • 12 corn tortillas (~10 oz.), cut into sixths
    • One (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained
    • 2-3 dried chipotle chiles or chipotles en adobo
    • 1½ Tbs. olive oil
    • 1 large white onion, sliced ¼" thick
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
    • 2½ c. chicken stock/broth (or veg broth or water) + more as needed
    • salt
    to serve:
    • crema
    • shredded cooked chicken
    • crumbled queso fresco
    • cilantro
    • fried eggs
    Instructions
    Fry the cut tortillas into crispy chips. Set aside.

    Place the drained tomatoes in the jar of a blender. Toast dried chipotles in a dry skillet over medium heat for about one minute, turning frequently, until very aromatic. Place in a small bowl and cover with the hottest tap water. Let rehydrate for 30 minutes. Drain and add to blender. (If using chipotles en adobo, simply add them to the blender jar.) Blend tomatoes and chiles to a slightly coarse puree, keeping a little texture. You should have ~2¼ cups puree.

    Set a large, deep pot or skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Add oil and onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, ~7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Raise heat to medium-high. Add tomato-chile puree and stir nearly constantly for 4-5 minutes, until mixture thickens a bit. Stir in the stock/broth and season with salt (amount varies on whether or not you salted your chips...taste it). Cover and bring to a boil.

    Turn off heat and quickly, but gently, stir in the chips. If you like, scatter a bunch of crumbled queso fresco over everything. Replace the cover and let sit 5 minutes. Slide the whole thing onto a serving platter or individual plates.

    Choose between any or all of the toppings you'd like. Add them to the plate and enjoy immediately!
    adapted from Mexico One Plate at a Time


    notes:
    I love my chilaquiles with just queso fresco and crema. But sometimes I'm in the mood for a runny fried egg on top. Other times I want some warmed, shredded chicken and a smattering of cilantro. If I'm feeling feisty, I'll put it all on there. Mi esposo likes raw onion on his. The choice is yours!

    Personally, I like my chips to still have a good bit of body to them -- some chewiness, if you will. Stirring the chips into the boiling sauce softens them very quickly. For chips with a bit of firmness and texture to them still, try putting the chips in the bottom of an empty pan (either use a separate one or pour out the sauce and use the same pan) and then pouring the boiling sauce evenly over the top. Don't stir, just let it all sort of seep in. Add cheese, if using, and cover for 5 minutes. This is my personal favorite way to eat chilaquiles.

    And NO, I would NOT recommend using baked chips in this application. They just don't hold up to the sauce. It would be like a big pile of mush on your plate. But that's just my opinion.
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    Can you guess what I'll be requesting when hubby asks me what I want to eat tomorrow morning (Mother's Day)?

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