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Chilaquiles with Fresh Salsa

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* In the kitchen

You can tell that chilaquiles were made to use up stale tortillas and leftovers. I think it's a real tribute to the Mexican kitchen that one of the best dishes is an attempt to be thrifty. I have a hunch cassoulet, baked beans and Shepherd's pie were also originally made by thrifty cooks. Feb_2007119 My leftovers included some fresh tomatillo salsa. I normally make chilaquiles with a chile sauce made from dried red chiles but I know a lot of people make them with fresh red or green salsas. I also had some leftover poached chicken, chicken stock and a small amount of cooked heirloom runner beans. Feb_2007121 I thinned out the tomatillo salsa with some of the stock I had leftover from poaching the chicken. You could use canned or even water. Feb_2007124 While the sauce was heating up, I chopped up some cilantro, shredded the chicken and grated some jack cheese. Feb_2007127 Luckily, I had my own tortilla chips on hand. These are literally just fried tortillas. There are some good quality chips out there and you can use them or you'll have to fry stale tortillas. I have a dear friend who uses Fritos in a pinch, but I still like her nonetheless. She is otherwise sane. The chips should absorb a lot of the liquid. You want them to stay whole and get soft, yet still be al dente. Feb_2007130 When the chips softened, I added the beans and chicken. Once they were cooked through, I added the cilantro and the cheese. Toss and serve. You could add a lot of cheese but I don't like this so much. The star of the dish should be the tortillas that have absorbed the salsa. You don't want gummy nachos. Feb_2007134 I just can't think of a better breakfast.


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