September 2, 2019
Corn tortillas are smaller and sturdier than wheat flour tortillas—and they’re gluten-free, made with corn masa. They can crack more easily than wheat tortillas, but warming helps them become more pliable (wrapped in a damp tea towel in the microwave or in foil in a 250˚F oven), or there’s the option of crisping them in a hot skillet—for crunchy, golden tostadas, cook fresh corn tortillas in an inch of hot canola oil, then top with anything you might stuff a taco or burrito with. And for the freshest tortilla chips imaginable, cut a stack of fresh corn tortillas into wedges and cook them in oil until crisp, transfer to paper towels and shower them with sea salt (or cinnamon sugar) while they’re still warm.
In Mexico, chilaquiles are the quintessential late night or weekend morning fry-up, the sort of thing you might mix up on a lazy weekend. A panful of chilaquiles is made with corn tortillas, sautéed with enough salsa, chili sauce or salsa verde to soften them, and perhaps some chorizo or shredded chicken to turn them into a more substantial meal. They’re often tossed with crumbled queso fresco, Monterey Jack or feta-just long enough for the heat of the pan to melt the cheese-but spiced cheese curds are a tasty alternative. Top them with a fried egg, diced avocado or other taco-style toppings.
Chilaquiles with Spicy Cheese Curds
canola oil, for cooking
6 Las Tortillas fresh corn tortillas
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup flavoured cheese curds or grated/crumbled Cotija or queso fresco
salsa, sour cream or cilantro, for serving
Set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add about half an inch of canola oil. As it heats, cut the stack of tortillas into wedges.
When the oil is hot—the edge of a tortilla should sizzle when dipped in—fry the tortilla wedges for 1-2 minutes, turning with tongs or a slotted spoon as needed, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off most of the oil, leaving a bit in the bottom of the pan.
Fry the eggs however you like them, and transfer to a plate. Return the tortilla chips to the pan with the salsa and cook to heat through, allowing the salsa to cook down a bit and soften the chips. Add the cheese curds for another minute and transfer to shallow bowls, topping with an egg. Serve with extra salsa, sour cream and/or cilantro.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
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