12 Gourmet Chilaquiles You Have to TryBy Sarah Freeman | April 24, 2014 By Sarah Freeman | April 24, 2014
As we continue to contemplate the epic battle between savory and sweet brunch staples, we arrive at what might just be savory's ace in the hole. Chilaquiles - the Mexican-inspired brunch dish made by soaking tortillas in salsa and then frying or baking them until they are slightly crispy and slightly soggy. Throw some cheese on there and a fried egg with a still runny center and you have a delicious way to start a Saturday or Sunday.
While classic chilaquiles contain nothing more than chips, salsa, cheese or sour cream and an optional egg, chefs such as Chris Pandel at The Bristol are going gourmet with the popular dish. His made-to-order dish involves braising pork in a salsa roja containing a myriad of dried chilies, tomatillos, roasted pork stock, charred onions and garlic, and cilantro. Then the freshly fried corn tortilla chips are tossed with the same salsa roja and shredded pork. Pandel opts not to bake the chips, but rather serves them as is with fresh lime juice for freshness and a fried egg, pork belly rasher and crumbled cotija cheese.
It’s a lot of work for something that seems so simple, but trust us when we say that it's not easy to achieve the perfect balance of spice, heat, sogginess and crispiness when the vessel of choice is a tortilla chip. Below, see how other chefs around Chicago are interpreting this brunch favorite.