Chilaquiles

October 5, 2006 at 12:43 am (A (4 stars, love), breakfast, Derek's faves, Mexican & S. American, Mom’s recipes, Quick weeknight recipe, Yearly menu plan)


This was always one of my favorite dishes growing up, and now it’s one of Derek’s favorites too. Whenever I ask him “What should we make” his answer is invariably “chilaquiles.” They’re great for brunch, and along with a vegetable or salad make a great last-minute dinner. Even though my mom gave me her recipe, hers are still always better than mine. I’m hoping to someday learn her secret!


Background
: Chilaquiles were originally created to use up stale corn tortillas. With a good sauce, the tortillas come back to life, take on all the flavors, and provide a wonderful textural contrast. I can’t get corn tortillas in Germany, so I usually use tortilla chips.

Traditionally this dish is just the tortillas and a red or green sauce, but sometimes meat, eggs, or cheese are added. Personally, I love this very non-authentic tofu version! Of course, if you’re really inspired these would be even better with a more authentic Mexican sauce, but the tomato sauce/salsa combo works okay and is fast.

Back when I could get them, I kept a pack of corn tortillas in the freezer so that I could always make this dish. Derek loves this recipe as well. He says “it tastes like it has meat in it, like amatriciana pasta–it’s almost a porky quality.”

The least intuitive but apparently preferred spelling is chilaquiles, with an A, but I’ve also seen them spelled with an I and an E (i.e. chiliquiles, or chilequiles).

Tofu chilaquiles recipe (vegan)

Servings: 2 main-dish or 4 side-dish servings

If using corn tortillas, place three in toaster oven or regular oven to lightly brown. Be careful, they burn easily!

Heat in pan on medium-high:

  • 2 tsp. oil

When hot, add and cook for about 5? minutes, until vegetables start to soften and onions begin to caramelize:

  • 1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small green pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)

Add in and cook for another 3? minutes, until tofu starts to brown:

  • 8 oz firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or add fresh garlic with the veggies above)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (may need more if your tomato sauce or chips aren’t very salty)
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)

Spread on top of tofu mixture:

  • 3 oz corn chips, crumbled (try 2.5 oz next time!) or 3 toasted corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/8 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup salsa (like Pace’s hot picante sauce or Frontera Grill’s mild roasted tomato salsa)

Stir to mix. Serve hot.

Note: If you don’t have a scale you can eyeball the right amount of chips.  In a 9-inch cast iron skillet, the crumbled chips should cover the tofu in a single layer, without any gaps where the tofu shows through.

My notes:

June 7, 2020: I’ve made these twice now for Alma (without the chipotle powder and mild salsa), and she isn’t a huge fan. She takes a few bites and then says she’s done. But today I served them with kidney beans and red bell pepper “boats” and she was happy. She mixed some of the kidney beans into the chilaquiles and declared the combination good. (I also liked it!) She ate a little then moved to just putting the kidney beans onto the red bell pepper boat. The amount of chilaquiles seemed a bit small for a brunch for three people, even with the kidney beans. Next time I want to try making slightly more. (See suggestion below.)

Update 2/2010:  I made the recipe using only 2 ounces corn chips (a brand from Lidl) and about 10? ounces of tofu.  Delicious.  Didn’t seem to be lacking in corn chips at all. Derek gave it an A rating.

Another attempt, a few days later, using 10 ounces of tofu and 2 ounces (Fuego brand) corn chips. It wasn’t nearly as good as the last time.  I’m not sure why.  Could it have been simply the difference in corn chip brand?  There didn’t seem to be any corn chips in this batch, and it wasn’t salty enough.  Derek still ate it up very happily, but I thought it just wasn’t right.  There was definitely too much tofu/veggies for the (almost negligible) amount of corn chips.

 Larger recipe (1.33 times the recipe above) to try next time:

Heat in pan on medium-high:

  • 2 tsp. oil

When hot, add and cook for about 5? minutes, until vegetables start to soften and onions begin to caramelize:

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small green pepper, diced (about 1 cup)

Add in and cook for another 3? minutes, until tofu starts to brown:

  • 11 oz firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/3 tsp. garlic powder (or add fresh garlic with the veggies above)
  • 1/3 tsp. salt (may need more if your tomato sauce or chips aren’t very salty)
  • 1/3 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)

Spread on top of tofu mixture:

  • 3.5 oz corn chips, crumbled (3 to 4 oz?) or 4 toasted corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup salsa (like Pace’s hot picante sauce or Frontera Grill’s mild roasted tomato salsa)

Stir to mix. Serve hot.

 

3 Comments

  1. Back to normal life « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] Chilaquiles with tofu and corn chips […]

  2. Cyn Makes Stuff : Very Inauthentic Vegan Chilaquiles said,

    […] time I think I’m going to try this recipe from The Captious Vegetarian. Posted by Cyn on Monday, April 19, 2010, at 4:40 pm. Filed under Cooking. Tagged chilaquiles, […]

  3. What I’ve been eating lately « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] With the leftover tortillas (actually tortilla chips) from the tortilla soup I made another one of Derek’s favorites, chilaquiles. […]

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