I just got back from Italy and it was THE BEST. Even though we almost melted in the 40+ degree heat (global warming is very scary) and got attacked by mosquitos I was still one of my favourite places I’ve ever visited. I’m very excited to go back sometime and see more of it…so so much more! I only got to see Florence this time so there are many more places to visit and a LOT more food to be eaten.
I think my favourite aspect of visiting Italy, apart from the amazing food, was the fact that I just weirdly slotted in. I’ve always felt slightly out of place in the UK – I’m short, have slightly olive-y skin and thick wavy hair thanks to my half-Italian genetics. In Italy though I obviously just looked like one of the gang which is kind of comforting when you’re travelling in a new country.
ANYWAY that has absolutely nothing to do with this recipe at all because this is a post about chilaquiles from the gorgeous book, One Part Plant, by Jessica Murnane! All the recipes in her book are super accessible and also plant-based which is right up my street. This recipe is so easy to assemble and a lil bit sneakily healthier than a standard recipe for chilaquiles – instead of using regular fried tortilla chips, we just bake up some tortillas until they’re crispy and use those! They have a bath in a warm, spiced tomato/black bean sauce just before serving so you get some chips which are crispy and some which have sogged up a bit – a perfect balance of textures. The cashew crema is genius and quick to make; although the recipe advises to soak overnight, I’ve found soaking cashews in boiling water for 30 mins is usually enough time if you’ve got a high-powered blender.
So get your brunch on and make yourself some taaasty chilaquiles!
FOR THE CILANTRO CREAM:
- 40 g (½ cup) raw cashews, soaked in water for at least a few hours (overnight is best), drained
- a large handful , (¼ cup) coriander (cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice , , or to taste
- 125 ml (½ cup) water, plus more if needed
- Pinch of sea salt
FOR THE REST:
- 190 ml (¾ cup) vegetable stock, plus more, if desired, for sautéing
- Olive or coconut oil for sautéing , , if desired
- ½ medium onion , , diced (about 1 cup)
- Dash of sea salt
- two 400g , (or one 28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves , , chopped
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce , (see notes)
- ½ jalapeño , , seeded and chopped
- 230 g (1 cup) cooked pinto beans or black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
- 12 (8-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 8 pieces (see notes)
- Cilantro and onions
- Diced peppers or tomatoes
- Hot sauce
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
- To make the cilantro cream: place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until the mixture is completely smooth. This might take up to 5 minutes, depending on the power of your blender. Add more water as you go if needed. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if desired. Pour the cream into a small bowl and rinse your blender—you’ll be using it again soon.
- To finish the dish, heat a few tablespoons of veggie broth or a glug of oil in a large skillet over medium. When the pan is hot, add the onion and salt and sauté until the pieces are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the tomatoes, vegetable stock, garlic, chipotle, and jalapeño in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the pan with the onion and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, spread the tortilla pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 15 minutes, until they begin to dry out and start to curl on the sides. If you aren’t able to spread all the chips on your sheet, do them in two batches or use two sheets. You can also spray the tortillas with a little olive oil for extra crispness.
- Stir the beans into the sauce and simmer on low for a few more minutes. When you are ready to serve, stir the chips into the sauce—but only when you are ready to serve! You don’t want them to get too soggy—you’re aiming for a combination of soft and crunchy. Serve the chilaquiles warm, topped with coriander cream and your chosen toppings