Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chilaquiles

Rose may be gone to L.A. but the cooking she did during her months at home lingers on with us, making memories bright and mouths water.

Here's a delicious one that actually would be a good make-ahead recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, now that I think of it.

CHILAQUILES
Adapted from “Tortilla Pie with Chorizo” in Mexican (page 140)

Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 lb ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
12 corn tortillas
3 cups Monterey Jack, grated
1 1/4 cups creme fraiche
2 cups tomatillos
4 tbsp stock or water
2 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
Small bunch of cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the pork and garlic. Stir over medium heat until the meat has browned, then stir in the oregano, chili powder, cloves, and pepper. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring constantly, then add the sherry, sugar, and salt. Stir for 3-4 minutes, until all the flavors are blended, then remove the pan from heat.

Cut the tortillas into 3/4 inch strips. Pour oil into a frying pan to a depth of 3/4 inch and heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until crisp and golden brown all over.

Spread half the pork mixture in a baking dish. Top with half the tortilla strips and grated cheese, then add dollops of creme fraiche. Repeat the layers. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling.

To make the tomatillo sauce, put tomatillos, stock or water, serrano chiles, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor or blender. Reserve a little cilantro for sprinkling. Process until smooth. Scrape into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir the sour cream into the sauce, with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture on top and serve immediately, sprinkled with cilantro.

Variation: Substitute cinnamon for chili powder.