Sunday, May 18, 2014

Verde (Tomatillo-Poblano) Chilaquiles

I learned how to make Chilaquiles as a line cook working at a restaurant.  At least once a week while we were prepping for service Noel and Bernardo (my amigos) would take turns making them for our family meal.  They were always made with a red sauce, somewhat spicy and super delicious.  Noel would always give me a hard time because I never made Chilaquiles for them.  So one day I came in a little early and I made Verde Chilaquiles and they loved them...I felt so great that the pressure was finally off.  But one can only produce the best dish when one learns from the best...and Noel and Bernie were truly the best!

Verde Sauce:

3 Tomatillos, skins removed
1 Poblano pepper
1 Jalapeno pepper
1 Onion sliced (skin on)
3-4 Garlic cloves (skin on)
1/3-1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/3-1/2 cup cashew cream (1/2 cup cashews, blended with 1 cup water)
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Method:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place all ingredients on a sheet tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until charred.  You may need to need to remove the garlic first so that it doesn't burn.  Let cool and peel and seed peppers.  Place in a blender and blend until smooth.  I did not add cilantro to my sauce because I added it to the pico de gallo and guacamole.

After you make the sauce, turn the oven down to 325 degrees to toast the tortilla chips.  Normally, the tortilla chips are fried but you don't need to do this.  Baking produces the same end result without all the fat and calories.  When purchasing the corn tortillas I usually look for a heartier brand that will hold up to the weight of the sauce and cheese without becoming too soggy, but soggy is good too!  I like using the sliders because they cut perfectly into 4ths.  

Method:  Spray a sheet pan with vegetable spray and then spray the top of the tortillas lightly and sprinkle with salt.  Bake in the oven for about 12-14 minutes until crisp and lightly golden brown.  Turn chips over half way through the baking and keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

You have no idea how many gallons of pico de gallo I have made in my lifetime!  It is so easy and I prefer homemade salsa over store bought any day!  There is really no recipe for fresh salsa.  If you don't like white onion, add red onion and if you like it super spicy then add the whole jalapeno or leave in the seeds.  The most important thing is to dice and mince the tomatoes/vegetables's all about uniformity!... :-)

Pico de Gallo:

5 organic Roma tomatoes, seeded, julienned and diced
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

I  like using individual cazuelas to serve my Chilaquiles.  (Serves 2) 

Baked Tortilla Chips
2 - 3 cups Verde Sauce
1 package Daiya Havarti-Jalapeno Style Cheese, shredded
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Method:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add chips to a large bowl, along with 1/2 of the shredded cheese.  Heat sauce on the stove, adding additional veg stock if the sauce is too thick.  Pour sauce over chips and toss evenly to coat.  Divide mixture evenly between cazuelas or ramekins and top with additional cheese.  Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes on a sheet tray until mixture is bubbly.  Remove from oven and serve immediately garnished with cilantro and green onions.

And now for the toppings.  At the restaurant we would always serve our Chilaquiles topped with pico, guacamole (avocado, cilantro, green onion, Vegenaise, lime juice, salt and pepper) and salad made with romaine lettuce, radish, jalapeno, tossed with a red wine-oregano vinaigrette.  It doesn't get any better than this.  To my friends...Noel & Bernardo...thank you for everything you taught me in the kitchen!

No comments:

Post a Comment