Chilaquiles were invented as a way to use day old tortillas. The tortillas were fried in oil then simmered in a chile sauce to soften them. The resulting texture is quite intriguing, moist but crisp at the same time. If you only have freshly made tortillas you can separate them and leave them on the counter top to dry out for a couple hours.
Serves 4
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 small dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced red tomato
5 whole cloves
leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme
10 8-inch corn tortillas, cut into triangles
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
to taste sea salt
1/4 cup grated cotija cheese
2 tablespoons crema fresca or sour cream
4 large eggs
Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas. Fry in batches, turning often, until very golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. After tortillas are fried, toast chiles in same oil, 3-4 seconds per side, being careful not to burn. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Remove and reserve excess oil from skillet. Return skillet to medium high heat. Add onions, sauteing until golden brown on edges, about 3 minutes. Add cloves and leaves from 4 sprigs thyme. Saute additional 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Cook 30 seconds. Add toasted chiles and 1/2 cup stock. Reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes to soften chiles. Season with sea salt. Transfer mixture to blender. Add garlic and remaining 1/4 cup stock. Blend thoroughly. Strain through colander back into skillet. Place over medium low heat. Add fried tortillas. Simmer tortillas in sauce until they are well coated and hot. The sauce will darken in color considerably as it cooks. Meanwhile fry eggs in reserved oil. Season with sea salt, black pepper and remaining thyme leaves. When eggs are done, place atop chilaquiles. Garnish with cotija cheese and sour cream. Serve hot. If desired, serve jalapenos and chopped cilantro on the side.
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