Every culture has a different approach to dealing with leftovers. Sure, you can break down a leftover chicken carcass, toss the meat with some two week old celery bits, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some overcooked egg noodles, call it a casserole, and stretch another meal out of it. But when it comes to repurposing leftovers into fun new meals, you have to stand in awe of Mexico, and their invention of what may be the ultimate breakfast dish: Chilaquiles.
Picture, if you will: Some leftover scraps of stale tortilla, fried until crispy, tossed in whatever smoky, complex sauce your grandmother has been working on for two days, and which you used as the foundation of last night’s meal, until the chips achieve that perfect balance between crunchy and sauce-saturated. Got some leftover chiles? A few fistfuls of salty, crumbly cheese? The tattered remains of the animal that you raised from birth before slaughtering it ceremoniously in your back yard and braising it for hours in a heart stew of fire-roasted peppers and tomatoes? It all goes in the pot. Finish it with a runny fried egg and a few shakes of hot sauce, and you’ve got breakfast.
When our uber-talented friend Kita of Girl Carnivore asked us to assemble a burger in celebration of National Burger Month, we turned to chilaquiles for inspiration. You can use any kind of crispy tortilla chip for these, but when in doubt, we almost always opt for using Doritos in any application possible, because Doritos are a universally perfect food, delivered by God himself into man’s trembling outstretched hand thousands of years ago. You can use any sauce you like (we provide a quick recipe below), or even canned enchilada sauce will do, in a pinch. Add pickled jalapeños and pepper jack for an extra kick of spicy, acidic flavor, and then let a runny egg yolk soak through the entire thing. You’ll be glad you did.
Taking inspiration from Mexican chilaquiles, this spicy cheeseburger is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups Nacho Cheese Doritos
- 2/3 lb 85/15 ground beef
- 2 slices pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 eggs fried over easy
- 2 tbsp crumbled cotija cheese
- 2 brioche burger buns
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and chili powder, and stir to combine. Cook until flour begins to brown and chili powder becomes fragrant. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, garlic, onion powder, and salt, and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
In another saucepan over medium-high heat, warm Doritos chips slightly. Add enchilada sauce, tossing lightly to coat, until chips are coated and saturated but not totally soggy and broken apart.
Loosely form ground beef into two patties, and add to a hot skillet over medium-high heat. Brown on one side, then flip and add pepper jack cheese. Cook to desired doneness and set aside while you prepare the burger buns.
To assemble burgers, line the bottom of each bun with pickled jalapeño slices. Top with cooked cheeseburgers, followed by a scoop of the chilaquiles, the cilantro, the fried eggs, and a crumble of cotija cheese. Serve immediately.
Don't freak out about it if you don't have cotija cheese on hand. Finely grated parmesan or crumbled feta are both good substitutes.
But we’re not done yet! Join me and dozens (hundreds! thousands!) of other food bloggers as we roll out an entire month’s worth of tasty #BurgerMonth inspiration. Check out the official website for this project here, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway below for a chance to win one of dozens of great prizes, including a grilling pack from Weber, a $25 assorted cheese box from Cabot, a three piece cooking set from Analon, and much, much more!
A huge thanks to the #BurgerMonth sponsors, American Lamb Board, Anolon, Cabot Cheese, Crow Canyon Home, Melissa’s Produce, Microplane, New York Beef Council, Red Duck, Spiceologist, Veal Made Easy, and Weber Grills.