Chilaquiles: in my opinion, a food from the gods. This is such a simple dish with great pleasing power.
I first discovered chilaquiles from local Mexican food expert, and my friend, Peg Poswall. At the time, she was part of Sacramento’s famed Dining Divas group, helping me plan the menu for a big nonprofit gala. I was brand new to my job and had no idea what I was doing. Peg made sure I didn’t fail. The theme of our fancy party was Mexican. Our budget was slim. The guest’s expectations would be high.
Peg—ever practical, ever glamorous, ever creative—suggested we serve chilaquiles.
“They’re basically leftover tortillas served with salsa and a little bit of cheese,” I remember her saying.
Sadly, I never got to eat the chilaquiles at our event, because I was working, though I heard they were a hit. I think I had a cold piece of pizza in the volunteer room at one o’clock in the morning during clean up. I wouldn’t get my chance to try this wonder food until years later, in Mexico. I immediately fell in love with the dish, and knew instantly why Peg had recommended it for our event. It fits a meager budget, yet still shows up on the plate looking tantalizing and tasting like a party!
Chilaquiles would be perfect to serve for Super Bowl Sunday, but they don’t transport very well. Also, if the cook wants to watch the game, you want food that can be made ahead.
Enter the chilaquiles casserole!—perfect to add to a Super Bowl buffet so folks can help themselves.
This is a favorite dish at my house. I hope it becomes one of yours, too.
Chilaquiles Casserole Recipe
½ Tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups kale, stems removed & leaves roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1 package corn tortillas, divided
4 cups whole tortilla chips, divided
24 oz salsa—choose your favorite, divided
1 ½ cups jack cheese, shredded, divided
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
Farmers’ market ingredients: onion, mushrooms, kale, corn tortillas, cheese
Supermarket ingredients: oil, frozen corn, black beans, spices, tortilla chips, salsa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the inside of the pan. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté about 3 to 5 minutes, until they are beginning to soften. Add the kale and garlic and sauté another 3 minutes. Add the corn, black beans, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste, and sauté and stir about 3 minutes more, until the spices are evenly distributed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now, evenly layer the following items in the following order into the greased casserole dish:
– Corn tortillas—half the package.
– Tortilla chips—2 cups, or half
– Sautéed veggies & beans—all
– Salsa—12 oz, or half
– Cheese—half, or ¾ cup of each
– Corn tortillas—final half package
– Tortilla chips—remaining 2 cups
– Salsa—12 oz, or remaining half
– Cheese—remaining half, or ¾ cup of each
Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve.
Yield: 8 large servings
Looking for other recipes for the Big Game?
What’s Gaby Cooking makes yummy potato skins with guacamole.
Taste’s Kitchen offers a bruschetta with sundried tomatoes.
I also recommend my easy Southwestern popcorn.