Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish. Typically, corn tortillas cut in quarters and fried are the basis of the dish. Green or red salsa or mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles, called "totopos." The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs (scrambled or fried) and pulled chicken are sometimes added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese (typically queso fresco) and/or sour cream (crema), and it is served with refried beans. Like many dishes, regional and familial variation are quite common.

Usually, chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch. This makes them a popular recipe to use leftover tortillas and salsas.

Moreover, chilaquiles are often lauded as a cure for the common hangover; this is because in Mexico it is believed that spicy foods help in the recovery process from a hangover. However, this remedy is subject to debate since a stomach after a night of drinking usually gets very irritated. Adding spicy chilaquiles might only worsen the stomach irritation.

Chilaquiles are not to be confused with the Tex-Mex Migas, as each is a dish that uses tortilla chips/strips served primarily in the morning. In Guadalajara, cazuelas are kept simmering filled with chilaquiles that become thick in texture similar to polenta.

Etymology

The name chilaquiles is derived from the Nahuatl word chil-a-quilitl which means "herbs or greens in chile broth".

Regional variations

In Sinaloa, Mexico, the chilaquiles are prepared with a white sauce.

History of Chilaquiles in the U.S.

Recipes for chilaquiles have been found in a U.S. cookbook published in 1898. The book was Encarnación Pinedo's El cocinero español (The Spanish Cook). She included three recipes - one for chilaquiles tapatios a la mexicana, one for chilaquiles a la mexicana, and one for chilaquiles con camarones secos (chilaquiles with dry shrimp). Chilaquiles are also popular among prison inmates of Hispanic origin In these versions, sometimes seen with an alternate spelling of chilikida, Doritos are used, along with chilies, peppers, onion & tomatoes. The ingredients are mixed together with water, and heated in a microwave. Another version of this dish is sold by the organic, frozen food company Amy's Kitchen. The back of the box for their Tortilla Casserole shares the history of the company's creation of the dish.

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