I recently ran across this video from Saveur’s Todd Coleman in which he made chilaquiles. His recipe inspired me to make one of the Mexican dishes that I’ve yet to try. It is traditionally served for breakfast or brunch, but I decided to try it for dinner instead. In Todd’s video he said that it’s important to use good tortillas, so I decided to make my own instead of buying them. It turns out that making your own tortillas is pretty simple. It’s actually quite fun, though it can be a bit time consuming if you don’t, like me, have a tortilla press. Two of my heaviest cookbooks did some double duty as a tortilla press.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be reinvented in so many ways. It starts off with a base of roasted vegetables. I used tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapenos just as Todd used for his chilaquiles. Roasting the vegetables brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables and creates exquisite complex flavors.
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- Pinch of salt
- Canola Oil (for deep frying)
- Put the masa harina into a large bowl, add the salt and whisk to distribute the salt throughout. Add the water and mix until well blended. Add more water if the dough is too dry.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and knead for about 1 minute. Make 12 small balls of dough and cover them with a damp cloth.
- Take each ball of dough and press in a tortilla press between two pieces of parchment paper or, like me, use two heavy books to press the tortillas.
- Place the tortillas onto a hot griddle or a cast iron skillet, cook for about 1 minute on the first side, flip, cook for another minute or two, then flip it back over until done, about another 30 seconds or so.
- After all of the tortillas are done, quarter them and deep fry them in canola oil until lightly golden brown.
- 5 Tomatoes, cored and halved
- 2 Onions, quartered
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 Jalapeno, whole
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 lb. Chorizo or Italian Sausage
- ¾ cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons fresh Oregano
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- 2 Chipotle peppers
- 4 Radishes, thinly sliced
- Cotija (or any crumbly type cheese if you can’t find cotija) I used ricotta salata
- Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapeno on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat the vegetables well. Place under a broiler for 7-10 minutes, or until they have charred and softened.
- Take chorizo or Italian sausage out of the casings and sauté.
- After the vegetables have finished cooking, place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno, water, oregano, sesames seeds, and chipotles in a blender and blend until this mixture is mixed well—as smooth or as chunky as you like—and then add this mixture to the cooked sausage.
- Add the fried tortillas to this mixture and cook until the tortillas are to your desired softness. Some people like them totally soft and others like them crunchier. You could also place the tortillas on a platter and then top with the vegetable mixture if you like your tortillas crunchy.
- Garnish with the radish, cotija, and chopped cilantro.