Saturday, April 02, 2011

Morning Chill-A-Que

Totopos goes into a pan.

Admittedly, I'm a relative newcomer to Mexican cuisine but that hasn't stopped me from pursuing greater understanding of Mexican staples such as conchas, tacos al pastor and chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles. Few dishes have so quickly grown to my heart and I'm addicted. Almost anywhere that I visit, if I find chilaquiles on the menu, I'm compelled to try it to see how it compares. I make my own at home - and it's usually a rojo or red version with tomatoes but Ana prefers green and that's what she's making today.

The salsa verde stews away.

As with most great cuisine, the ingredients are simple. Some tomatillos, chiles and cilantro are blended together then cooked to meld the flavors. Add the totopos and stew both together. Top with manchego cheese, queso fresco, crema and fried eggs, with a side of refried beans and you're good to go. It's that simple.

Like Philippine Adobo, Chilaquiles vary by region, by city and by the individual. So many different interpretations are possible. Some serve the totopos crunchy but the traditional way is soft. I like it somewhere in-between.

Totopos fried a bit deeper than I'm used to at home.

What it really has come down to is a challenge. Whose Chilaquiles is best? Hers or mine? It's a foolish gamble to bet against a Mexicana, so color me foolish.

The method and some of the ingredients are different than I would do it, but the results are delicious. I'm going to have a tough time of it.

My turn comes later this month - and the stakes are high...!

Shredded chicken.

The plating begins.

Ana's Chilaquiles Verde con Huevos y Frijoles.

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