Red Chilaquiles

Red ChilaquilesBreakfast, It’s What’s for Dinner
I have long been a fan of breakfast for dinner—it kind of feels like you’re breaking the rules a bit. A rebel without a spoon, if you will…

We would have breakfast for dinner once in a while when I was growing up, usually waffles ‘cause Dad was a big fan. When I moved out on my own, scrambled eggs and toast made for and easy and cheap dinner. Throw a little salsa on there, and it was a fiesta. Ole!

Nowadays we have breakfast for dinner at least 3 times a month. It’s my culinary equivalent to running up the white flag. Whether it is because of time constraints, over-achieving chickens or the inability to string an idea together beyond eggs, breakfast is a great way to avoid extreme pizza, Chinese take-out, burger fatigue.

Breakfast for dinner almost always involves whatever I have on hand. Sometimes that means straight up scrambled eggs and toast. Sometimes there’s bacon or sausage. Pancakes have been known to make an appearance, with or without pecans and bananas. Other times there might be drop biscuits and honey instead of toast. My favorite though, is when there are leftover tortilla chips because that means one thing: Chilaquiles.

My love of Mexican food is well documented which is why it should come as no surprise that my favorite breakfast for dinner dish is basically Mexican breakfast. If you have never had Chilaquiles you have been missing out on the ultimate comfort food and hangover cure (or so I have been told). It’s spicy, cheesy, crispy goodness piled high on your plate. Sometimes there is shredded chicken. Sometimes I use salsa verde or regular salsa instead of making a red sauce…just depends on mood and my previous shopping trips.

So next time you find yourself with a half-eaten bag of stale tortilla chips, give this a shot!

Red Chilaquiles
Yields 4 servings

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
1 jalapeño chile, or 2 serranos (depending on strength) seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 to 1 cup water as needed
Salt to taste
2 cups shredded chicken breast or thigh meat
2 cups tortilla chips
4 eggs (optional)
additional sliced onion and cilantro for garnish

For the garnish
1/2  cup crumbled queso fresco or Monterey Jack
Mexican Crema (optional)
Chopped cilantro
Sliced white onion

Soak the chopped onion in cold water for a few minutes, drain, and rinse.

Add the tomatoes, chiles, chopped onion and garlic into a blender, and purée until coarse.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. The pan has reached temperature when a drop of the puree sizzles. Add the tomato puree, and cook, stirring, for about five to ten minutes, until the sauce is darker, thickens and begins to stick to the pan. (Adjust if the mixture seems to dry by adding water.) Season to taste with salt. Turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until the sauce coats the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust salt.

Stir in the chicken and heat through.

In a different pan, fry the 4 eggs, sunny side up, if using.

Stir the tortilla chips or pieces into the tomato purée, continue stirring for a half minute, and remove from the heat. Sprinkle the cheese, Mexican crema, cilantro and sliced onion over the top, and serve.

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