Recently we had a farewell barbecue for our friend Mathilde, and I found myself with all of the leftover open bags of tortilla chips. Now, I don’t waste food–and I love tortilla chips–so I had to find a way to eat them before they all went stale without having nachos everyday for lunch. And then I remembered my favorite brunch item at our local pub: chilaquiles, a saucy mess of fried tortillas, salsa, and protein (beans, chicken, eggs, or… who knows?). I have a savory palate, and I’m a huge fan of savory breakfasts. It’s a great way to knock out the extra sugar that might make you feel energized in the morning but find you crashing hours later.
This is one of my favorite Mexican foods. I don’t have Mexican heritage, and I won’t pretend that I have the cultural knowledge or the skills to make authentic chilaquiles. But what I do have are innumerable tortilla chips, an intrinsic love of brunch, and about five minutes a day to make something super filling and delicious. This is merely an homage.
Brunch with a crunch:
- A handful of your favorite store-bought tortilla chips (if you want to fry your own tortillas, kudos to you; I want to spend more time eating than cooking)
- Your favorite salsa (I am using a roasted verde, because green salsas are my jam)
- Two eggs
- Crumbles or small pieces of your favorite tangy cheese (goat cheese, cotija, or similar; you could even use feta or Parmesan if you have those in the fridge)
- Half a small lime, or bottled lime juice
- A small handful of chopped cilantro or parsley
- Your favorite hot sauce (I’m using Cholula, but I also like Tapatío for this)
There are two main steps to this recipe.
The first is to assemble and heat the base ingredients. Layer your tortilla chips, salsa (about 1/2 cup), cheese (about 1/3 cup), and lime juice in a bowl. You’ll warm this up in–brace yourself–the microwave (not authentic, but fast!) for about 2 minutes.
The second step is to fry your eggs how you like them, using a cooking spray or a dash of olive oil in your frying pan. I’m all for sunny side up, the unequivocal best way to have your eggs. Silky yolks over melted cheese and crunchy chips? Yes, please!
I like to time it so that I put the eggs in the pan and the bowl in the microwave at the same time. When they’re done, pop the eggs, cilantro or parsley, and hot sauce on top of the layers in the bowl, and enjoy.