Cook's Country

Easy Chorizo Chilaquiles

CHILAQUILES ARE A classic thrifty dish: You take stale corn tortillas, crisp them up, and then soften them in a pan of red sauce. They’re typically draped in shredded cheese and bulked up with eggs, vegetables, or whatever leftover meat the cook has on hand, making the dish rich and ultracomforting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We were after an easy version loaded with flavorful chorizo sausage (the fresh Mexican kind, not the cured, salami-like Spanish variety). Many recipes we found took the simplified approach of tossing store‑bought chips—straight from the bag—with jarred salsa, cooked meat, and shredded cheese and then baking or broiling the mixture. It sounded too good to be true.

In a first test, we browned chorizo and tossed it with tortilla chips and store-bought salsa in a skillet. The resulting chilaquiles were good, but we lost too many chips over the edge of the skillet when mixing everything together.

For the next round of tests, we moved the operation to a Dutch oven to make stirring easier. These chilaquiles were fast and easy and were tasting really good. To cover our bases, we went back and made batches with homemade salsa and home-fried tortilla strips. Both were great, but so was the version we were making with the convenience products. We’d stick with this easier, faster method.

We knew that the right toppings were the key

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