Tag Archives: chilaquiles

GREEN CHICKEN CHILAQUILES

Chilaquiles are a dish that you make with leftovers. The basic recipe calls for three ingredients: stale corn tortillas, salsa (either red or green), and cheese. It is perfect for breakfast. The first time I ever had it was when a community health worker brought  a hot casserole to a staff breakfast in our clinic in the colonias southeast of El Paso. Since then, I have had chilaquiles many times in Saltillo, Mexico, gatherings in many small towns, and in Santa Fe.

The beauty of the dish is that you can dress it up as much as you wish with lots of other ingredients. That way you can turn it into a party dish. In fact, Texans have done just that. The famous Texas buffet dish, King Ranch Chicken, is basically chilaquiles made with canned mushroom, chicken, and celery soups instead of salsa.

Chilaquiles are perfect for cleaning out the refrigerator (It seems like I am always cleaning out the refrigerator). That is exactly what I did in anticipation of “Senior Day” at the local grocery store when the elderly (me) get a 10% discount on their grocery bill. I had a big can of El Pato brand green enchilada sauce (The Duck, hecho in México) that had been sitting in the pantry for months if not years. I also had a lot of stale corn tortillas. Of course I always have a bunch of stale corn tortillas. As to the enchilada sauce, it was way too vinegary for my taste. You would be better off to make your own. But then this would no longer be a recipe that you can toss together after you get home from work. I also had some cooked chicken, scallions, and snacking peppers that needed to be used. The only other ingredient I needed was cheese. For this dish I cheated and got shredded Mexican cheese from the grocery store. This is a combination of Cheddar, Monterrey jack, queso de quesadilla, and asadero that they sell for tacos and enchiladas. Again, you can just grate your own. Mozzarella works for asadero. Mushrooms would be a good addition. Just let your imagination and what needs to be used up be your guides. Here’s the recipe.

RECIPE

Green Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients

  • stale corn tortillas, about 1 dozen
  • vegetable oil
  • 28 ounces (one large can) green enchilada sauce
  • snacking peppers, about 10, sliced thinly
  • 6 scallions, cleaned and sliced, including the green tops
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • Mexican shredded cheese, about ¾ pound
  • sour cream
  • fried eggs, preferably sunny-side up (optional)

Method

  1. Cut the tortillas into eighths and fry in the vegetable oil until lightly crisp. Drain and set aside.
  2. Lightly oil a 12 x 8 inch glass baking pan and place a thin layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom.
  3. Arrange 1/3 of the tortilla pieces over the sauce so that it is completely covered.
  4. Arrange ½ of the sliced snacking peppers on top. Then a layer of ½ of the sliced scallions, ½ of the shredded chicken, and 1/3 of the grated cheese.  Dot with generous dabs of sour cream. Top with 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce.
  5. Arrange another layer of tortilla pieces on top. Then repeat the peppers, scallions, chicken, cheese, sour cream, and half of the remaining enchilada sauce.
  6. Arrange the final layer of tortilla pieces on top and cover with the remaining enchilada sauce. Generously sprinkle grated cheese over the top.
  7. Bake in the middle of an oven preheated to 350°F for one hour. Remove from the oven, and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve, topped with the optional fried eggs if desired.

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THE FERRY BUILDING FARMERS MARKET

Susan and I have been making the Great California Loop away from a computer for over two weeks, child tending in all of our children’s houses. That doesn’t mean that we have not had some good food adventures along the way. Over the next several posts, I will describe some of those experiences.

Chefs chatting in front of the Ferry Building

And what better place to begin than San Francisco’s famous Ferry Building Farmers Market? The Saturday edition is the most popular and crowded. It is a big-city street fair with buskers a-plenty, kids on skate boards, families with babies in strollers, and lots of tourists. If you watch carefully you can see some of the best known chefs in the city shopping for their weekend menus and visiting with one another. The main reason for the market’s popularity is the amazing cornucopia of the freshest Northern California food products, and this time of the year the choices are simply amazing.

Sweet peas

Sweet Williams

We  were in a celebratory mood because Sarah and Evan finalized the contract for their new restaurant space just before we headed to the market. Sarah thought we needed to be festive so our first stop was in the bank of flower stalls at the front of the building. The fragrance of the sweet peas attracted us, and Sarah bought an armful of blossoms of all hues.

Asian pears

We passed up the Asian pears and other fresh fruits because we had already opted for fresh-churned ice cream for dessert.

Choose your asparagus

Next stop was the asparagus stall. There were bundles of thick, medium, and thin stalks arranged in orderly rows. The abundance made it hard to choose, but we finally settled on three bundles of beautiful, thick, fresh stalks before moving down the row of vendors.  Fresh dill, thyme, and oregano all made it to our shopping bag.

Beautiful vegetables

Mushrooms! Baskets filled with all varieties of the tasty fungi. Criminis, whites, Portobellos, oysters, shitakes, and my favorites – lion’s manes. There were some giant royal trumpets, but we chose a basket of the most beautiful small-size trumpets.

New potatoes

New potatoes in all colors, sizes, and shapes – a good choice for smashed potatoes.

Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Company  http://www.hogislandoysters.com is one of the landmarks of the market. We often go to their restaurant for fresh oysters or clam chowder, but today we went to their food stall. They had choices of small and large local sweet oysters-in-the-shell and some crenelated beauties from British Columbia. Sarah got a dozen each of the small sweets and the BCs.

Sarah at the Prather Ranch shop

Then we went inside the Ferry Building to the Prather Ranch stall   http://www.pratherranch.com where we found some juicy lamb shanks.

Chilaquiles

A little more shopping for green garlic to braise with the lamb shanks and some baby cucumbers to turn into a salad. Then, with shopping finished we stopped off for an early lunch. There were all sorts of choices including fried chicken, porchetta sandwiches, and lots of Mexican food. We settled on plates of freshly made chilaquiles to eat al fresco on a make-do seat along a planter wall. Evan loaded up his supply for the restaurant, and Sarah and I packed ours up for what looked like a feast that evening.

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