Chiliquiles with a Salsa Rojo
Chiliquiles, that ingenious salvation of crusty, drying tortillas employed by millions of thrifty Mexican housewives, is almost universally made with a green sauce of tomatillos and chilies. Who can argue against the original perfection of a national dish except one faced with a dearth of tomatillos and unwilling to make a special trip to the market for one item? This was the dilemma of Cafe Drake HRV when we opted for a less familiar form of chiliquiles, one made with a quickly cobbled together salsa rojo. The results were so spectacularly comforting and tasty we present our heretic's recipe below. Baking is also a less common cooking method for typically pan-fried chiliquiles but it works here in our out-of-the-box preparation. Note: We'll be returning to tomatillo salsas with our chiliquiles after our next food haul, and certainly next summer if our garden delivers another bumper crop in 2015, but this dish makes a nice break from the ordinary.
|Reduce/preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly cover the bottom of a medium-small casserole dish with a thin layer of the tomato and chile sauce.|
|Add a single layer of the toasted tortillas.|
|Cover the tortillas with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. You'll need about 2 cups total for the entire dish.|
|Now another layer of the salsa rojo, followed by chips, then shredded cheese and repeat from the beginning. End with a final layer of the grated cheese. Pour into the dish 3/4 cup or so of vegetable or chicken stock. Do not stir.|
|Sour cream and/or pico de gallo make excellent garnishes. Above, at Cafe Drake HRV, we served ours with sauteed zucchini (calabacitas), radishes, baby spinach and a dollop of leftover, homemade hummus.|