New York City's La Contenta Cocina del Barrio is hands down our new favorite Mexican food find. Chef/Owner Luis Arce Mota's menu showcases his Mexican roots and French culinary experience via traditional ingredients, with an emphasis on chile peppers, and they recently started serving brunch, which makes us even more happy to venture in. Their Chilaquiles (tortilla casserole with oaxaca cheese, tomatillo-chipotle salsa, eggs any style) might be some of the best we've ever had and luckily for you, we scored the top-secret recipe below.
Green Tomatillo Salsa:
- 1 lb. green tomatillos (husks removed)
- 4 chile serranos
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ¼ cup sliced onion
- 1 lb. plum tomatoes
- 6 oz. canned chipotle peppers with adobo
- ½ of a small onion
- Salt to taste
- 1 lb. corn tortillas
- Canola oil for frying
- 1 cup Mexican cream or crème fraiche
- 6 oz. queso fresco or cotija cheese
- 1 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese
Preparation of Green Tomatillo Salsa:
- In a saucepan, bring the water and salt to boil. Add garlic, chiles, onion and tomatillos and simmer uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
- Transfer garlic, chiles and onion and half of the tomatillos to a blender and puree.
- Add the rest of the tomatillos and puree briefly. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Preparation of Chipotle-Tomato Salsa:
- In a skillet, roast the tomatoes and onion for 8 minutes, while turning tomatoes and onion to roast evenly.
- Peel and discard skin from tomatoes.
- Put tomatoes, onion and chipotle peppers with adobo in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
To Create the Chilaquiles:
- Cut the tortillas in half, and cut each half into three pieces.
- Fill up ½ of a saucepan with oil. Bring to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook cut tortillas until crispy. Drain, salt lightly, and put aside. (As an alternative, you can use store-bought tortilla chips.)
- In a large skillet, add ½ of the green tomatillo salsa and ½ of the chipotle-tomato salsa. Heat until simmering. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add ½ of tortilla chips, ½ cup Oaxaca cheese and mix together. Repeat with other half.
- Serve immediately onto plate. Drizzle cream on top and crumble queso fresco or cotija cheese on top. Top with a fried egg if desired.