Chilaquiles Rojos

Chilaquiles aren’t the quickest of recipes, but that is what makes them so incredibly delectable. There are so many different ways to prepare them and serve them, but the main ingredient will always be tortillas.
By / Photography By Ben Pancoast | March 02, 2016


Serves 4

  1. Remove the husks of the tomatillos and rinse the tomatillos under cool water until the sticky film is mostly removed. (It is normal to find dried plant matter inside of the tomatillo husks.) Set them aside and allow them to dry a bit.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the guajillo and puya peppers. This is best done by cracking the pepper in half and tapping all of the seeds out. Peel garlic and slice cloves in half.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat in a shallow, medium-size frying pan. Set about 3 cups of water to boil in a small pot and turn to a simmer.
  4. Very quickly fry the guajillo and puya peppers in the oil. Keep a very close eye on them and do not allow them to turn black. If one does, it is best to discard the pepper and fry another one. Once the peppers are fried, add them to the simmering water and allow them to soften.
  5. Add the garlic clove halves to the pan and fry until golden. Place them in the pot of hot water. Next, fry the tomatillos without crowding the pan. You may have to do 2 rounds. Add the tomatillos to the garlic and peppers in the pot and allow them to gently simmer.
  6. While the vegetables simmer, add enough oil to fully cover the bottom of the frying pan with about ½ inch of depth. While the oil is heating up, stack the tortillas and cut them first in half, and then into thirds, so that each tortilla is cut into 6 triangles.
  7. Fry the tortilla pieces in several rounds to avoid overcrowding the pan. Flip them over only once. Do not allow them to turn dark brown. They should be a medium golden color, crunchy, and not soggy. Allow them to drain on a paper towel over a plate.
  8. Once all of the tortillas are fried, drain all of the oil from the pan except a teaspoon and set aside.
  9. Collect the tomatillos, garlic and the softened peppers from the water with a slotted spoon and add them to a blender. The salsa should be thick, so try your best to fully drain each item before you put them in the blender. Blend very well. Add salt to taste, about ½-1 teaspoon. Adjust if necessary.
  10. Return the frying pan to the heat and add all of the tortilla chips. Once you hear them start to pop, add the salsa to the pan and coat the chips well. You can now add the cheese and cover for a few minutes to melt, but do not let the chips become too soggy. Serve the chilaquiles onto 4 plates and garnish with cilantro, cheese, avocado, onions and sliced green onions, white part included. Drizzle a small amount of Mexican sour cream on top if you wish.
  11. While you are heating up the chips, also heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a second frying pan. Fry the eggs over easy, season lightly with salt and pepper, and serve 2 alongside or on top of each plate of chilaquiles. Enjoy immediately!

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  • 4 guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1-6 puya peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil plus more 
for frying (about ½ cup)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste for eggs
  • 4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ounce queso cotija, or 4 ounces of queso fresco or queso Chihuahua
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed, 
  • ½ cup white onion
  • Thinly sliced fresh green onions
  • Mexican sour cream (optional)
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