Tag Archives: oaxacan food

From Oaxaca with Love, my favorite Seedy Salsa

8 Jul

It’s recipe time- back by popular demand! Okay, really I just got one request, but I aim to please, folks. It turns out that a chef that cooks Mexican food in Gothenburg, Sweden, got turned on to my Oaxacan mother-in-law’s refried bean recipe via my ex-roommate Jeremy from Indiana who’s currently residing in Sweden. (I love this interconnected universe!) So in honor of fabulous roommates now residing in other places, I bring you more delights from small-town Oaxaca.

I’m showcasing one of my favorite salsa this time, partly to share with you lovelies who haven’t been to Mexico an important lesson about Mexican salsa: it’s not all this tomato-jalapeño business like you get with your chips in those “authentic” Mexican restaurants in the U.S. (Shocking, I know.) It’s not even all spicy, although there are usually peppers of some kind involved. Salsa just means sauce- you know, something to add flavor to food. It is a great way to serve more or less the same food about 10 different ways; just change the salsa.

The problem with sharing many of the best Oaxacan recipes is that many of the ingredients are not exported items. You just can’t find chepiles in Kentucky. I’d bet there aren’t any guajes in Sweden, either. With that in mind, this salsa is for the lovely folks of Gothenburg, since I hope you can find these ingredients there.


Guajes grow on a tree and you eat the softish seeds on the inside of the pod. It’s easy to open the pods, making for convenient snackfood if you have a tree around. (You’re jealous, aren’t you? My guaje tree is better than your convenience store.) You can also make salsa from it, of course.


Chepiles- perhaps my favorite food to eat in tamales… They cook down when heated like spinach but are so tender in their flavor. (Don’t let this picture fool you- they aren’t eaten raw.)

This salsa is made out of what we call semillas. Even though semilla is just the generic word for seed, this is the most common snack-food seed in Southern Oaxaca: the seed of calabaza. Calabaza means something like pumpkin or squash. Soft, small summery squash, though, is called calabacita (little squash). You can use the seeds of any hard gourd/squash- acorn squash, butternut squash, any squash or pumpkin with hard seeds.

These seeds are also really good for you, by the way; they’re full of iron, among other things.

Here are some examples of our calabazas (ambigious pumpkin/squash goodness):


softer but still not very soft squash “calabaza”


harder, winter-ish squash “calabaza”


more cheap and delicious convenience food- semillas!

Here, you can just go buy a bag of already-roasted semillas for 5 pesos (pretty cheap).If you can’t buy roasted seeds, it’s pretty easy to roast them yourself. Just separate them from the fleshy part of the squash as best you can- it doesn’t have to be completely separated because the rest will come off easily when they’re dry. Here, they get put directly on the comal (griddle), like so many foods. (Ovens aren’t commonly used unless you’re producing a bunch of bread or something.) A frying pan will do if you don’t have a griddle. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven.

Space the seeds out a little on your griddle or oven pan so that they’re not on top of each other. Add some salt and toast them (over low heat on the griddle) or roast them in the oven (at 400 degrees Fahrenheit / 200 Celcius) until they’re browned on the outside, turning occasionally. The smaller the seed, the faster they’ll roast.


Tortillas roasting over a traditional comal


This is more like the comals used on an inside stove, which goes right over 2 burners on the stove. Getting a fire started is okay on a special occassion, but mostly I’m grateful I don’t have to do it every day.


If you want seeds just for snacking, you can also add a little oil and some spices before roasting. I really like mine with some cumin and cayenne pepper (my recipe from back when I used to have to roast them myself, bwahahaha). You can eat them with the shells and all; they’re delicious and nutritious. It’s good to prepare them anytime you are using a squash with edible seeds- less food waste and more healthful snacking for you.

Here’s the recipe for Salsa de Semillas (by Paulina, my badass, feminist, Oaxacan mother-in-law who shows lots of love via what she cooks for us):


Paulina and me on the coast during my first visit, before she was my mother in law


Paulina showed me how to make salsa in the traditional molcajete on my first visit to Mexico

It’s not meant to be spicy, so if it’s hot for you, use fewer chili peppers.


1 cup roasted semillas (approximately)

10 dry, red, medium-to-low-spicy-level chili peppers- chile costeño is what is used here, but it’s hard to come by outside of here. You can substitute maybe 8-9 chiles del arbol mixed with 1 chile guajillo.

1 (medium to large) or 2 (small) cloves garlic

3 leaves of Pitiona (optional) (apparently known as Bushy Matgrass in English)- If you don’t have this, don’t worry.


salt to taste


chile costeño


Pitiona, a common herb used in cooking and natural remedies here (Sorry, guys, this probably doesn’t grow in your backyard, either.)


Step 1: Roast the seeds, as described above, if you are not buying pre-roasted semillas.

Step 2: Roast the chili peppers.

Roast the chiles on a dry griddle or frying pan on low-medium heat, similar to how you roasted the seeds. It only takes a few minutes, though, and you need to move them around on the pan every minute or two. It’s okay if they get blackened a bit, but you don’t want them crispy. You also don’t want tons of smoke from them filling up your house, so keep the heat fairly low and don’t let them get too burnt (and open a window). When they are a little black on each side (more or less- you don’t have to turn them over one by one), put them into some water to soak for about 15 minutes (longer is okay, too, but not necessary- you just want to soften them up for blending).

Step 3: Combine ingredients.

Put seeds, chili peppers, garlic and (if available) pitiona in a blender or food processer. You can also use the traditional mortal and pestle if you prefer (if you are working on your arm muscles, for example). Add a little bit of water to help the blender grind it up, and then add more to make it liquidy. Be careful, though. There is no exact amount of water, but add little bits at a time to get the right consistency. You want your salsa to be thinner than a normal paste but not watery like ketchup or something. It should be somewhere in between. Add salt if needed (depending on how salty your semillas already are).

That’s all! You can enjoy your salsa on any food. We especially love it on eggs and beans (my family’s common breakfast), but it can go on all kinds of stuff: rice, cauliflower- anything that needs a bit of pizzazz.

If you try this salsa, let me know! I want to keep my mother-in-law updated on her worldwide fame in the kitchen. Take care and buen provecho.


It should look more or less like this.

P.S. Sorry, y’all, but all the photos are from Google and not me, except for the plastic bag full of semillas and the pics of Paulina and me. I’ll try to do better next time. xoxox

To Serve or to Self-Serve, That is the Question

20 Mar

This is not an urban legends, guys, but a true story. In Kentucky, back when we lived there, there was this one lovely lady’s husband who insisted on an extreme version of being served by his wife. We’re talking about being served everything ingestible; if his wife’s hand hadn’t passed it to him it was not yet worthy of his mouth. He’d be sitting next to the pitcher of water and he’d call his wife in from the other room to come pour it into his cup. Unable to get his own silverware from the drawer. He didn’t have any sorts of abilities lacking to cause such behavior- just a big ole case of over entitlement.

That couple was from somewhere in Mexico, but I’d never have called that behavior a cultural phenomenon. My male friends from Mexico weren’t like that. My partner from Mexico was nothing like that. I chalked it up to a case of extremist patriarchy, which is tragically common worldwide (and yet none of these anti-terrorist organizations are doing anything to stop it).

Fast forward to us living in small town southern Mexico. I’m planning kid #2’s first birthday party and decide I want it to be different from the norm. I don’t want to serve typical party food (here that means tamales, pozole, barbacoa). I thought it would be fun to have finger food in honor of my birthday boy who eats everything with his hands. So I made sandwiches of varying types and cut them into cute triangles like I do for Lucia’s lunch, so people could mix and match with different kinds. I made cream cheese and cucumber, cheese and avocado, and peanut butter and jelly (on both white and wheat bread). Conan grilled some hot dogs to give carnivores something to eat. I cut some fruit and some veggies, too, to appease my own standards of giving my kiddos healthy things to snack on. To drink we did rely on the standard agua de jamaica (sweetened iced hibiscus tea) because it’s easy and cheap to make a ton of it (and good for you if you don’t add too much sugar).


Pozole- A soup with chicken and/or pork, hominy, cabbage and other “fixins” on top… Delicious, but not what I wanted for the birthday party.


Barbacoa is nothing like barbeque, although it is meat. It’s often goat or beef, and the seasoning is not sweet at all like BBQ sauce. It’s slow cooked and delicious. Also not what I wanted for the party. 

The radical part wasn’t so much what we served but rather how we served it. We laid it all out on the table and let people serve themselves. I was stoked to mix it up a bit from the normal boring party thing. Because that set-up, in my little potluck-loving Kentucky heart, is so dull and restrictive. You end up not talking to anybody; there’s no mingling. It’s all business. You sit down, get served, eat your food, get up and wait for the cake or the piñatas or whatever the next order of business is. Done. Half the time people can’t even be bothered to stay and eat the cake. They take their plate of cake with them as soon as it’s served, because apparently their quota of socializing is all used up for the day.

So I was determined to do something different. Yet I suspect that some people were as appalled by our style of self-service as I was back in Kentucky by the extremist husband. Going to the table and getting their own food was probably like they hadn’t even been invited at all, a sort of anti-hospitality. But it wasn’t on purpose! It didn’t even occur to me that it could be offensive to people. I thought it would be pleasant, so that people could pick and choose what they ate instead of being served things they might not like. I thought it would be more fun than the traditional style. Some of our crowd liked it, for sure. But there were definitely some that were far from impressed. There were women and men alike at the party who felt embarrassed to go up to the table and serve themselves. That’s just not how the roles are supposed to go at a party. That’s not what hospitality looks like here.

k bday

Khalil is like, “Are they going to give me that thing? Or are they just teasing me?” You can see our buffet table there in the background.

k bday2

More of the set-up: laid back! Relaxed! Chairs here and there for socializing! I had a great time, anyway.

k cupcake1

Finally! Cupcake deliciousness- banana cupcakes with nutella on top… I think it was a hit with the birthday boy.

k cupcake2

Here he makes sure to devour it all while being on the lookout for anyone coming to take it away from him.


So I got to thinking some more about the whole concept of serving and hospitality. Y’all that know me know that I pride myself on making sure that guests and visitors feel welcome and taken care of. I’m from Kentucky, after all. And I’m also a feminist (aka believer in equality).

Thus I think that serving food can be anybody’s job. Usually, if I cook something and I’m stoked about it, or we’re having people over for a sit-down dinner, I want to serve it, because it’s a matter of pride. But sometimes I just reheated some frozen soup and I’m in the middle of nursing the baby so just go help yourself, please and thank you. I refuse to believe that other adults should not eat when the person who cooked is obviously busy and they’re perfectly capable of adding their own finishing touches. Furthermore, I know that men can cook. Men can serve food. I have confidence in men. My dad was a great cook, for example, and when he cooked, he served the food. Ideally, I believe that everyone should be able to cook at least some things. Everyone should be capable of serving themselves, too. This is a basic and important skill, folks. I learned to pour from a pitcher of water in kindergarten, and you can do it, too.

I also think that being in charge of the food and the serving of food is both a tedious, never-ending chore and also a serious power. Anyone who’s ever been a server in a restaurant knows this. There are always some customers who lash out and treat you poorly, trying to make you feel little or unimportant. They confuse server with servant, but really the customer is at your mercy. They can’t eat their soup if you don’t bring their spoon. They can’t do anything useful for themselves; they rely on you for everything. It’s almost like them being a baby all over again, except most customers have better communication skills than babies (most, but sadly not all of them).

Here, it’s like all meals are restaurant meals, and some woman or the other (mom, grandma, oldest daughter, whoever) is the server. Men become these helpless creatures. There’s the food, right there on the stove- so near and yet so far, because there’s this invisible barrier preventing them from getting their plate and piling it on. Seriously! Okay, not all the time, not everybody, but more here than I’d ever seen on any of my travels or my time in Kentucky. Sometimes it makes me outraged, and sometimes it makes me sad for the helpless men. Because ye who wields the serving spoon wields part of the power of deciding who eats what!

But this avoidance of self-serving is not just a patriarchal thing. (Do I think that overly defined and restrictive gender roles are at the heart of it? Yes, mostly. But that’s not the only factor.) At its best, it’s a case of meal time being a special time for family and sharing. It’s the antithesis of microwave dinners in front of the TV. And I love that aspect of it. It’s nice to be served sometimes, just like it’s lovely to serve, when it’s a show of welcome and love. It’s a case of a non-individualistic culture, where it doesn’t always matter that you want less vegetables and more rice, you get what gets put on your plate because that’s what everyone’s eating. It’s about community, and feeling taken care of, too. There’s a lot of good things to be said for this style of eating together.

Self-service is just not a phenomenon here, and I can respect that in a culture. I can appreciate it lots more, though, if the roles of serving changed equally- if everyone took a turn and not always only women. If it weren’t the case that at giant neighborhood parties, for example,  it’s filled with women in aprons doing all the work, and men with their beer and mezcal enjoying the party. So while we work on that (in every culture), there’s an extra present for my son on his first birthday: I promise to teach him equally the basic life skills to take care of himself and others. Everyone can pour the pitcher of water! Cheers to that!

The Camote Conundrum

22 Feb

I never really understood the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, despite the internet’s wealth of information, but I damn sure know the difference between sweet potato and, say, potato. I definitely can taste the difference between the smooth sweetness of a sweet potato and the starchy blandness of yucca. Or so I thought, anyway.

If you’re from the U.S., you probably don’t really know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, either. According to the Huffington Post- and several other websites*-, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) long ago decided to label some sweet potatoes as yams based on their color and texture, even though yams are actually a different plant. (´Merica. Sigh.)

When you add Spanish language and American cultures into the mix, things really get messy. Here in Oaxaca, it all gets called camote, the word used here for sweet potato.  However, some of the things that are called camote look and taste to me like yucca (the term used in Cuban restaurants in Louisville) aka mandioca (the term used in Paraguay where it’s a diet staple), which apparently is called cassava in English. I think. Confused yet? Great. Me, too.

Since I’m not a botanist, perhaps all these multicolored roots are all camote, and I just can’t wrap my little gringuita head around so many types and flavors of sweet potato.


Just a few of the many kinds of camote I run into in the market

They don’t all taste the same, either, so occassionally I buy something and am unpleasantly surprised by its flavor. It happened to me the other day- I found myself with a whole kilo’s worth (2.2 lbs.) of boiled camote that tasted bland and sticky and starchy like yams (cassava? yucca? mandioca? Whatever it’s called- the semi-flavorless one.) Now, according to what I’ve since read on the grand internet, cassava requires more processing or it can be poisonous. Since we didn’t die of cyanide poisoning, I suppose it really wasn’t cassava. But geez was it dull!

But as any good cook knows, really bland food is an artist’s blank palette. Did you know, for example, that tapioca comes from that boring old cassava root? So I set out to make it taste like something a little jazzier. I used my typical tactic of blending about 5 different recipes with my own ideas. Here’s the recipe I came up with, in case you ever find yourself in a camote conundrum like mine:

Camote Patties


2 cups camote, boiled and mashed (perhaps 1/2 – 3/4 lb.raw)

1/4 lb. ground beef, fried with 1/2 an onion and 2 cloves garlic (could be omitted or substituted for soy, with extra spices)

3/4 cup corn kernels

handful of cilantro, chopped

very generous sprinklings of salt, pepper, cumin, paprika

garlic powder and hot red pepper (cayenne or other) to taste

2 eggs, beaten



my mixture… the purple part is the camote


  1. Boil the sweet potato / potato / other root vegetable (I bet turnips would work nicely, too) until soft. Mash with potato masher and set aside.
  2. Fry the ground beef with onion and garlic and the spices listed above. Set aside. (I did this in steps- one day I cooked the camote. The next morning I cooked the meat. In the afternoon I actually finished cooking the meal. It’s no big deal for things to be refrigerated while you’re getting it all together if needed.)
  3. Mix in all the ingredients for patty mixture- camote, meat, corn (thaw first if frozen), cilantro and more spices. Form into patties whatever size you want. Dip in egg and then in bread crumbs.
  4. Fry for 5 minutes on one side and 3 on the other (disclaimer: that’s an estimate. I didn’t actually time it- I just eyeball it.) on medium heat, until a little browned on the outside.

frying the patties

Alternately, you can mix the egg and breadcrumbs into the patty mixture and fry from there. I opted for this dipped version to cut down on the amount of egg and breadcrumbs I used, but I made a couple the alternate way at the end and they were really good. Regardless, my kids devoured these, and Conan and I both enjoyed them as well. I plan to use this recipe next time I accidentally purchase the wrong kind of sweet potato. Enjoy! Buen provecho!

*This website had the clearest explanation: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html

Or here’s a funny flowchart if you’re still baffled and need to know:


“Authentic” Mexican Recipes- Southern Oaxaca Style

27 Jul

There ain’t no chimichangas around here, as Conan would be the first to tell you. There are no burritos, either, nor do most of the things on your “authentic” Mexican restaurant menu taste like that down here, which is generally a big improvement. (Although I admit, I kind of miss U.S.-style-Mexican-restaurant chiles rellenos, for their cheapness and accessibility if nothing else.) I don’t normally dedicate this blog space to recipes, but lately a couple people have been asking me about salsas and beans, and I thought I could spare some time to share the deliciousness. 

Food down here in Mexico is very regional. For example, people cook a sauce called mole (pronounced moh-leh) in many different states (yes, Mexico also is the United States- of Mexico), but the color and the flavor is very different in each of those places. Food also tends to be extremely fresh and made from scratch, which changes the flavor greatly, as my mom’s partner Dee can tell you, he who is an extremely picky eater but who eats just about anything my mother-in-law, Paulina, puts on the table down here. My best friend Holly will also attest to the from-scratch difference, now that she’s a convert who can’t stand those packaged, reheated corn circles they sell you up there. “Let’s just call them wraps,” she says, frustrated, “because they’re nothing like real corn tortillas. You’ve ruined me,” she says, only a little disappointed, because just the memory of the flavor lasts a good long while. (And here in Oaxaca, tortillas are almost always made from corn, except in tourist places.)

Now, the serving of beans as the accompaniment to just about any meal is based on reality down here. The amount and frequency of bean consumption is pretty impressive; beans accompany nearly any meal nearly any day of the week. They are usually black beans, though; I’ve rarely even seen pinto beans down here. Black beans are a good source of iron, protein, and fiber, fyi, so having them regularly is pretty smart. Sometimes they are just cooked with plenty of broth, like a soup almost. Sometimes they can be a main course- like when you make enfrijoladas, a fried-tortilla and bean dish. You can buy beans that’ve been ground and roasted, called frijol molido,that you just have to cook with some oil and water (the closest thing to fast food around!). Sometimes beans are cooked and then fried (I don’t know why they’re called “refried” there- I guess so you know they’ve been cooked before frying?), which is so delicious and oh-so-easy. And I’m going to give you my mother-in-law’s recipe because I don’t want to hear about you buying canned refried beans ever again. If you want to buy canned beans, so be it- I understand there’s not always time to cook dry beans. But making your own “refried” beans is very fast and totally worth it. Here’s how:

-Oil for frying
-Beans (black, pinto, kidney- just about any beans will do although black beans are my favorite- can be canned or cooked from dry)
-Onion (approx. 1/4 onion)
-Garlic (2 medium cloves)
-Cilantro or Epazote or Hoja de Aguacate (Avocado Leaf?) (optional). Cilantro is pretty easy to
get fresh but epazote might be a bit more challenging. Hoja de Aguacate you can probably find in your local Mexican store in dry form, which works just fine. This is just for added seasoning and is not necessary (but will add to the deliciousness).

Put 1/2 inch oil in the bottom of your pan (fairly large skillet) and heat on medium heat. Cut onion into fairly large pieces- it’s not important how you cut it or that it be small, just not one big chunk. Add onion to hot oil, moving occasionally, until it is browned and somewhat burnt. Remove onion from pan and throw it out. Now, this serves the purpose of giving the oil the flavor of cooked onion without having the onion in there. If you are very partial to having chunks of onion, cut the onion in the size you’d like to eat, and don’t fry it quite so much.
Add chopped garlic to the oil, frying for just a minute or two, moving frequently so it doesn’t burn. Then add the beans along with some of the broth from the beans. How much? It doesn’t matter too much- one or two cans of beans, about 3 cups of cooked beans, enough liquid to make it a little soupy looking at first. Turn up the heat a little.
Add in some salt to taste and any other seasoning (cilantro, etc.). Then mash the beans! You can use a potato masher if you have one, or use the bottom of a cup (heavy plastic or very solid glass like a coffee mug- don’t get too excited if you’re using glass!). You don’t have to mash them into oblivion- the idea is just that the beans soak up the yummy oniony-oily-garlicky flavor. Stir them some and let them cook a bit, too, so most of the liquid gets evaporated/mashed with the beans. They don’t have to cook for very long, you can cook them till you get the consistency you want. This is why the amount of liquid doesn’t need to be exact- if you put in too much you just let them cook a little longer. And voila! Ready to serve.

Now, another fabulous thing about food here in Oaxaca is that it’s not all spicy, but there is almost always salsa of some sort or another. Salsa really just means sauce and there are many, many, many different kinds, depending on what kind of chile pepper you use, how you cook it (roasted, boiled, etc.), how you process it (chopped up, in a blender, hand-ground), what other ingredients you use (tomato, lime, onion, garlic, and much more). I initially wanted to do a blog piece on salsa recipes, but realized it could take me weeks to write down the ones I know. So I decided to stick to my favorite salsa, which I now use (thanks again to Paulina) for one of my favorite Mexican foods (also the BEST hangover food ever), chilaquiles (pronounced chee-luh-keel-ehs).


chilaquiles finished product, served with over-easy eggs, avocado, diced onion and queso fresco on top, sour cream if desired… grease and spice and carbs and protein and fat, perfect to get you going after a night on the town

The bad news is this salsa is best made with a chile that I think is hard to get in the U.S., at least in Kentucky, which is not a hot-bed of Oaxacan immigrants, like, say California is. The chile is called chile costeño (coastal chile), but I think that you can substitute something like chile de arbol, a nice red dry chile with good flavor and decent spice (and you can definitely find chile de arbol at your local Mexican store- you can even find it at Valumarket if you live in Louisville). Cayenne could work, too, but I think it’s a bit hotter than chile costeño, so be careful if you decide to substitute with that! And really you can use any hot pepper that you so desire for chilaquiles (before moving down here I made them with a jalepeño and tomato salsa- it works, but it’s not as good as this). So, here it is:

For salsa:
-chile costeño or chile de arbol or whatever hot pepper you’re going to use (How much? Haven’t you realized by now that I hate measuring? If you’re using it for chilaquiles you need several handfuls, if you just want to drizzle some on some other food you can use a bit less, although this salsa will hold up well for a good long while since it’s pretty much just hot peppers.)
-3 cloves garlic, or less if not using as many chiles
-salt to taste

Yep that’s it! It’s pretty much pure chile salsa with some garlic. Yum.

costeño salsa

Roast your chiles in a dry frying pan (or on a comal/griddle if you have one). Open all your windows before doing this because it will make you cough your lung out if you’re just standing there in front of the roasting chile. Move them around a bit so they toast on both sides. If it gets a little black that’s okay, you just don’t want to burn it down to ashes.
comalmy comal, still with chile seeds on it

2. Soak the chiles in water for a little bit so they get softer and easier to grind up in the blender. Put the garlic, some salt, and chiles in the blender with just a little bit of water. You want enough water to be able to blend it, but not much more or it won’t turn out. Blend until well pureed- ideally you want even the seeds blended in there well (which would take all day with my hand-cranked blender, but ye who have electricity have no excuse). Check the amount of salt and you’re finished.

chile costeño soaking

For chilaquiles:
Chilaquiles is a dish in the same vein as french toast; the idea is to re-purpose ingredients when they’re no longer at their peak but before they’ve gone bad. Instead of bread, you’re salvaging corn tortillas once you’ve already reheated them and they’re not soft and pliable anymore. So, yes, you can do like Mexican restaurants in Kentucky do and just use tortilla chips, but that defeats the purpose and it just doesn’t taste as good. When I lived in Kentucky, I would put my leftover tortillas (the extra ones I’d heated up for a meal but nobody got to) in a bag in the back of my fridge until I had 8-10 tortillas (good for 2-3 people, depending on size of tortilla and hunger level). You can also use a fresh package of tortillas- they don’t have to be stale tortillas, especially since it’s not like the ones you’re buying at the store there are super fresh to begin with. Here’s what else you need.

-tortillas (for taco-sized tortillas, count on maybe 4-5 per person?)
-salsa (see above)
-oil for frying

(for serving, optional but highly recommended):
-chopped red onion
-chopped cilantro (optional)
-queso fresco (or any cheese will do, but this is our preference- available at Mexican stores and many other grocery stores. However, some queso frescos are not so delicious- in that case it’s better to just get some jack cheese or some other mild equivalent.)
-sour cream (especially helpful for calming down the spiciness)
-eggs or other preferred protein accompaniment

(Yikes, I just made these for breakfast and already want them again. Writing is so hard!)

1.    Fry tortillas in a decent amount of oil. This is not a breakfast for dieting. You will probably need to fry them one or two at a time so they brown well on both sides.
Heat the salsa in a large pan. You can add in a tiny bit more oil and a little bit more water, depending on the consistency of the salsa. Add in tortillas one at a time, flipping them in the salsa so that they’re well coated. You can break them into pieces as you put them in, or they usually break up pretty well on their own as you stir them around. Do not add in too many tortillas if you don’t have enough salsa- if your tortillas are dry the dish is no good. Better to either make more salsa or use fewer tortillas- better to add more accompaniments to the dish than have gross chilaquiles.

chilaquiles in the potfried tortillas mixed with the salsa

2.    Let the tortillas cook and soak up the salsa for a couple minutes (not too long or they’ll dry out) and you’re good to go. Fry up your eggs, get all the other bits and pieces on the table and you’re ready to eat. Don’t forget to invite Conan and me over!