The first time I had chilaquiles was seven or eight years ago, and appropriately enough, it was the morning after the Day of the Dead celebration in Patzcuaro, Mexico, in a little cantina filled with locals, who, like me, looked like they’d sipped one too many Banderas (the Mexican flag, and the name given to the trio of tequila, spicy tomato juice, and limes) the night before.

One of the country’s classic hangover cures, chilaquiles are yummy even without a night of mucho blancos – and, as I found out on my most recent trip to Mexico City, they’re super-easy to make at home. Simply homemade salsa (roja or verde), freshly fried tortilla triangles, and shredded chicken, chilaquiles are traditionally eaten for lunch (aka, comida, the midday meal, which can last until until the sun goes down), but I make them whenever I’m in mood for a big bowl of warm, crunchy, spicy goodness.

The folks at La Casona, where I stayed for a few nights, were nice enough to share their chilaquiles recipe with me and show me how to put it all together, too. Muchas gracias, again, to Alejandro Cruz and Marta Guiroz, for starring in the little video, and for their patience with my pitiful Spanish language skills (besides my impressive ability to count to two).

Enjoy the show.

Chilaquiles with Salsa Roja

6 corn tortillas, cut into triangles (“totopos”)

3 large Roma tomatoes*

2 serrano chiles

1 clove garlic

¼ small white onion


4-5 cups corn oil (for frying)


1. Put Roma tomatoes, serrano chiles, garlic, and 1/4 onion in a medium saucepan and cover with water by two inches. Turn on medium high heat, and let come to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil to 350 degrees in a large, deep stockpot (helps minimize splatter). When the oil is ready, fry the tortilla triangles in small batches just until they begin to brown. Be careful: these will burn in an instant. Remove from oil and put on paper towels.

3. Blend softened tomatoes, serranos, garlic, and onion in a blender and return to the saucepan, turn the heat on high, and let boil for 5-10 minutes. Add salt.

*To make salsa verde instead of salsa roja, simply substitute 6 medium tomatillos for tomatoes.