Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chilaquiles with Pepitas, Charred Corn and Black Beans

There are a few things in just the title of this recipe that caught my eye - charred corn and chilaquiles.  I love chilaquiles and you just don't see them enough here in NYC.  I guess it's not sexy enough for all of the upscale Mexican restaurants in the city and there really aren't many decent hole in the wall Mexican places either.  And of the Mexican restaurants that I know of, none of them except for Cascabel serve chilaquiles (although I am sure that there are others out there that do).  Earlier this year The Village Voice had a blog post about how chilaquiles are finally making their way to NYC.  I am going to have to try out some of their recommendations.  Actually, looking at Toloache's brunch menu I totally have to go there.  They have all sorts of yummy things on there - including chilaquiles.  I think these chilaquiles would have benefited from the addition of a little crema for additional creaminess and a nice tangy flavor.  The toppings were all a little on the dry side (think corn, beans, onions and pepitas) so it would be been nice to have a little something else to lend some moisture.  Otherwise, I thought it was a good dish.  I know I am being a little picky here, but the dish required a decent amount of time and effort so I had hoped for it to have slightly more wow factor, but I think that the crema would totally have made the difference.  Oh well. I have another chilaquiles recipe from Rick Bayless to try out and next time I will make sure to have crema on hand so we don't run into that problem again.

Recipe after the jump!

Chilaquiles with Pepitas, Charred Corn and Black Beans
Adapted from Serious Eats

For salsa verde:
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, peeled and cut in half
6 cloves garlic
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, stemmed and halved
Kosher salt
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
For chilaquiles:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ear corn, kernels removed
8 oz tortilla chips (we used multigrain, but the recipe originally called for corn tortilla chips)
1 cup canned black beans (about half of a 14-ounce can), drained and rinsed
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced, slices placed in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
crumbled cotija cheese
Preheat broiler to high. Place tomatillos, garlic, onion, and pepper on a foil-lined heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Broil without moving until well charred on top side, about 15 minutes. Flip vegetables with a spatula and continue broiling until well-charred and completely softened, about 15 minutes longer (ours didn't take nearly this long to char and soften, but then again, maybe we under-charred).

Transfer vegetables to a food processor and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Add cilantro and lime juice.  Process until roughly pureed. Season salsa verde to taste with kosher salt and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat until smoking. Add corn kernels, toss to coat, and cook without moving until charred on one side. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally until well charred all over, about 6 minutes total. Add black beans.  Season to taste with kosher salt and remove from heat.

Heat 1 1/2 cups salsa verde and 1 cup water in a large saucepan until simmering. Add tortilla chips and fold with a rubber spatula until all the chips are coated. Transfer chips to a large serving dish or individual serving plates. Top with charred corn, black beans, avocado slices, sliced onion, chopped cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds and cotija cheese. 

Serve immediately with additional salsa verde.

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