This has been a heckuva week. I had my first freelance editing job, which involved leaving Nora in the care of others* all day on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a fantastic opportunity for me with a magazine I’ve wanted to get in with since we decided to move to Austin, and I’m so glad I did it, but it was hard. It was my first time to leave Nora with anyone other than her daddy or my mom for a whole day, and even that hasn’t happened often. Plus, it was two whole days in a row. Yikes! I think it was harder on me than it was on her (I was the one who did the commuting, after all), but we all felt pretty drained by the time the week was over.**
* Austin readers, I heartily endorse Plug & Play as excellent childcare (with workspace attached!). It was started by a friend of mine — check it out if you work part-time, or even if you’re just looking for part-time preschool for your kiddo. Nora goes twice a week and loves it. (I am not being compensated in any way for saying this — I just really love it and want it to succeed.)
** I know that I am, comparatively speaking, in no position to complain. I honestly don’t know how families with both parents working full-time jobs make it all happen and manage to stay sane. I am in awe.
Each day I had planned to put something in the crock pot before I left, or prepare a meal ahead that would only require a short time in the oven so that we could all sit down to eat promptly after getting home, but, ’twas not to be. After a long day, the last thing I wanted was to cook a meal for the next day. What I really wanted to do was collapse on the couch… but the compromise was scrambling around, packing a lunch for Nora, making sure her stuff was ready to go the next morning, and taking care of all the tasks that had been neglected during the day. And, of course, then it was bedtime. *Zonk*
So it came to pass that it was almost dinnertime, and I was walking in the door with a hungry toddler, a husband close on our heels, and nothing to feed them. Takeout? That’s for the weak (and those with a budget more flexible than mine). Mac and cheese? Nah, I’ve been spoiled by the homemade stuff, even if my toddler might not agree. So what’s quick and easy and still tasty? Chilaquiles!
Now, I had never actually made chilaquiles before, but I keep seeing them popping up in one form or another lately. I can’t remember the blog I saw them on most recently, so if you’re out there, shout out! I want to give credit where credit is due for the inspiration. Chilaquiles come in many different incarnations, but I decided to make something super-simple so we could sit down and eat ASAP.
I heated up some oil to fry a few corn tortilla strips, got the warm water running to defrost a bag of tomatillo sauce I’d made a few months ago (hooray for planning for rainy day!), and conscripted the hubby into frying a batch of eggs for us. Pretty soon it was dinnertime!
Served with a side of refried black beans, we all had a delicious feast. The original plan was to use queso fresco for topping the dish, but, alas, the half-wheel we had in the fridge was, as the hubby put it, past its prime. Some grated Monterey Jack got the job done, though. I highly recommend this dish when you’re pressed for time, assuming you have the ingredients on hand. Your family will come away happy!
4 corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup tomatillo sauce***
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Canola oil and butter for frying
Heat a good layer of canola oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the tortilla strips, working in batches if needed, and fry until crisp, turning over or stirring to ensure even cooking.
Warm the tomatillo sauce in a small saucepan or the microwave. Meanwhile, fry the eggs. Heat a couple of pats of butter in an egg pan over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook, flipping once set, until desired doneness is achieved.****
Divide the tortilla strips between plates and top with a good scoop of tomatillo sauce. Top with fried eggs (two per serving for adults; one should do for kiddos) and additional tomatillo sauce. Sprinkle the cheese on top and serve warm with refried black beans and/or Spanish rice on the side.
*** Or substitute other enchilada sauce or even salsa.
**** I like mine over medium, and the hubby opts for over easy.