Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chilaquiles Verdes

I am embarrassed to admit how many times I have ordered the Chilaquiles Verdes at Gallo Blanco around the corner from where I live. Stephen, a server there, knows the truth. Lots. Each time I order it, I casually ask the servers about its preparation. "Sooo, what kinds of peppers do you use in the salsa verde?" I kept asking until I had a good approximation of how they prepared it. After several weeks, I had built it up so much in my mind, I was afraid I would be disappointed. But no. It is absolutely amazing! I know you'll love it.

serves four

12 tostadas*
16 ounces queso fresco
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 scallions, roughly chopped
8 fresh eggs
8 ounces roasted chicken or turkey, roughly chopped (optional)

Salsa Verde
1 Poblano pepper
2 Anaheim peppers
1 Jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
sea salt

*You can either buy tostadas in the Mexican foods section of your grocery store or make your own by frying fresh corn tortillas in about 1 inch of 375 degree oil for about 2 minutes, then draining on a cooling rack. 

Halve the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Coat the skin side with oil using a paper towel and place them on a pan under your broiler until they are charred and blistered. Remove to a separate container and cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap. Allow to steam for at least ten minutes.

When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and discard. Place the peppers and all of the remaining salsa ingredients into a blender and pulse until somewhat smooth. Season to taste with sea salt.

Combine the queso fresco with the cilantro and scallions.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place four tostadas on a large cookie sheet. Top each with a spoon full of salsa verde and spread it to the edges. Top with about 2 ounces of queso fresco. Top with another tostada, salsa and queso fresco. Reserve the third tostada. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese softens.

While they're baking, fry the eggs to your liking. I prefer over easy because that tends to yield a nice runny yolk without under cooking the whites. And a runny yolk is key to this dish. I'm supposed to tell you that eating raw or under cooked eggs is dangerous, so I will. But, what can I say, I like to live dangerously.

Remove each stack to a plate and top with the remaining tostada, a generous scoop of salsa verde and two fried eggs. Enjoy immediately.

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