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Archive for September 20th, 2010

Chilaquiles

One of our favorite casserole dinners is an adaptation of a dish I found many years ago in Molly Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook.

The recipe includes some of my favorite ingredients — roasted poblano peppers,

Mexican cheeses (like cotija and queso fresco), and tortillas,

smothered with a tangy buttermilk and egg custard.

It’s the kind of dish you can make in a hurry using canned roasted peppers, or that you can spend more time on, roasting and peeling the poblanos yourself.

Either way, it’s always a crowd-pleaser and something my friends all ask me to bring to pot luck dinners.

Chilaquiles
Recipe adapted from Still Life with Menu, by Molly Katzen

2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 fresh poblano chiles, roasted , peeled and sliced*
OR
2 4 oz cans whole green chilies (you can also use roasted red peppers if you like, and you can also add things like chicken, crabmeat, or sautéed shrimp)
12 corn tortillas
2 -3 cups grated cotija and queso fresco cheeses, mixed (you can  also substitute Monterrey Jack)
salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter or oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions and garlic.  Sauté until onions are translucent.  Add the roasted or canned green chilies, roasted red peppers and shrimp or crabmeat if you are using them.
Tear the tortillas into bite sized pieces and spread 1/3 of them in the bottom of the pan.
Distribute 1/3 of the chili-onion mixture and 1/3 of the cheese over the tortillas.  Repeat these layers twice more, saving a healthy amount of cheese to sprinkle on top.
Beat the eggs and buttermilk together with salt and pepper and slowly pour this mixture over the casserole.
Top with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until bubbling and browning on top.

*To roast fresh poblanos, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast them for about 10 minutes, until they begin to char.  Turn the peppers and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes or so.  When the peppers are charred all over, remove them from the oven and let them rest, covered with aluminum foil, until they have cooled.  Carefully peel away the charred skin and remove the seeds before slicing them into strips.

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