Lulu's Chilaquiles Verdes

Photo by Juanmonino/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Juanmonino/iStock / Getty Images

Dr. Ayres cooked this recipe for this year’s Poor Seminarian’s Cook-off. She learned this recipe while studying Spanish last summer in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her cooking teacher’s name was Lulu. Proportions are approximate, or to taste!

Ingredients: 

-2.5 lbs tomatillos, paper skins removed
-2-3 serrano peppers
-5-6 cloves garlic
-3 stems epazote, leaves only*
-1-2 c. water or broth
-salt to taste
-corn tortillas
For toppings:
-crumbly queso fresco
-mexican crema
-fresh onion, slices very thin
-cilantro

optional other toppings: fried egg, pulled chicken, mexican chorizo

*epazote is a mexican herb with a very strong flavor. Use only the leaves, here, and not more than the leaves of three stems. Find it at Plaza Fiesta or Buford Highway Farmers Market. In a pinch, substitute lots of cilantro.

Instructions: 

-Place tomatillos and serrano peppers into large pot, cover with water, bring to boil
-Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tomatillos are very soft inside their skins.
-In blender, puree tomatillos, peppers to taste (I start with one and add from there), garlic cloves, and epazote.
-Return to pot and add water until thin (but not too thin!). Add more salt if needed.
-Simmer for another 5 minutes or so, being careful not to cook it down too much.
-About the tortillas: There is no substitute for pan-frying fresh corn tortillas (tear into 3-inch pieces before frying until just barely crisp—about one minute—in an inch of oil). When participating in cook-off and avoiding grease fires, I use tostadas, broken into 3-inch pieces.
-Place fried tortillas or tostadas in sauce on stove, stir a couple of times. Turn off heat. Let sit in sauce for five minutes.
-Serve immediately, topped with crumbled quest fresco, onions, cilantro and crema, and any other toppings you like. With eggs, this is the best breakfast ever invented.

Additional comments: 

The sauce and tortillas, on their own, are vegan and gluten-free. If you are gluten-intolerant, do be careful when purchasing corn tortillas – some are not gluten-free!