Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Challenge Chilaquiles - Almost Entirely Leftovers!

We killed so many birds with one stone with this one as far as living up to the challenge of using up things in the freezer. The best part for us was that I started the meat/chile sauce cooking in the slow cooker before I left for the day, and Jenean assembled and baked it at the end of the day. Total teamwork meal. Also - if you didn't know (and we didn't before trying it, though we had a hunch), Chilaquiles is (are?) a delicious and homey dish. It's like Mexico's answer to lasagna.

We thought of making this because of the shocking number of almost-finished bags of tortilla chips that were malingering in our pantry:

and Jenean has this "Beautiful Mexico" cookbook where there is a dreamy recipe for Chilaquiles (which I have been wanting to make for years but never have) that involved boiling a chicken, soaking various kinds of dried chiles, pureeing them up with garlic, etc. We realized it could work, even with the Challenge, because we had in the freezer:

some country style pork ribs
half a container of roasted chopped green chiles
and a few remaining tablespoons of chipotle in adobo sauce (I swear, I opened that can 2 years ago, and have been chipping off a little at a time for recipes ever since)
some stock
some chopped tomatoes and onions (really! Just sitting in the freezer, I have no idea why)
leftover salvadoran crema that needed to get used up somehow

So - I fried the pork in a frying pan, then moved it to the slow cooker. Into the frying pan I added some chopped garlic, a chopped onion and some cumin and chili powder, and some salt and pepper and the two kinds of chiles from the freezer (green anaheims, I think, and the chipotles with all the remaining adobo). I added stock, and brought it to a boil, and then blended that up in the blender, then added it to the slow cooker. Then I added the mysterious chopped tomato stuff to the frying pan to heat up, and a little more stock, and some more spices, and once that was hot, whirred it up in the blender and added it to the slow cooker. 7 hours on low.

When Jenean got home, well - I'll let her take it from here.

Hi!! When I got home, I simply layered tortilla chips, delicious chile/pork mixture, cheese, tortilla chips, delicious chile/pork mixture, cheese - 3 total layers. And I topped it off with lots of cheese and the crema Elaine mentioned earlier. Popped it in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes and PRESTO!

Totally declicious and everything I want in a Mexican dish - hot and smoky from the chiles, tender pork, lots of corn flavor from the tortilla chips and of course the best part, we used up all those silly bags of chips hanging around. So happy not to see those in our pantry anymore!

1 comment:

  1. I bet these were off the friggin chart!! God, I wish you lived near me!!

    Also, just a note for your next chilaquiles meal... there is a lovely recipe in the Frida Kahlo Party cook book (I think thats what its called).