I’m not hitting very well on my recipes of late. Twice now, when reading a recipe, I’ve made a statement to myself along the lines of “well that doesn’t sound right”. Then I’ll sally forth without listening to my own instincts.

This recipe is based off of one in Mark Bittman’s new cookbook The Best Recipes in the World. There are several items in the recipe that I had made my own adjustments to, and then one critical step which I did exactly what the recipe called for. I’ve fixed the faux pas in the recipe below.

His initial recipe does not call for tempering the eggs before putting them into the tomato sauce. Like a fool, I did not adjust, thinking that the recipe knew best in this instance. I was wrong.

The taste of the dish, however, is still pretty good. Tara and I sat through dinner thinking of all of the different ingredients that would add to this dish. Shredded turkey, spinach, black beans and ham were all individually mentioned. Thinking on it now, any ingredient which can be put into an ommellette, can be put in this dish. What I’m trying to get at here is that, although this recipe can stand on its own, it should also be considered a basis for other recipes.

  • 15 five inch corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
  • Corn oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 serrano chilis, seeded, destemmed and minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups queso asadero (Chihuahua or Menonita can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves(optional)

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 inch of corn oil to the skillet. Bring to temperature.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oil is hot, add a handful of the tortilla strips and allow to fry until golden and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips until all have been fried. Set aside.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Then set the heat under the skillet to medium high. Add the onions, garlic and chilis to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess water from the skillet, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the temperature beneath the sauce to a simmer and allow to cook until thickened , approximately 20-25 minutes.

In a seperate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs. After the tomato sauce has completed cooking, take 1/8 cup of the sauce and slowly mix it into eggs. Whisk together well. Then pour the egg mixture into the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper and stir.

Coat a 3-quart pyrex baking pan with a layer of the tomato sauce. Top with a layer of tortilla chips, and the a layer of cheese. Repeat this tomato-chip-cheese layering, ending with the sauce and cheese.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool and set, approximately 5-7 minutes. Cut into squares and serve, topping with sour cream and cilantro to garnish.

Serves 6
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