There are a few groups of people in the world who just can’t imagine not eating meat: Mexicans, Hmong and the French. I can live without the heavy creams and sauces of the French, but unfortunately for me, I LOVE Mexican food. In order to indulge, I have to make it at home, because Mexican restaurants rarely leave out the lard and chicken stock. Luckily, for the culinary world, many Mexicans are Catholic, and that means meatless Fridays during the days of Lent. Lots of wonderful creations have come from these meatless moments of penance: Chilaquiles, Chile Relleno, Enchiladas de Queso, etc. The other great thing about Mexican food is its dependance on the chile and abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Really, it’s a cuisine quite suitable to vegetarianism, and I have often wondered why a totally Mexican restaurant has not already opened in my neck of the woods! Oh yeah, they couldn’t get a parking variance, that’s right.
When we visit Mexico, we often stay in all-inclusive resorts because we can eat. Lots of people complain about the buffets always being the same, but that is not our perspective. Every day there are new veggie creations, salads, potatoes and rice, wonderful breads and cheeses – these hotels often cater to the gringo/euro crowd. But, it’s the breakfasts we really love, because that is when Mexican food becomes vegetarian. Sometimes they serve quesadillas stuffed with cheese or mushrooms, other times they make gorditas or pupusas, sometimes they have tamales de pina or de frijol and always they serve chilaquiles. This is my absolute favorite breakfast meal. Chilaquiles are leftover totopos (fried corn tortillas) smothered in warm green or red salsa and topped with crumbled queso fresco, cotija, crema, onion and cilantro. They are easy to make and completely satisfying. Today, in celebration of Christmas, I made mine green – the color of summer!
A few days later, I made these red…in honor of Christmas!
By the way, check out my new favorite blogger’s take on Chilaquiles. Mi Vida Naca
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 cups salsa, warmed
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup queso fresco, chopped
- cotija, to sprinkle on top
- crema, to drizzle on top
- cilantro garnish
Cut the tortillas into triangular sixths and fry in hot oil until they get crisp. I used very little oil to avoid the fat factor and it seems to work out well. Warm the salsa. Once the tortillas are fried, put them on a serving platter and pour the salsa over the top. Garnish with the cheeses, onions and cilantro.