Monday, January 11, 2010

One way or another

In his New Yorker article "What is the Recipe?," Adam Gopnik writes "The recipe book always contains two things: news of how something is made, and assurance that there's a way to make it, with the implicit belief that if I know how it is done I can show you how to do it. The premise of the recipe book is that these two things are naturally balanced; the secret of the recipe book is that they're not."

When I decided to make chilaquiles for supper club, it was because I wanted a starchy side dish. Something simple to go along with the host's chicken with chorizo. After reading the recipe from L.A.'s Original Farmers Market Cookbook on epicurious, I was inspired. But then I thought of Adam's words of truth. Reading a recipe is one thing. Following it is another. Was I really going to make fresh tomatillo salsa in January? Was I really going to buy tortillas, let them get a few days old, then fry them into tortilla chips? No. But that's no reason to go without chilaquiles.

Lazy Chilaquiles Verdes

2 jars Trader Joe's salsa verde (about 3 cups)
1 cup chicken broth
dash olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
salt to taste
20-30 tortilla chips
1/2+ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Diced white onion, cilantro, and sour cream to top. Queso fresco, si quieres.

Shred your cheese and prep the garnish items. Heat the salsa, chicken broth, and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the sauce begins to bubble, add the beaten eggs and stir to cook and incorporate. This will thicken your sauce a bit. Start adding tortilla chips and immerse in the sauce until you have layered to the surface of your sauce. The chips will soften. Sprinkle the cheese over the mixture, then spoon out onto plates. Top with garnish items, as preferred. 4 large servings or 8 side servings.

Since chilaquiles is traditionally a way to use up leftover salsa and tortillas the next morning, people will often add leftover meat as well. Chicken is a popular choice. As a side dish, I served it with roasted cauliflower.

Thanks for the pi
ñata, B!

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