The King’s Chilaquiles

My third year of medical school has flown by! We finished all of our rotations in the core clerkships: Internal Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Pediatrics. While our third year far surpassed first and second year, it did not leave a lot of time for blogging. I am just now entering my fourth and final year of medical school. Earlier this week I completed my final exam of medical school! The beginning of the year should be pretty busy with my acting internship and away rotations, plus getting my application for residency programs together, but I am planning to make an effort to get several recipes out. Additionally, I am really excited about a class that my roomie and I will be taking this coming February: Culinary Medicine. We will be working with our school’s hospitality school and chefs to learn about diets for different chronic diseases and how to make delicious food that follows these plans. I am looking forward to blogging through the whole month, sharing the knowledge we will learn about Culinary Medicine with my readers.

Now onto the chilaquiles! I first had this dish when I was living in San Diego. One of my friends and I went to brunch at Brockton Villa, which sits just above the beautiful La Jolla Cove. If you’re in the San Diego area, I would highly recommend this spot! We were sitting outside, overlooking the blue waters of La Jolla Cove, listenign to the lazy sea lions barking at each other, when my first plate of chilquiles was set in front of me. It was served with scrambled eggs and carnitas. I believe there were also some corn tortillas. In any case, I was sold on this dish after my first bite. Yet, for whatever reason I never made it at home, while I was living in San Diego. It remained one of those dishes that I would primarily order at restaurants, because it was something that I didn’t think I would ever make at home. I suppose I thought that it must take a long time to make or be labor-intensive. When Setoo got me the Sriracha Cookbook, which I have posted about previously, I saw that it had a recipe for chilaquiles. I immediately tagged that recipe to try, but it wasn’t one of the first few recipes that I ended up trying from that cookbook. It wasn’t until this past year of medical school that I ended up giving this recipe a shot. I was on my surgical selective in ENT and the office that we had clinc was close to a Safeway, which are pretty hard to come by in Florida. On one of the occasions that I stopped there for groceries, I picked up a bag of their tortilla chips, which are made in the store. Initially, my plan was to just enjoy them with some guacamole, but that weekend I was flipping through cookbooks and realized that I had all of the ingredients to make the chilaquiles, seeing as I had the chips and had also just shredded the meat from a rotisserie chicken I got on sale. The remainder of the ingredients were pantry staples. So, while Emily was still sleeping, I made the chilaquiles and was surprised how quickly it came together. Emily’s pretty particular about her food, so I knew it was really good when it got her stamp of approval. The recipe straight from the book was twice the amount, and I felt like it made way too much for just the two of us. Since I’ve reduced the recipe by half, I find it is much more reasonable, making about 4 servings. The leftovers kept pretty well and were easy to heat up during the week before I went to the hospital or clinic in the morning. This is a versatile recipe that can be catered to any crowd. Try carnitas instead of chicken. If you’re cooking for a vegetarian crowd simply skip adding the meat or substitute with soyrizo. However you choose to make it, I doubt that you will be disappointed with this recipe and the ease you’ll have with making it!

The King’s Chilaquiles

This is a hearty breakfast, especially when it’s served alongside some scrambled eggs. Top with crumbled cotija cheese, thinly sliced jalapeños, roughly chopped cilantro, and a light drizzle of Sriracha. I have made this with processed diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, depending on what I had in the pantry at the time. The only discernible difference was that the sauce from the processed diced tomatoes has a little more body to it. Otherwise, I think they both tasted great. This recipe can easily be doubled for larger parties.

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, halved pole-to-pole, cut off the ends and thinly slice pole-to-pole
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound fried tortilla chips (not baked)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

If you are using diced tomatoes then you will want to process them first in a food processor or blender with the Sriracha until smooth. If you are using tomato sauce, then you can just whisk the tomato sauce and Sriracha together. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or other large deep pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they have softened and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Pour the tomato mixture into the skillet. It is worth mentioning that you may want to stand back or wear an apron, as this tends to cause some splatter. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, stirring every 3-4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and stir until the chicken is coated. Then add the tortilla chips and stir carefully to avoid breaking them too much. You want to evenly coat all the chips with the sauce. Continue gently folding the tortillas with the sauce until they have warmed through and absorbed some of the sauce, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately with some crumbled cotija cheese, cilantro, jalapeño slices and scrambled eggs.

The King's Chilaquiles
The King’s Chilaquiles
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