Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chilaquiles for Cinco de Mayo

Saturday is Cinco de Mayo and I thought I would share one of my favorite Mexican dishes: chilaquiles. In Mexico, chilaquiles are a breakfast item designed to use up stale corn tortillas. When I vacationed in Mexico, I ate it every single day for breakfast. It's a delicious combination of corn tortillas, chiles, tomatoes, and cheese, though, the recipe is pretty adaptable to what you have on hand. This recipe could be a breakfast dish, but it's more like a Mexican lasagna, which makes it a hearty dinner dish. It is a great way to use up stale corn tortillas, or tortilla chips. If you don't have stale tortillas, it's easy to toughen up fresh ones by baking them at 350°F for 10 minutes. You want them dried out so they soak up the tomato sauce.

(serves 4, total cost is $5.35)

1 ½ Tablespoons oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 to 16 oz. can Mexican tomatoes (tomatoes with green chiles, such as Ro-tel brand)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
6 stale tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces
½ cup sour cream (lite or regular)
4 oz. colby or jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and golden. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add pinto beans, Mexican tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.

Grease a 8x8x2 inch baking dish with a little bit of oil. Spread ½ of the tortilla pieces in the bottom of the dish. Spread with ½ the tomato-bean sauce. Put on ½ the sour cream in 4 blobs and spread over tomato sauce. Sprinkle on ½ the cheese. Repeat the layers. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until hot, bubbly, and starting to brown. Serve.

Avocados or guacamole are a delicious garnish for this dish.

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