Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chilaquiles with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

One of my favorite September traditions is spending a day making and canning roasted salsa with the Jones family. We've done it in several different kitchens - Faribault, MN, Sioux Falls, SD, and St. Louis Park, MN. After all that moving, Pam and Larry have now settled in their beautiful home in Arden Hills, MN, and it's by far my favorite kitchen we've salsa'd in.

We learn a little each year about the tomato and chile pepper crops - this year produced especially spicy jalapenos so the first two batches were tongue-numbingly hot. We did get 4 batches done (each batch cooks for about 4 hours and makes approximately 25 pints of salsa). My job is usually "Executive Tomato-Peeler" and I remove skins from 120 pounds of fresh Farmer's Market tomatoes. My fingers end up stained red and sore from the acid but it's worth it when I get to take home a dozen delicious jars of dark red spicy salsa!

The roasted salsa is not my recipe to share so you'll have to look elsewhere for that. But I can share the Grilled Tomatillo Salsa we whipped up in between batches of the other stuff. Pam had grabbed a basket of little green tomatillos at the Farmer's Market on a whim. They look like mini tomatoes that are green, with a papery covering. They need to be peeled and rinsed to get the stickiness off.

Since we were using the oven to roast the regular salsa, we grilled the tomatillos and other veggies outside on the big gas grill. Then a quick trip through the food processor with some lime juice and cilantro is all it takes to make a big bowl of spicy green sweet salsa. My tastebuds were kind of dead from all the other salsa testing so it was a day or two later when I used the Grilled Tomatillo Salsa in some Chilaquiles and fully appreciated the flavors.

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast dish. Often they feature fried corn tortillas (I prefer baking them) soaked in the salsa and topped with scrambled eggs and melted cheese. The final dish is crunchy, spicy, cheesy, and filling. Plus, it's a great excuse to eat what basically amounts to nachos for breakfast.

Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
1 basket tomatillos, papers removed and rinsed (about 25 tomatillos)
2 jalapeno peppers (or more or less to taste)
1 large yellow onion, quartered
3 large cloves garlic, skins removed
olive oil, salt, and pepper
juice of 1 lime
big handful cilantro

Put your whole tomatillos, whole jalapenos, onion quarters, and garlic cloves in a big bowl. Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill on medium-high heat 3-4 minutes on each side until charred.

Remove from grill. Remove seeds from jalapenos (optional) and add everything to a food processor. Add lime juice and cilantro. Pulse to combine.

Corn tortilla chips (bake your own from stale corn tortillas or buy chips)
2 eggs, scrambled over medium-low heat until fluffy
fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
grilled tomatillo salsa (recipe above)
1/4 fresh avocado, sliced

Layer chips, scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted. Top with slices of fresh avocado.


  1. AMAZING!!! And woudln't you know it we have 1/2 a huge jar of green salsa we made ourselves from a bumper crop of CSA Tomatillos! I will def try this. The first batch was used as a topping for the smitten kitchens Black Bean tacos where she lightly pan frys her corn tortillas shells and I can tell you that trick is SOOOOO good we ate those tacos twice that day and put them on the repeat this week to have again! Something about just a bit of frying not to oily but perfectly hot and crisp was absolutely perfect! XO!

  2. Yummmmmmy, I love that recipe. I made it last year here:

    Might have to do that again very soon!!

  3. Hi Ali!

    My name is Malika Harricharan and I am working with the Macy's Culinary Council to spread the word about some great culinary events in your area. Love that post Chilaquiles and beautiful pics! Anyway, wanted to share some information about a Culinary Event you may like to share with your readers.

    So what's going on? On Friday, October 8, chef Tom Douglas will be at Macy's in downtown Minneapolis for a free cooking demo. You may have seen Tom on TV since he's appeared on Martha Stewart, Emeril Live and Iron Chef America. In addition to being an award-winning restaurateur, Tom also won the James Beard Association award for Best American Cookbook for his first cookbook, Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen.

    Check out the details and let me know if you'd be interested in attending or sharing the news with on your blog.

    Tom Douglas , nationally recognized chef, cookbook author and restaurateur.

    Tom Douglas will share his tricks of the trade and show you how to make your own magic in the kitchen. Following the event, Chef Douglas will be available for a book signing and meet and greet. He'll sign copies of his cookbooks: Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen, Tom’s Big Dinners and I Love Crabcakes, which will be available for purchase at Macy’s the day of the event.

    The event is free. Seating is limited. Please call 1.800.329.8667 to reserve a space. For more information, visit

    Friday, October 8

    Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis
    Lower Level-Culinary Kitchen
    700 On the Mall
    Minneapolis, MN

    More info:

    I hope you'll consider sharing the event details with your readers or coming out to Macy's to cover the event! And if you decide to write about the event, please let me know. Let me know if you'd like to come! I hope you can make it, and I certainly look forward to hearing from you. Take care Ali!


    Malika Harricharan
    Digital Coordinator
    Be Everywhere
    Twitter @MHarricharan