I have never met an intersection of tortillas and salsa and cheese and eggs I did not love excessively, or at minimum, could leave a restaurant where it was on the menu without ordering. Things were relatively controlled between the earliest iteration of huevos rancheros on this site, to a still-favorite, almost shakshuka-ish baked eggs in ranchero sauce with beans, a cheesy broiled lid, and strips of fried tortilla chips in my first cookbook. But it was during a brief trip to Mexico City two years ago that my obsession really went off the rails as I realized I’d need a month to get through all the glorious ways to eat eggs/salsa/tortillas, see also: huevos revueltos al gusto, rancheros mexicanos, divorciados, motuleños, al albañil, and ahogados, not to mention chilaquiles.
Actually, let’s talk about chilaquiles. Fried tortillas are smothered with red or green salsa and simmered, then topped with shredded chicken, refried beans, or eggs, followed by crema and crumbled cheese and it’s quite amazing on any plate, at any time, anywhere, but when my friend made us this casserole-d version for brunch on New Year’s Day, I threatened to never leave. [Also there was champagne, freshly baked cinnamon buns, and not a single person discussing a cleanse or resolution, praise be.]
Hardly authentic but no less delicious despite this, you’re going to want to fry corn tortillas until they’re crisp, smother them in enchilada or ranchero sauce, homemade or storebought (I’ll walk you through some options below), cheese, and beans, and bake it for a bit before adding eggs on top and baking them until they’re perfect. We had this for dinner with a quick slaw, but if you want to save it for a weekend brunch, well, just let me know what time to bring the cinnamon rolls.
One year ago: A Really Great Pot Of Chickpeas
Two years ago: Shaved Asparagus Frittata and Palm Springs Date Shake + Monkey Flip
Three years ago: Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Crispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic, Not Derby Pie Bars
Four years ago: Blue Sky Bran Muffins
Five years ago: Spring Vegetable Potstickers
Six years ago: Cinnamon Toast French Toast
Seven years ago: Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo and Ribboned Asparagus Salad
Eight years ago: Lime Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Sauce, Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits, and Creamed Chard and Spring Onions
Nine years ago: Buttermilk Ice Cream and Black Bread
Ten years ago: Caramelized Shallots and Chocolate Walnut Cookies
Eleven years ago: Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Corniest Corn Muffins
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Bakery-Style Butter Cookies
1.5 Years Ago: Russian Honey Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragu and Twinkie Bundt
3.5 Years Ago: Homemade Harissa
4.5 Years Ago: Lazy Pizza Dough + Favorite Margherita Piza
Chilaquiles Brunch Casserole
Red enchilada sauce (also known as salsa roja or salsa roja para enchiladas) is a tomato and chili sauce. Most readily available in a can in the U.S., which works fine here, it’s not hard to make at home at all. If you want to tackle a homemade version, here are a few leads (this last one has the fewest, and probably easiest to get, ingredients). I made one from garlic, onion, dried chiles (all ancho/passila, in an attempt at mildness), broth, and some oregano, cooking and blending them and the end result was absolutely delicious but way too hot for my kids to eat, and since I didn’t want them to throw their dinner in the garbage and cry, I then used the canned stuff instead and we used the sauce as an extra condiment. C’est la vie.
- 12 small (6-inch) corn tortillas, quartered and fried until crisp
- 1 1/4 cups (from a 10-ounce can) red enchilada sauce [see Note]
- 1 3/4 cups (from a 15-ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups (8 ounces) coarsely grated shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese (I used a mix)
- 6 to 8 large eggs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Thinly sliced scallions, sour cream, diced avocado, and hot sauce, to finish and serve
Coat a 3-quart baking dish (mine was 7.5-x-11.5 inches) with oil or a nonstick spray. Spread 1/4 of tortillas in bottom of dish. Drizzle/scatter with 1/4 (eyeballing it) of enchilada sauce, followed by black beans and cheese. Repeat 3 times. Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and tortillas have softened a little. Remove from oven to a cooling rack (leaving oven on) and use a spoon or fork to push little nests into the tortillas where you’d like each egg to go (it won’t fully hold it, but will help them stay in place). Crack 6 to 8 eggs into them, however many you’d like to use, season the eggs with salt and pepper and return casserole to the oven until the whites of the eggs are opaque but not fully set.
[“What? Deb, that’s gross!” you’re thinking right now but trust me, I’ve made dozens of baked egg casseroles and they all end up with hard-cooked yolks. Letting the whites finish cooking in the residual heat is the only way to avoid it. If you take it out when the whites are set, the residual heat will solidify the yolks.]
Remove from oven and let rest on a rack for (about) 4 to 8 minutes, after which the whites should be fully set but the yolks still runny and serve with finishes of your choice.