Monday, June 20, 2011

Viva Breakfast! Making Chilaquiles with Ralph

Whether it's for two or twenty, I love making breakfast at the cottage. But on Sunday I was glad to step back, sip my coffee and enjoy watching Ralph prepare a favorite breakfast dish - chilaquiles. This traditional Mexican breakfast is something that Ralph's mom made, and what makes his version particularly wonderful is the inclusion of his homemade salsa.

Ralph's salsa has a great smoked flavor rich with cumin, tomato, garlic, a touch of cilantro and just enough heat to make you pay attention. Using the salsa in the chilaquiles really makes it explode with flavor. But, for people who don't happen to make delicious salsa from scratch, one could use their favorite bottled brand.

Another component that really makes chilaquiles is the type of chip used. Ralph told me that sometimes his mom would make her own corn chips. We have found that the chips made at the Honey Bee Market in Detroit's Mexicantown neighborhood work beautifully. The chips are a little thicker than average and have a good hearty crunch - they hold up in the skillet with the salsa, eggs and cheese and don't get too mushy.

As much as I love waffles and bacon, I will ALWAYS sit out when Ralph offers to make his chilaquiles!


3 TBSP vegetable oil
1 large onion - diced
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1/2 of a green or red bell pepper - diced fine
2 cups of your favorite salsa
5-6 handfuls of sturdy corn chips
6 eggs
2 cups shredded mild cheese (colby, cheddar, queso fresco, Muenster, etc)

Heat oil in electric skillet or large skillet on top of stove. Add onions and saute until soft - about 3/4 minutes. Add garlic and diced pepper - cook for one minute more. Slowly add in salsa (it will sizzle!). Mix ingredients. Add corn chips and mix to coat chips with salsa mixture. Add six eggs (you can add them whole or whisk them together in bowl before adding). Using spatula, combine ingredients well and cover skillet for a minute or so. Make sure eggs are cooked completely. Turn off  heat. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top and cover, let stand for a minute or two until cheese is melted. Cut into sections with spatula and serve. Can be topped with dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of fresh cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

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