My recipe from Mérida, Mexico: Capi prepares Chilaquiles for me

If you only think of burritos and tacos, when you think of Mexican cuisine, then you are mistaken. The land of a thousand and one chillies has much more to offer. The Mexican cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world. On my three-month trip through this colourful country, I’ve stuffed lots of great food into my mouth. Today, Capi cooks a dish for me, that has become my absolute favorite. It is a rather unknown dish. Chilaquiles, ‘Chilaquiles en Salsa Verde’ strictly speaking. What the Mexicans have mostly for breakfast, I could eat all day. Here you will find the recipe for the Chilaquiles and you can find out what I have experienced with Capi!

Capi prepares Chilaquiles
CAPI – ‘El Capitano’ prepares the best Chilaquiles in Mérida

Capi is actually not Capi, his name is Esteban. He got his nickname from ‘El Capitano’, which means ‘Captain’ in English. And that is exactly how I met him. A few weeks ago, my buddy Fer has invited me to go with him and friends on a night sailing trip. You may ask yourself: Why go sailing at night? We had a good reason: The moon was in direct alignment with the sun and also at its closest point to the earth. That is called a Super Moon. Unfortunately, the Moon wasn’t in a good mood that night and was hiding behind the clouds. We still had lots of fun. And the entertaining captain of that sailing boat was Capi.

Supermoon, sailing, night sailing in Progresso
The Supermoon can be observed best on a sailing boat at night. We started off at sunset.

Actually, Capi flies around more then he sails, at least professionally, he’s a pilot. When he isn’t flying or pursuing his passion for cooking, then he is usually out there on his sailboat.

El Capitano goes sailing
If Capi isn’t flying around as a pilot, he goes sailing. A great passion.

Mérida, the city where Capi lives in, is ranked number 3 in the list of the most interesting cities in 2017 by the Forbes magazine. The town is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. I have explored it by bike of course and it felt so right. This is perhaps because it is regarded as the most secure and safest city in Mexico.

Mérida a beautiful city in Yucatan, Mexico
Mérida, a town full of many small bars with live music, tropical climate and sisal hammocks. Here you can put up quite some time with tequila and salsa.

I’ve spent almost three weeks here. What else you should do in Mexico, apart from Mérida you can find here soon. Before we get started we have to find all the ingredients. Of course, Merida’s supermarkets have everything we need for the Chilaquiles. Back home it can look quite different.

Tips: As in the recipe Elisabeth from Mexico City, the Tinga de Pollo, it could be difficult to get Tostadas. As an alternative, you can simply fry tortillas. If there are no green tomatoes in your store around the corner, then just use red tomatoes! (I tried that already! See below!)

These are the ingredients for the chilaquiles

Ingredients (for approx. 3 – 4 persons)

  • 1 kg green tomatoes (or red ones)
  • 350 g Tostadas (or fried tortillas)
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 chili peppers (only as much as you can do)
  • 700 g beef (or 4 chicken legs)
  • Sour cream
  • 1 onion

Preparation of Chilaquiles:

Back in Capis kitchen we are about to start. I am all about Chilaquiles – and my mouth is already watering.

The sauce – ‘Salsa Verde’:

Cut 1/2 onion, the cilantro and the chilies (remove the seeds of the chillies).
Cut 1/2 onion, the coriander and the chilies into pieces (remove the seeds of the chillies).
Put the tomatoes in a pot, cover them with water and let them cook.
Put the tomatoes in a pot, cover them with water and let them cook.
If the tomatoes are soft, put them into the blender with the cut ingredients.
When the tomatoes are soft, put them into the blender with the cut ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper.
Season it with salt and pepper.

Then let it simmer again for 5 minutes on a low flame.

Add the broken Tostadas to the sauce. If you can't find Tostadas, then deep-fry tortillas and use them instead.
Add the broken Tostadas to the sauce. If you can’t find Tostadas, then deep-fry tortillas and use them instead.

Alternative to Tostadas: If you can’t find  Tostadas, then simply take tortillas and fry them and break them into small pieces.

That's how the sauce should look like. The Tostadas are only folded in.
That’s how the sauce should look like. The Tostadas are only folded in.

The meat for the Chilaquiles:

First Capi fries the meat on a medium flame.
First Capi fries the meat on a medium flame.

The meat is perfect if it is still slightly pink inside.

Now cut the beef with a sharp knife. It should be pink inside.
Now cut the beef with a sharp knife. It should be pink inside.

The Chilaquiles are almost ready: Yummy… I’m really getting hungry! Now we just have to arrange the plates – and let’s eat.

Just do it in this order: sauce – a dollop of sour cream – meat – onion rings.

The whole thing can be garnished with avocado and a few leaves of fresh coriander.

Conclusion:

Capi’s way of making the Chilaquiles with beef instead of chicken tastes absolutely delicious and became my favorite. Usually the Chilaquiles come with cooked chicken. The chicken is plucked off the bone after cooking. This can be done with gloves and then it can be torn into pieces (remove the skin before). If you want to know how to do it exactly, have a look at Elisabeth’s Tinga de Pollo.

Variations: Here with red tomatoes, radishes and mini tomatoes
Variations: Here with red tomatoes, radishes and mini tomatoes
Yummy... such a delicious taste. We loved Capi's Chilaquiles.
Yummy… such a delicious taste. We loved Capi’s Chilaquiles.

Bon provecho (span. Good appetite) and muchas gracias (span. Thanks) to Capi and Fer.

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