Guest post by Adam Miller
Total score on GHG today: Adam Miller has shared his recipe for breakfast chilaquiles. Stirring up a dish of these would be an excellent way to say thanks to someone for putting you up at their place. Years ago, over a weekend getaway at a farmhouse in Wisconsin, Adam threw this together for our group. The just-foraged eggs from the hen house were a bonus that morning, but I’ve requested this several times since and it never disappoints. In fact, I think it only gets better (but the chips are super important). Plus, it’s a surefire hangover cure – a miracle one at that.
Aside from knowing his way around the kitchen, Adam is a writer, editor, curious traveler and the guy to stay up way too late with talking about music. Thanks Adam! Follow Adam around on Twitter and read more of his food writing here.
When we have house guests staying, chilaquiles is my go-to dish to prepare for brunch. It’s quick, cheap, and everyone seems to love them. If you don’t know, chilaquiles are eggs scrambled with tortilla chips. There are dozens of other ingredients that could be added but at its most basic, it’s eggs and chips – the Mexican-American version of the Jewish-American classic, matzos and eggs, if you will.
The quality of the tortilla chips is key. Tostitos and Fritos turn to mush. And you do not want Cool Ranch up in your chilaquiles! I’m spoiled in Chicago because these are plentiful and cheap. Outside of Chicago, El Milagro work nearly as well. If you can’t find either, just find a salted chip that’s made with less than 10 ingredients and looks like something you would actually see in a Mexican restaurant (not Taco Bell).
It’s hard for me to come up with a measured recipe for this—especially since there’s so many adjustments and additions depending on taste. I feel that onions are absolutely necessary for this dish. A few of the following will only make it better: garlic; bell pepper; jalapeno or other spicy pepper; cheese; tomato or a fresh salsa added during cooking.
The ratio: as a guide, go for 2 eggs and 1 big handful of chips per person. Following is how I would make this for four people:
8 eggs, whisked
4 big handfuls of good tortilla chips
1 medium onion sliced as thin as possible
1 bell pepper sliced as thin as possible
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Pico de gallo (fresh tomato salsa)
Salt, pepper to taste
Over medium heat add a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large pan. Add garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add jalapeno and bell pepper and cook until fairly soft. (Add some salt to the vegetables while they’re cooking.) Add eggs and slowly mix in. If there’s a tricky part, it’s here: Add the chips one handful at a time, and fold into the eggs. The idea is to create a range of textures so the chips added early on will be softer than those at the end. Continue to add and mix in the chips, until the eggs are cooked.
I like to serve these in a large bowl with a selection of condiments, such as good tomatillo salsa and/or fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, live wedges, and extra chips. Try it out and adjust to your own taste. Personally, I don’t think cheese adds much to this dish but I know people who disagree!