Saturday, September 8, 2007

Chilaquiles with Kale and Guacamole

Yeah, so this lez-mex household favorite is even more bastardized than our tortilla soup. Traditional chilaquiles and our chilaquiles have some common attributes--great way to use stale tortillas, ideal for any meal or a snack, good hangover food--but we really took some liberties here to make it a super-simple one-pot meal. Because this is last-minute, nothing-in-the-fridge-but-stale-tortillas food, we've divided the ingredients list into bare-cupboard necessities and optional, delicious embellishments. This may sound like a lot of tortillas, but it's just right as dinner for two.

The Essentials

3 tablespoons peanut oil
5 tortillas, sliced into strips
3 eggs, beaten with 1/2 tsp dried oregano and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 chile pepper (we use serrano, but anything works, and if you're down to zero groceries, a dried red chile will work here too).

The Add-ins

1-2 shallots or 2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tiny tomatoes (or one large one), diced
3 tbs. salsa (for the very lazy among you)
1/2 cup finely sliced mushrooms
3-4 leaves kale or spinach, diced
fresh herbs like oregano or dill

The Topping Options

diced avocado or guacamole (see recipe below)
crumbled white cheese
fresh herbs like cilantro or basil
sour cream
more salsa (lazy, lazy bastards)

The Method:

Make sure everything is chopped and ready to go, because this will come together in minutes and you don't want the tortillas to burn while you're chopping the chile.

Heat oil in a wok. When oil is hot, throw in tortilla strips. Fry until they are just starting to turn crispy and the edges are beginning to brown. Clear out a space in the middle of the wok and add garlic, shallots or scallions, chile and cumin. Stir for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and tomatoes or salsa, then stir a minute or until tomatoes are starting to wither. Add the spinach or kale and any fresh herbs (excluding anything you want to use for toppings) and stir for about a minute, until the greens wilt. Once again, clear out a spot in the center, add another teaspoon of oil, and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble egg in center until mostly cooked, then stir everything together until eggs are fully cooked. Top with whatever garnishes you desire. Taste for salt, then eat the whole thing.


Surely everyone has their own guacamole recipe by now? If not, here's what we make with our chilaquiles.

1 avocado
1 fresh chile pepper, minced (we leave the seeds in for spicy fun)
1 scallion, minced
2 tbs. minced cilantro
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
a pinch of cumin
salt to taste

Combine, smash, enjoy.

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