A TASTE OF MEXICO
Mexico City, Mexico
In this series we’re sampling the world one hassle-free recipe at a time.
This week we’re serving up a traditional Mexican dish that goes all the way back to the Aztecs. If it ain't broke...
You’ll be cooking chilaquiles - say it with us, CHEE - LA - KEY - LESS. Nailed it 👌
Fried tortillas smothered in salsa? The Aztecs were pimping nachos waaaay before Wetherspoons started torturing them...
Chilaquiles are fried tortilla triangles that get soaked in a salsa bath and topped with chilli 🌶 The word comes from the old Aztec Nahuatl language and it literally means ‘chillis and greens’.
After the Aztecs, it was savvy Mexican peasants who started cooking the dish as a way to use up stale tortillas. Then, Encarnación Pinedo decided to share the recipe with America in his 1989 Spanish cookbook, The Spanish Cook... Real inventive with the name there, Pinedo 👏
“If you are going to have a hangover, the Mexican medicine is the chilaquiles”
Wise words from an actual Latino Culture professor (Ilan Stavans) about how the dish is eaten today. We’re here for it.
Sort of like hot, soft nachos that you’ll fork not finger.
Chilaquiles is basically pieces of tortilla that get fried then coated in salsa and heaped with toppings. Usually served for breakfast, but there's never a bad time for carbs, salsa and cheese.
The garnish is up to you. Leave them nakey nakey, or go all in with pickles, refried beans, scrambled egg, shredded meat, the list goes on. We like the combo of fried egg, avo and red onion. But you do you.
Finally, you’ll want to load this bad boy up with cheese. The proper cheese to use would be cotija cheese - but basic bitch cheddar from your local Tesco express works fine.
• A dozen corn tortillas (can be stale), quartered or cut into 6 wedges
• Red salsa
• Cheese (whichever you have)
• Coriander (optional)
• 1/4 chopped red onion
• 1/2 sliced avocado
• 1 fried egg
1) Get yourself a large pan and chuck some oil in then fry your little tortilla triangles until golden brown (texture like sun. Jokes. One for the oldies)
2) Take those toasty triangles out and put them on a paper towel to soak up the oil. Then add a splash more oil to your pan and plop your salsa in until heated through.
3) Bring your tortilla triangles back to the pan party. Yes, you’ll want to coat them in the salsa and let it go all soggy. It means they have absorbed the flavour.
4) After several minutes remove from the pan and plate up. Add your fried egg, avocado slices, raw onion and mounds of cheese. Feeling fancy? Coriander the shit out of this bad boy.
Our Restaurant Pick
It’s called Chilakillers and this Mexico City restaurant looks like a Day of the Dead party… No brainer.
These guys offer loads of toppings, but go for the strips of beef with an artful round of onion and lashing of mole (a gravy-type sauce).
Afterwards hop on the bus and waddle round the Bosque de Chapultepec city park. It’s got a Natural History Museum, theme park, castle and zoo.
This one’s a keeper - hit the Lucky button then save this trip for a happier time 💚