brunchin' all day err day

Hi my name is Morgan and I want to have brunch every day of the week. Sadly there’s this thing called work that gets in my way. Ugh, reality.

The reason I love brunch so much is because I’m not a big morning eater. I love food, don’t get me wrong. But I need to be up a solid 1-2 hours before I can even think about putting something into my body. 

Which is means brunch is my ideal time. Because any meal before 10a on a weekend is called BREAKFAST. I also believe that brunch without booze is just breakfast. Amiright?!

So can I tell you about my latest brunch obsession? Chilaquiles verde. I legit make these at least once a week and have been doing so for 6 months now. I blame my best friend for getting me hooked. I don’t know how I made it 30+ years without these but she changed my life that day. I’ve been making up for lost time ever since.

This dish is such a perfect thing to improvise. At it’s core, you need eggs, salsa and tortilla chips. The best news?! If you have stale chips, you can use those. It's kind of like the bread pudding of brunch (or breakfast for dinner, I'm not judging).

I like to fancy it up because more toppings = more flavah. I also like mine to have a little texture in the chips, not crunchy but not a saucy mess either. Everyone has their own preference and method but I’m sharing my perfect version with you. How would you change the recipe and make it yours?

yields 2 servings

1 TBSP oil (canola or olive oil)
4 c. corn tortilla chips
4 eggs
c. salsa verde
¾ c. shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

to garnish:
cilantro, chopped
green onion, sliced thin
tomatoes, diced 
radish, sliced thin
sour cream
hot sauce #swag (tapatio is my fav for this dish)

Before you start cooking, I like to shred my cheese and crack all of my eggs into a small bowl. This dish comes together really quickly so mise en place is key. Don’t forget to prep your garnishes too!

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add in the tortilla chips and toss around until they’re golden brown and toasted in some places. Dump in your eggs and gently fold them together until they’ve coated the chips and the eggs are 90% cooked. You want to be careful not to break your chips too much at this part (not the end of the world if you do though so don’t panic). 

Next, add in your salsa and again, fold the chips until it coats your chips. You’ll see them start to soften. This is where you might want to adjust the quantity. If you like a crunchier chip, start with less and if you want them softer, add more salsa - it’s up to you! Once the chips are as soft as you like, add in the shredded cheese and turn off the heat. Let the cheese melt a bit, stir and then serve!

I like to make a little toppings buffet and people can dress theirs how they like. Add your favorite toppings and devour. 

improv style:
i’ve made these a million ways. every tortilla chip is slightly different. some are thicker, some are better tasting. my ideal is whole foods tortilla chips but at $7/bag, they’re quite the treat. i’ve used blue corn chips, yellow and white corn - they all work. if it’s a thicker chip, you’ll need more salsa and thinner, less salsa.

speaking of salsa… use your favorite type. i love salsa verde so i use that but you can do red salsa, chipotle salsa, etc… the options are endless. you can also use enchilada sauce or a combo of things.

cheese is another one that is completely flexible. i usually always have white sharp cheddar on hand but you could use pepper jack, monterey, mozzarella, cheddar, honestly, anything besides the blue or swiss family cheese. you can also leave it out if you’re dairy free or not into cheese. if you’re going to do goat i would recommend sprinkling it on as a garnish instead. same thing with cotija if you’re going for a more authentic approach

ok, on to the fun stuff. garnishes are limitless. just trust your gut and use your favs. last week i had leftover kale and some corn salsa so i threw those into the pan with the salsa and it turned out delish. you can add chipotle in adobo for extra smokey flavor.

if you’re vegan you can leave out the eggs and add more salsa. similarly, you can cook it that way and then top it with fried eggs instead. i like it all mixed. probably because that’s how it was introduced to me and it’s SO GOOD.

now that we've gotten ingredients out of the way, let's talk about improv cooking. i like the chips to still have texture but others like them more saturated or more crunchy. this is where you'll have to experiment and figure out how much liquid to add to your chips to make them perfect for you.

can’t wait to hear how you’d change it up! if you try this recipe, be sure to tag @improvkitchen or #improvkitchen so i can see what you're up to. happy brunching.