Monday 12 January 2009

chilaquiles & salsa verde

I first ate chilaquiles at a Mexican restaurant when my friend, Luis (aka Pollo) was in the kitchen whipping up our breakfast.

It was love at first bite.

The tangy flavours of the salsa verde cutting through the cheese and sticky refried beans was pure bliss.

These days Jonas and I ensure all the ingredients for chilaquiles are in the house before we go out on the town, because we know the next morning all we’ll want to do is roll out of bed and start eating this simple yet delicious brunch treat.

Chilaquiles is an amazing hangover cure.

It’s a great recipe to use up stale tortillas, which are simmered in either salsa verde (tomatillo) or salsa roja (tomato). If you’ve got a craving and no leftover tortillas then just use some unflavoured corn chips.

I prefer my simmer sauce to be tomatillo based because the tangy salsa verde makes such a great comparison to the other flavours.

Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Sauce)

Anna’s very own recipe. Makes approx 3 cups or 750ml.

1.5kg canned tomatillos, drained
1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems
2 pickled serrano chillies
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons lime juice
Salt, to taste

Put everything in a blender and blitz until smooth.

Chilaquiles (Tortilla Breakfast Bake)

Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2-4 depending on greed.

500ml salsa verde
200g stale corn tortillas, cut into small pieces
250g grated cheese
500g refried beans or whole pinto beans
Diced avocado, to serve
Crème fraîche, to serve
Salsa verde, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 180’C.

2. In a saucepan, heat the salsa verde then add the corn tortillas and simmer until softened a little.

3. Pour into a baking dish and if it’s a little dry add about ½ cup more.

4. Top with refried beans then cheese.

5. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and ingredients are heated through.

6. Serve immediately with accompaniments.

Variations: you can use tomato based sauce instead, replace tortillas with unflavoured corn chips and add shredded chicken before baking.
Other accompaniments: ham, eggs, fresh coriander, chopped onion etc.

The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family and is also known as a green tomato, tomate verde, husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry, Mexican tomato, ground cherry, tomate de cáscara, tomate de fresadilla, tomate milpero, miltomate and pokmou.

Tomatillos, although commonly referred to as tomatoes, are actually closer relatives to the gooseberry than the tomato.

They are a staple of Mexican cooking and make the world’s most delicious sauces.

The fruits are small, spherical and green or green-purple. When they are ripe they should be snug inside a papery husk but still green. Once tomatillos become yellow they are overripe and loose their tart flavour. Sauces using overripe yellow tomatillos will be too sweet. The husk is a good indication of freshness. It should be pale brown and papery, not dried and shrivelled.

It’s believed the Aztecs started cultivating the tomatillos around 800 B.C.E. The Aztec word for tomato was xitomatl and the tomatillo was call miltomatl. These words, meaning round and plump, were shortened by the Spaniards to tomatl and the origins of our own words for both fruit.

Tomatillos are my feature ingredient for Weekend Herb Blogging this week, hosted by Rachel from The Crispy Cook.



  1. Oh, I LOVE chilaquiles. Look at all that oozy goodness. Mmm.

  2. Holy Mole, that looks great! Thanks for sending a portion over to share at Weekend Herb Blogging.

  3. Hey Anna! Nothing better than a little salsa verde in the morning... Your chilaquiles look scrumptious -- wish I had some right now. Yum.

  4. Hi! The link to this under the vegetarian section is incorrect. Has an extra "h" in it - might be preventing some people from finding :)


Thanks for saying hello. It's great to know there are people out there in cyberspace!

Related Posts with Thumbnails