During my career, I’ve had an opportunity to travel to quite a few cities. One that I’ve been to five or six times, and just love, is San Antonio, Texas.
Prior to going I had not heard much about it. For being a very large city, it is often overshadowed by its fellow Texas brethren, Dallas and Houston. Heck, I’d even heard more about Waco and El Paso than San Antonio. Alamo. That I knew. Also something about walking on a river.
I arrived in San Antonio and made my way to the hotel. The city, for the most part, looked similar to any large one. Lots of tall buildings and quite a bit of traffic. What I did notice was not as many restaurants and pubs on the streets right downtown. I was rapidly getting disappointed. After checking in, I decided to take a walk and the concierge gave me a map of the Riverwalk (one mystery solved). I left the hotel and found that the Riverwalk was a whole story below the street level. Walking down the stairs, you enter a whole different world. There was water (the river), greenery which was mostly absent above and many, many shops, restaurants and bars at the Riverwalk level. Plus the only traffic you had to worry about was foot traffic and the occasional tourist boat on the river. I fell in love with it.
The next morning I showed up at the office and my hosts decided that we needed to walk to a nearby cafe for breakfast. We walked into a Mexican restaurant (not a minority type of restaurant in San Antonio) and had a seat. I looked at the menu and one of my hosts said I had to try the Chilaquiles. I responded “Chilly Killies? What the heck is that?” I was told to be patient as they ordered it for me.
What showed up was a huge plate of red sauce with fried tortilla chips softening in the sauce. Some chorizo and eggs were on top. As a lover of Mexican food, it looked awesome. I couldn’t wait to try it. It was not as good as it looked. It was soooo much better.
Chilaquiles were on my foodie bucket list since then but this was the first time I’ve made them. I tried it with salsa verde.
I added a can of chicken that I shredded.
Making the tortillas. You could skip this and buy tortilla chips but these are very tasty and easy to make.
The chips are drying and the onion is cooking.
With the chicken and salsa. So easy to make.
Adding my crispy chips.
And the cheese.
Topped with avocado and cilantro.
Delectable! Next time I’ll add a fried egg and make it for breakfast!
Cook Time: 15 minutes | Makes: 4
- 1 dozen corn tortillas, preferably stale, or left out overnight to dry out a bit, quartered or cut into 6 wedges
- Corn oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups red chile sauce or salsa verde*
- A few sprigs of epazote (optional)
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Crema Mexicana or creme fraiche
- Cilantro, chopped
- Chopped red onion
- Avocado, sliced or roughly chopped
1 In a large sauté pan, coat pan generously with corn oil, (1/8 inch), heat on medium high to high. When the oil is quite hot, add the tortillas, fry until golden brown. Remove tortillas to a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. Sprinkle a little salt on the tortillas. Wipe pan clean of any browned bits of tortillas.
2 Add 2 Tbsp oil to pan, bring to high heat again. Add the salsa and let salsa cook for several minutes. If you have a few sprigs of epazote, add them to the salsa. Then add the fried tortilla quarters to the salsa. Gently turn over the pieces of tortilla until they are all well coated with salsa. Let cook for a few minutes more.
Remove from heat. Serve chilaquiles with garnishes and fried eggs and beans or nopalitos.
Yield: Serves 4.