Chilaquiles: A Hearty Mexican Breakfast

heidi drygas chilaquiles 1

There is no limit to my love of the food and flavors of Mexico. My office is dangerously close to a delicious, local fresh-Mex joint, where I scarf down street tacos, quesadillas, and ceviche on a weekly basis. And I use plenty of the salsas from the fresh salsa bar to get my “vegetables” for the meal, thank-you-very-much.

All the spicy, fragrant chiles, simmering sauces, creamy refried beans, fresh lime and cilantro…Mexican is my ultimate comfort food. And while I luuuurrrrrve Mexican for lunch or dinner, my favorite time of day to enjoy Mexican food is at breakfast. Why? Because it includes eggs.

Eggs: the most perfect of all foods.

Also, it provides me an excuse to show off these beauties from my co-worker Ron’s chickens- the hardest-working mother cluckers in the Valley. A dozen gorgeous gems in a variety of colors. Who needs an Easter Bunny when you’ve got eggs like these?!

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I’ve discussed my love of Mexican breakfast before when I posted this recipe for huevos rancheros about a year ago, which you should TOTALLY try. But this recipe for chilaquiles is equally killer, and I borrow the exact same technique for the eggs. What does chilaquiles mean? As a woman of Polish decent whose authority for authentic Mexican food stems from conversations with her administrative assistant, who is married to a native of Mexico, and her co-worker Sergio, who was born and raised in Mexico…I feel I better not hold myself out to be an expert. However, the internets tell me its essentially a dish of tortilla chips and salsa. I believe the eggs were added to cure hangovers, but better not quote me on that. Let’s just say that experience is the greatest educator of all.

I highly suggest you take the time to make my friend Heather’s amazing chile verde recipe when you create this dish, which I’ve included below. In a pinch, however, any authentic brand of bottled chile verde sauce (such as Herdez) works great too.

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Find more recipes on the Chena Girl Cooks blog


Serves 4

1 bag of your favorite tortilla chips
8 eggs
butter for pan
1-16 oz. can refried beans (whichever variety you like)
prepared or homemade chile verde sauce (see Heather’s phenomenal recipe below. In a pinch, I use Herdez brand)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For topping the dish:

shredded cheddar cheese
crumbled cotija cheese
dollop of sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro

1. Add the refried beans to a small saucepan and place over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of water; cook until beans are warm and ā€œspreadable.ā€

2. Add the chile verde to another small saucepan and place over medium heat until warm and bubbly. Turn the heat down to low and keep warm.

3. In a small skillet, melt a little butter in the pan and crack two eggs into the skillet (you can crack them into a small bowl first and then slide them into the skillet if you’re worried about breaking them). Let the eggs set untouched for about 30 seconds, then add 1-2 teaspoons of water to the pan. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the eggs sizzle and steam for 2 minutes, or long enough for the yellow to slightly set but still leave a runny yolk. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a grind of fresh pepper.

4. Place 10-12 tortilla chips in a separate bowl and add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the chile verde sauce (depending on how saucy you like it- I like more, some like less). Toss well, making sure that all of the chips are covered in sauce.

5. Put a dollop of refried beans on the serving plate, then top with the saucy chips. Slide the eggs on top of the chips. Top with the cheeses, sour cream, and cilantro. Serve immediately!

Heather’s Homemade Chile Verde

(This makes more than you need for the recipe, but leftovers make THE BEST salsa!!)

2 pounds tomatillos, husked and washed
3 poblano peppers, halved and seeded
2 jalapenos, halved and seeded
1 clove of garlic
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat broil to high with rack 6-8 inches below. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss tomatillos and peppers with oil. Spread on baking sheet, peppers skin side up. Broil 4-6 minutes, checking every 60 seconds. Peppers and tomatillos should be blackened and beginning to soften.

2. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 10 minutes. When cooled, peel skin from peppers.

3. Place blackened tomatillos, peppers, cilantro, sugar, water and garlic in bowl of food processor. Pulse several times, then process until desired consistency is reached. (I like it slightly chunky.)

xo H

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Heidi was born and raised in Fairbanks, and grew up in and around the waters of the Chena River. She graduated with a degree in History from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and received her law degree from Willamette University. A lawyer by day and self-taught home cook at night, she is passionate about cooking and creating tasty, uncomplicated food. She is also a firm believer in buying local produce and products whenever possible, and is an avid fisherwoman. She currently lives in Anchorage with her trusty terrier, Milo.