Tuesday, August 09, 2005

umm chilaquiles

My favorite part of working in Mexico is the food! Tortillas, Mole, Guacamole and Tacos unlike anything you can find in the states – I love it all. The problem is that days after I have returned to the white bread and mayonnaise North West, my stomach still craves the flavors of Mexico.

My addiction to Mexican food is so bad that I have been known to arrive at the airport 2 hours early just so I can have one final meal at my favorite Mexico City airport restaurant. This last trip was no exception. Since my flight was in the morning, my last meal in Mexico was Chilaquiles con Pollo. UMMMMM. For those of you who may not have had the opportunity to taste this amazing dish, there is a restaurant in Fremont called El Camino which has started to serve Chilaquiles as part of their Sunday morning brunch menu. Or, if you are more the adventurous type, here is a recipe for you to try.

½ med. Onion peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. salt
16oz shredded chicken (or chicken breast)
2 tsp. canola oil
¼ cup canola oil (for frying)
1 cup chicken broth
10 ripe plum tomatoes
10 corn tortillas
¼ lb shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
4 canned chipotle chilies – plus 2 tbsp. of the sauce from the can
1 cup crema mexicana (sour cream may be substituted)

Turn the oven to broil and place the tomatoes in an oven-proof casserole. Slide the casserole under the broiler and turn the tomatoes every few minutes until they are black in spots.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.

Peel and seed the tomatoes and put them along with 2/3 of the onion, the chilies and their sauce, garlic and salt in a food processor.

Heat the oil (2 tsp) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Puree the tomato mixture.

Add the tomato puree to the hot oil while constantly stirring. Cook and stir for 4 minutes.

The puree will turn a slightly darker color. Add the broth and keep warm.

Assembling the Dish
Heat the remaining oil in a small sauté pan over high heat. Place the tortillas in one stack and cut them into eight wedges.

Fry the tortilla wedges using tongs, until they are just golden and slightly crispy. The tortillas should still be slightly flexible.

Drain the tortillas on a plate lined with paper towels to remove the excess grease. Put a layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Add a single layer of tortilla wedges and then some of the shredded chicken and cheese.

Repeat this process until all of the tortillas, sauce, chicken and cheese are used. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 15 minues.

Serve with a few onion slices and a little of the cream mexicana drizzled over the top

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