It's simple, actually. All you do is slice open a sturdy plastic bag, like a large Ziploc bag, slip a slightly flattened ball of dough between the layers, and press down with a heavy pot. That's it. No rolling pin, no dusting with anything. Then just carefully peel back the top layer of plastic, then the bottom layer, cook the tortillas on a hot, dry cast iron pan for 20 seconds on each side, and you're done!
Here they are again. Check and admire the perfect roundness:
So round and thin! It seems a shame to chop them up, but I had to. It was my day off, and I had some time on my hands, and a tiny little bit of Vegan Brunch omelet mix that I wanted to use in something--not enough for a meal, but just right for this.
Chilaquiles are essentially broken up fried corn tortillas fried some more with eggs and cheese and salsa, a big, delicious, protein-y, cheesy, greasy mess which I imagine would be great for hangovers. Not having a hangover, and wanting to do something a little lower-fat and more elaborate, I made a casserole inspired by the one in The Greens Cookbook. This is a cookbook I've had pretty much since the day it was first published, and which frankly is just starting to come into its own in my kitchen. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is undoubtedly my most-used cookbook, all stained and deformed by use, dust jacket missing and all that, but Greens has been hard for me to get into, with its many and over-complicated recipes for heavy crumbles, tarts, pizzas, and other more or less home-style dishes just sort of made inaccessible with odd ingredients and involved techniques and a pretentious tone totally absent from VCfE.
But sometimes that's what you want. Here's the Black bean chili, recipe here. I'd been cooking beans all day, and had both freshly-cooked black beans and their liquid, which I used here. So, having that step already done, start by making your own chili powder:
Roast cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne in a little cast-iron pan. Here they are, roasted but not yet ground. Let cool, grind to a powder, voila. Actually, this was dang fragrant and I would do it again in the future, especially now that I'm regularly making my own spice mixes for Indian, Middle Eastern, and Jamaican dishes. It just gets to be something fun you do, which honestly just takes a minute or two, rather than a stressful extra step. You could also, as the blogger who posted the chili recipe does, simply fry the spices in the oil with the onions. I often do this, but still, there's something to be said, flavour-wise, for roasting them first.
Fry onions, and add the ground spices, and more medium-hot peppers:
Mine looks dry because I am using minimal oil, less than the recipe calls for. You'll be getting hungry at this point...so hurry up and finish:
This is very good chili, and I ended up eating the part I didn't use for the chilaquiles just plain the next day and it was wonderful. In fact, I'd say it's very close to equal in deliciousness, in my opinion, with my other favorite chili recipe, the Chili sin carne al mole from Vegan with a Vengeance (picture, not recipe, here).
As I say, I was doodling around in the kitchen all afternoon anyway, so I put together a casserole. Start with a little red sauce (I did make the one in The Greens Cookbook but any tomato sauce or salsa would be just fine; in fact, I suspect salsa would be better) in the bottom of your casserole. If you're beginning to perceive that this recipe would be most useful and convenient if you had some leftover chili, a little salsa in a jar that needed using up, some stale tortillas, you would be right:
You can fry your tortillas, but I baked mine until they were golden and crispy:
Layer of tortilla strips over the red sauce:
A layer of chili:
A layer of omelet mix with a bit of (in this case, frozen) grated vegan cheese:
Do the layers again, and finish with a topping of pine nut crema (courtesy Viva Vegan):
Bake at 350F until bubbly and golden:
Ooh! This worked out well for an amazingly low-fat (in comparison with the original, anyway) casserole!
Served with a great big mound of steamed vegetables topped with the Green aji sauce from Viva Vegan. Seriously, all the salsas and sauces in Viva Vegan are outstanding. This is essentially a creamy, lettuce-based salsa, which sounds odd but looks and tastes fantastic.
Want a closeup of that casserole? I can't resist:
Have a great weekend!