Chilaquiles

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Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles Rojos.JPG
Chilaquiles in a red sauce
Place of originMexico
Main ingredientsTortillas, green or red salsa, pulled chicken, cheese, refried beans

Chilaquiles (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃilaˈkiles]) from the Nahuatl word chīlāquilitl [t͡ʃiːlaːˈkilit͡ɬ] is a traditional Mexican dish.

Ingredients and variations[edit]

Typically, corn tortillas cut in quarters and lightly fried are the basis of the dish.[1] Green or red salsa or mole is poured over the crisp tortilla triangles. The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Pulled chicken is sometimes added to the mix. It is commonly garnished with crema, crumbled queso fresco, raw onion rings and avocado slices. Chilaquiles can be served with refried beans, eggs (scrambled or fried), beef and guacamole as side dish.

As with many Mexican dishes, regional and family variations are quite common. Usually, chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch. This makes them a popular recipe to use leftover tortillas and salsas.

Chilaquiles are frequently confused with Tex-Mex migas,[citation needed] as each is a dish that uses tortilla chips/strips served primarily in the morning.

Etymology[edit]

Nahuatl Names for Chilaquiles[2] 1st Component English Literal pronunciation (IPA) 2nd Component English Literal pronunciation (IPA)
chīlāquilitl [a] chīlātl chile water [ˈt͡ʃiːlaːt͡ɬ] quilitl edible plant [ˈkilit͡ɬ]
tlaxcalpōpozōn tlaxcalli tortilla [t͡ɬaʃˈkalːi] pōpozōn foam [poːˈposoːn]

Regional variations[edit]

Chilaquiles with refried beans.

In central Mexico it is common for the tortilla chips to remain crisp. To achieve this, all ingredients except the salsa are placed on a plate and the salsa is poured at the last moment, seconds before serving. In Guadalajara, cazuelas are kept simmering filled with chilaquiles that become thick in texture similar to polenta.

In the state of Sinaloa, chilaquiles are sometimes prepared with a white sauce. In the state of Tamaulipas, on the north-east side of the country, red tomato sauce is commonly used.[1]

History in the United States[edit]

Recipes for chilaquiles have been found in a U.S. cookbook published in 1898. The book was Encarnación Pinedo's El cocinero español (The Spanish Cook). She included three recipes—one for chilaquiles tapatios a la mexicana, one for chilaquiles a la mexicana, and one for chilaquiles con camarones secos (chilaquiles with dry shrimp).[3]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The English name derives from this Nahuatl word.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kennedy, Diana (1972). "Tortillas and Tortilla Dishes". The Cuisines of Mexico. Harper & Row. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-06-012344-4.
  2. ^ Nahuatl dictionary. (1997). Wired humanities project. Retrieved September 9, 2012, from link
  3. ^ Pinedo, Encarnación; Strehl, Dan; Valle, Victor (2005-10-24). "Encarnación's Kitchen: Mexican Recipes from Nineteenth-Century California". ISBN 978-0-520-24676-8.