Chilaquiles. Ever heard of them? I hadn’t until I saw someone make some on The Food Network a few years ago. Then my friend Tara did a guest post here on her version in 2008, but I never made them. This week I came across a recipe in a magazine, but didn’t really read it… So I decided to make some anyway today — or at least something that resembles them!
To my knowledge, chilaquiles involve chips, sauciness and cheese, you bake it and dig in. It wasn’t until after I popped mine in the oven that I poked around online to discover that calling what I made chilaquiles might be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to call it that anyway!
Here’s what I did — and keep in mind I was working with things I already had on hand (like frying some tortillas, because I was lacking the amount of chips I would use). So, feel free to substitute just about anything for anything. 🙂 I think next time I might add some veggies to the sauce too.
• 1/4 bag tortilla chips (more would be ideal, but this is what I had…)
• 8 corn tortillas, cut into small strips/chunks and lightly fried in oil
• 1 lg. (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 pkg. Trader Joe’s vegan, gluten-free chorizo
• 1/2 medium red onion, diced
• 1/2 to 1 tsp. each: cumin, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
• 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
• olive oil for cooking
• Trader Joys alternative soy cheese, mozzarella flavor, grated
• Things for Garnish: tomato, onion, spices, lettuce, avocado, sour cream, hot sauce
1. Cut soy chorizo out of plastic casing and cook in a bit of olive oil with garlic and onion.
2. When it starts to stick to the pan and the onions are soft, add can of crushed tomatoes. I started with half of the can, but it was really thick and I wanted it to be saucier, so I tossed in the whole thing. It was perfect.
3. I added spices to taste — a little salt and pepper, about 1 tsp. cumin (maybe a bit more) and several dashes each of nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
4. I let this cook for a bit while I heated the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, I chopped up several corn tortillas and quickly fried them in some oil. They were just semi crispy, but that worked for me. I think this recipe would have worked just the same if they had not been fried or if I had made a layer of whole tortillas.
5. Using an 8×8 glass dish, I put all my blue corn tortillas chips in the bottom, put a thick layer of chorizo sauce, then a layer of the fried tortilla pieces, a thin layer of the sauce and topped with grated cheese. If you’re not going vegan, here’s where you can water down some sour cream and pour it over the top too (according to those recipes I discovered after the fact).
6. I let it bake for about 20 minutes or so, until the cheese looked sufficiently melty.
7. While it was baking I made a bit of a salsa fresca — chopping up a bit more red onion and fresh tomatoes, adding a little salt, pepper and cumin to the mixture. I topped my portion with some of the salsa fresca and served it with chopped romaine and sliced avocado. You could top with sour cream or Tofutti sour cream to serve too.
This is one of the most flavorful things I have come up with in a long time! I really loved it and would definitely make it for a brunch for 5-6 people. It was just a little bit spicy, but leaving out the cayenne would help with that if you don’t do spice.
I’m happy to have discovered this vegan chorizo too — I think it would be excellent in chili or would be a perfect taco filling as is.