The Unique Method To Add Smoky Boldness To Homemade Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles, the dish consisting of tortilla chips or fried strips of tortillas that are simmered in either red or green salsa, is a classic brunch staple and hangover helper (via Britannica). Boasting a luxuriously thick sauce that results from the chips' starch thickening the salsa as they simmer, chilaquiles, once cooked and plated, are topped with a variety of add-ons, including crumbled cheese, tangy crema, sliced avocado, and fried eggs. 

As their name indicates, chilaquiles are a Mexican dish, with the word "chilaquiles" being traced back to the indigenous Mexican language Nahuatl and meaning "chiles and greens" (via Kitchn). Although you might be used to ordering chilaquiles at your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex spot, the dish is quite simple to make at home. 

Plus, in your own kitchen, you can fine-tune and customize the dish, resulting in chilaquiles your way. In this quick recipe for homemade chilaquiles, which takes only about a half hour to make, food stylist and recipe developer Michelle McGlinn, for example, takes an extra step with the from-scratch green salsa that packs flavor into each and every bite.

Charred vegetables bring smokiness to these homemade chilaquiles

If you're no newbie to making chilaquiles at home, perhaps you've still taken some shortcuts, such as starting with a bag of tortilla chips or popping open a store-bought jar of salsa. If so, you might want to graduate to this fully homemade version by McGlinn. 

The recipe takes the extra step of cutting corn tortillas into wedges and then frying them, and it also features a delicious, mildly spicy green salsa whose appeal lies in pre-charring the vegetables before blending them together with cilantro, lime juice, and salt. "Broiling the veggies for the salsa provides a charred flavor," McGlinn told us. 

In the recipe, tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, and garlic are broiled briefly until they're softened and charred, which lends a smoky quality to the resulting salsa and definitively sets it apart from store-bought versions. Once simmered with the homemade chips, the dish is layered with tantalizing toppings — smooth crema, a sprinkle of salty cotija cheese, soft slices of avocado, crunchy radish, and a hearty fried egg.