I’ve shared a bunch of Cinco de Mayo-worthy recipes in the past, including my favorite ever, must-make pork carnitas, this whole line-up full of ridiculously fun and tasty things like coconut margaritas and totally grilled guacamole, and of course these chorizo breakfast tacos. I was kind of racking my brain thinking of something to share for this year's fiestivities (get it... fiesta + festivities!). I make Mexican-inspired meals a few times a week—random tacos, burritos, and quesadillas are pretty common in this household—but I just didn't feel inspired.
Then I made these chilaquiles as a quick, thrown-together meal and couldn’t wait to tell you about it. Honestly this is hardly a recipe, to the point where I feel a little weird sharing it, but it’s just so easy and good! And it uses things that I typically have in the house. I think about making spontaneous chilaquiles ALL the time, but I never seem to have stuff for the sauce, and I don’t actually want to put forth the effort of frying tortillas, so I skip it. These use a can of saucy black beans and whatever salsa you have in the fridge, plus tortilla chips.
I’m a die-hard, fanatical Juanitas devotee, so I honestly don’t know how other kinds of chips would hold up to sauce, because I don't buy other kinds of chips. I would recommend something similar, but for sure get Juanitas if you can find them near you, because there is no better tortilla chip. They’re also from my homeland, so I’ve been a fan for life... when I first moved to Seattle for college, stores up here didn't have them yet, so they were the ultimate care package item from the parents. And when I was a kid they came in those softer stretchy plastic bags, like sandwich bread comes in, with a twisty tie. Also, my friend LZ's cat, Shaboom, is obsessed with them too. People love 'em, cats love 'em. I also have no affiliation with them, I just love 'em so much I would marry them (if I didn't already marry Evan).
The big difference between chilaquiles and nachos is the lack of melted cheese, and that we’re going for a sort of soggy, sort of crispy chip, whereas with nachos, we want a totally crispy chip. Here the chips soak up the sauce but retain a little crunch, because we put ‘em under the broiler instead of simmering stove-top like most chilaquiles recipes. Then we top the whole thing with a runny fried egg and your favorite toppings. I think the crumbled cotija is a must, it adds the perfect salty tang. Plus avocado, because duh/get ‘em while you still can before the drought pries them from our avo-toast lovin’ hands.
Happy Derby/Cinco de Mayo/weekend!
Quick Black Bean Chilaquiles
This is hardly a recipe, so adjust the amounts depending on how much you want to make!
Canned black beans (NOT drained)
Crumbled cotija cheese
Thin sliced radishes
Sliced green onion or diced white onion
In a bowl, toss together a few handfuls of chips and a few spoonfulls of black beans (with sauce) and salsa. You want the chips to be fully coated in the saucy goodness. Spread chips (with the beans and salsa in the bowl) on a sheetpan, and broil until warm—they should be a little soggy, but also a little crispy. Top with fried egg(s) and remaining toppings, and go to town!