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3 Ways to Make Chilaquiles…

3 Ways to Make Chilaquiles…



  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb. tomatillos
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapeño chiles (can be seeded to reduce spiciness)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tsp. salt, or to taste, plus extra for boiling water
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • 10 corn tortillas (6 inches wide), torn into strips
  • 2 cups Mexican-blend cheese, shredded, or 1 cup each shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack


Place chicken breasts in a shallow saucepan, cover with cold water and add salt. Place pan over medium-high heat, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. While chicken cooks, in a bowl of warm water, soak tomatillos for a few minutes to remove resin, then rinse with cool water. Dry tomatillos, cut in half and remove cores. In the bowl of blender or food processor with metal blade, place tomatillos, onion, cilantro, chiles and garlic, cover and process until smooth and well-blended, adding 1 to 2 tsp. salt, or to taste. When chicken is done, remove from water and set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred into bite-size pieces, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. In large saucepan or skillet, pour tomatillo salsa and heat over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until flavors begin to blend. While tomatillo salsa is cooking, preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large skillet, pour about 1/2 inch canola or vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Test oil by gently placing one tortilla strip in skillet; if it begins to fry, oil is ready. Cook tortilla strips in oil for about 1 to 2 minutes per side or until light golden brown (do not crowd skillet; cook strips in batches if needed), then drain tortillas on paper towel-lined platter. Once tomatillo sauce is cooked, stir in pieces of chicken. Butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Spread layer of tortilla strips on bottom of baking dish, add layer of chicken and salsa mixture, then add layer of cheese. Repeat process with second round of layers, ending with top layer of cheese. Bake about 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden-brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


This version substitutes black beans for chicken, uses reduced-fat cheese and bakes the tortillas instead of frying them to get some crunch without excess calories.


  • 10 corn tortillas (6 inches wide)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 container (15 oz.) salsa
  • 1/3 cup chopped Spanish olives, drained
  • 3 cans (14 oz. each) black beans, drained
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup reduced-fat Monterey Jack or Mexican-blend cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350°F. On nonstick sheet pan, place corn tortillas and bake until crisp, turning once, about 15 to 20 minutes, then break tortillas into large pieces and set aside. While tortillas are baking, spray heavy nonstick skillet with cooking spray, then sauté onion and green peppers over medium heat until onions turn golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Deglaze pan with chicken stock. Add garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin and chili powder, then simmer until stock reduces and flavors are well-blended, about 10 minutes. In separate container, mix salsa and olives and set aside. Add black beans to skillet, mashing some (not all) with back of spoon. Cook about 8 to 10 minutes, until beans are heated through and flavors blend. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In bottom of dish, spread layer of tortilla pieces, layer of black beans, layer of salsa mixture and layer of cheese. Repeat process with second round of layers, ending with top layer of cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Uncover dish and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until casserole browns.


Save 30 minutes by using a rotisserie chicken purchased from your supermercado deli section or by using packaged roasted chicken or turkey from the cold-cuts section.

Save 20 minutesby using a jarred tomatillo or tomato salsa.

Save 15 minutes by buying tortilla chips instead of frying your own. Save time and calories by using baked tortilla chips.

Enchiladas de Jocoque / Enchiladas with Buttermilk Sauce

Enchiladas de Jocoque / Enchiladas with Buttermilk Sauce

Enchiladas with cream sauces are popular in México, and these use the thick Mexican buttermilk called jocoque, introduced by Mexico’s Lebanese immigrants. A mixture of regular buttermilk (which is much thinner than jocoque), and Mexican crema or crême fraiche, or sour cream, makes a good substitute.

Ingredients For the green salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • salt to taste

Ingredients For the enchiladas:

  • 8 corn tortillas, 6-7 inches in diameter
  • oil as necessary
  • 2 large poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, peeled and cut into strips
  • ½ pound queso fresco, crumbled
  • 2 cups jocoque, or mix buttermilk with Mexican crema, crème fraiche or sour cream
  • dash of salt and pepper


For the salsa: Boil tomatillos, onion, and garlic in water to cover. When the tomatillos are tender, drain and place the boiled vegetables in a blender with cilantro and salt to taste. Puree until smooth.

For the enchiladas: Soft-fry the tortillas in oil, turning once when the first side puffs up. They should remain pliable and not become crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Divide the chile strips evenly among the tortillas and top the chile with some crumbled queso fresco, a tablespoon or so of the green salsa and a tablespoon of the buttermilk mixture.

Roll the enchiladas, place in a skillet, pour the rest of the salsa over all, followed by the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Cover and heat through. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings of 2 enchiladas apiece.

Enchiladas in Red Chile sauce: Enchiladas Dobladas

Enchiladas in Red Chile sauce: Enchiladas Dobladas

“Dobladas” means folded, and these can either be left unfilled and folded in half twice, to make triangular wedges for garnishing chicken and meat dishes, or filled and rolled. The sauce is my favorite all-purpose enchilada sauce. This recipe makes a large batch, enough for three dozen enchiladas, and freezes well. The round, deep reddish brown dried chiles called cascabel (because the seeds are loose and sound like a rattlesnake’s “rattler”) are mild but very tasty. If they are unavailable, substitute guajillos.

Ingredients For the sauce:

  • 12 cascabel or guajillo chiles, seeded, stemmed and soaked in hot water until soft
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 cups broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Ingredients For the enchiladas:

  • vegetable oil as necessary
  • 36 medium corn tortillas
  • 3 cups grated cheese, shredded chicken or meat, or filling of your choice

Ingredients For garnish:

  • Mexican crema or crême fraiche (optional)
  • Crumbled queso fresco or farmers’ cheese
  • Chopped onion
  • Shredded lettuce

Preparation To make the sauce:

Drain the softened chiles and set aside. On a comal, griddle or non-stick pan, roast the garlic, onions, and tomatoes until charred all over. Peel the garlic, slice onion, and tomato.

Place all sauce ingredients except the vegetable oil in a blender and puree. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gradually pour in the puree. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens to desired consistency.

Preparation To make the enchiladas:

Heat vegetable oil, as necessary, to soften tortillas, first on one side until it puffs up, then on the other side. Tortillas should be pliable. Drain on paper towels.

Dip each tortilla into the heated sauce, place on serving plate and fill with cheese, chicken, or filling of your choice. Roll and spoon additional sauce over the enchiladas. If using cream, drizzle cream over all.

Sprinkle cheese, onions, and lettuce over the enchiladas. Serves 12, with 3 enchiladas per serving.

Enchiladas in Tomatillo Cream Sauce: Enchiladas Suizas

Enchiladas in Tomatillo Cream Sauce: Enchiladas Suizas

The tomatillo, called tomate verde, was first domesticated in Central Mexico and has been the basis of sauces here since pre-Hispanic times. The cream in the recipe did not exist in Mexico until the Europeans introduced dairy products. Here the two combine beautifully to make a creamy sauce for enchiladas.

Ingredients For the sauce:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 2 serrano chiles (seeded, if desired, for less heat)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup Mexican crema, crême fraiche or sour cream
  • salt to taste

Ingredients For the enchiladas:

  • 8 medium corn tortillas
  • oil as necessary
  • cooked, shredded chicken for filling
  • cheese for melting on the enchiladas: Chihuahua, Mexican manchego, jack or Gouda


Place the tomatillos and chiles in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the tomatillos are tender. Drain and reserve ½ cup cooking liquid.

Put the tomatillos, chiles, garlic, cilantro and reserved liquid in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in the saucepan in which the tomatillos and chiles were cooked, add the puree in a slow stream, and cooked over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cream and add salt to taste.

Heat oil as necessary to soften tortillas, first on one side until it puffs up, then on the other. Tortillas should remain pliable. Drain on paper towels.

Dip each tortilla in sauce, fill with chicken, and return to the skillet in which the tortillas were softened. Spoon any remaining sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle cheese on top, cover and heat briefly, just long enough for the cheese to melt.  Do not overheat or the tortillas will become soggy.

These are richer than most other enchiladas, so two enchiladas, plus a side dish, is an average serving. Serves 4.

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