Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Chilaquiles Jones

For our anniversary, my mom got me and M. a gift certificate to Frontera Grill. We went with my mom and aunt one Saturday for brunch, after buying berries and pastries at the Green City Market in Lincoln Park.

Frontera chilaquiles with guajillo sauce. And really good coffee.

I'd had chilaquiles on the brain for weeks, and M. told me I had a chiliquiles jones. He was right: when I saw it on the menu I knew I had to have it. The guajillo sauce was sharp, a little spicy, a tiny bit bitter, and all delicious. The substantial chips were made from the housemade thick tortillas, so they still had some bite despite being drowned in the delicious sauce.

After getting home, I had to make a batch of my own. I found a recipe on Epicurious, which I followed with a couple of exceptions. I used chipotle powder in place of the paprika, and I doubled it, so it cooked longer.

It was pretty easy to make. I soaked a package of guajillo chilies in hot water until they were soft, then roughly chopped jalapenos, onions, and garlic. After removing the stems and seeds from the chilies, I blended everything with drained whole tomatoes and some of the soaking liquid, and cooked  it for about 40 minutes. The heat level was still pretty low, so I added some more chipotle and cooked it a little more along with the honey.

Homemade chilaquiles
I tossed some of the sauce with store-bought tortillas and topped it with some crumbled feta (instead of queso fresco), then baked it until the chips were browned.

With some chopped sweet Texas 1015 onions, lime juice, and avocado, it was satisfying, but pretty different from Frontera's version. This one was more tomato-y and less spicy and complex. Next time, I think I'll try a mixture of dried chilies and toast them before soaking, and reduce the amount of tomato.

I'd assumed the sauce would cook down a bit, which is why I made the double batch. I ended up with four pints, which was a bit more than expected. I'll be making this again soon.

Onions: Milagro Farm
Jalapenos: Urban Roots
Garlic: Buena Tierra Farm

No comments: