Every time my mum comes to visit? we set ourselves up for a weekend of ‘yes of course we should do *insert decadent activity*, we’re together for a limited amount of time, in Paris, and it’s your holiday’. This occasion was no different. I met her at the Eurostar early on Saturday afternoon, and from there we set off to Le Wood, a lovely, hidden café in le Marais which makes the most incredible cake. We sat down and I ordered the blueberry cheesecake, mum ordered the green tea variety, and a glass of Sancerre each, and our weekend began.
When we were finished we visited ‘Make-Up Street’ (Rue des Francs-Bourgeois), aptly nicknamed after the large amount of cosmetic stores lining each side, from Caudelie to to Guerlain, Make Up Forever, Bobbi Brown, and many, many more. As I had just started a new job, I wanted to treat myself to a brand new perfume from Jo Malone. After deciding on Wood Sage and Sea Salt, we headed back out through Jardin de l’Hôtel Sully down towards the Seine. On our way, we passed Thanksgiving, an American store which has everything Americans in Paris could ever possibly need if they’re missing Pop Tarts, Red Vines, Cap’n Crunch and any other food product you associate with being quintessentially American. Looking around, I spotted some Stubb’s Hickory Liquid Smoke which I thought Loums would like for marinating, and also some refried beans. That night, I reserved us a table at one of, if not my favourite restaurant in Paris which I’ve referenced on more than one occasion, La Bascule, and then the plan was to go to a jazz club. On Sunday night we planned to stay in and take our time over dinner, and once I spotted the refried beans I immediately decided to make a Mexican dish.
Mum absolutely loved La Bascule and the quality of the food was as always, incredible. We headed on down to Autour de Midi… et Minuit, where we saw the brilliant Bertrand Bilon Quartet perform..
Sunday morning we set off to the 5th arrondissement to visit le Panthéon which I had only been to once before. It’s such a spectacular building and is the resting place of French historical figures such as Louis Braile, Marie Curie, Emile Zola, and Victor Hugo. After saying hello to everyone we knew, and watching Focault’s pendulum, we decided that it was time for lunch. We found a proper English pub called the Bombardier just next to the Panthéon and we had an ale with a light lunch to see us through to supper. We then walked through les Jardins de Luxembourg, before deciding to head back home for board games and supper.
So here we are at the subject of my post: Chilaquiles. I got the idea from a recipe book I found in Fleux, called Los Angeles: Les Recettes Cultes, with which I have absolutely fallen in love. I’ve used it almost constantly since I bought it, it’s a perfect blend of super-healthy recipes like ‘Avocado, Pesto-Ricotta Toast’, ‘Açai Breakfast Bowl’ and ‘Vitality Smoothie’, next to ‘Fried Chicken Waffles’, ‘Bacon Chilli Dog’ and ‘Kimchi Nachos’ (yum) as well as, of course, loads of mouth-watering Mexican recipes. Looking through the book with my mum the day before, we decided to use the refried beans and make Chilaquiles which is traditionally a breakfast dish but we decided to break with tradition and have it for dinner. It was such a fun recipe to make and the end result paid off tenfold. If you have any doubts as to the authenticity of the recipe, I sent my step-by-step method to a good friend of mine Valeria, who hails from Mexico City, and she said that, and I quote, “Well, I would have used chicken instead of eggs.” I call that a win. Here is our interpretation for you (all ingredients organic apart from the tortillas and the refried beans):
– 6 torillas
– 1 can of refried beans
– 3 large eggs
– 200g emmental
– 1tbsp crème fraîche
– 1 lime
– 5 plum tomatoes
– 2 small red onions, diced
– 2 chopped garlic cloves
– 1 birds-eye chilli, chopped
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 1 lemon
– 300ml Chicken stock
For the rice:
– 210g rice
– 280ml water
– 240g chopped tomatoes
– 1 red onion, diced
– 1tbsp chilli oil
– Handful of fresh, chopped coriander
– Cut your tortillas into triangles and place them in a large, hot frying pan with a squeeze of lemon and pinch of sea salt. After they’ve browned on both sides, remove and place them on a warm, covered dish.
– For the Mexican Rice, in a large frying pan, add the oil and the rice allowing the rice to brown for about 3 minutes, before mixing in the tomatoes, onion, sea salt and fresh, black pepper, after a couple of minutes, add in the water and coriander, cover and leave until your rice is tender (about 12-15 minutes). Done.
– In that same pan on a high heat, add the tomatoes and the chilli and allow the skin of the tomatoes to brown on each side before adding in the garlic, onions. Leave them to smoke a little before adding the chicken stock, coriander and a couple of pinches of sea salt. Help the tomatoes to break down with a wooden spoon and then bring to the boil before lowering to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
– Place the tortillas into the sauce and allow them to sit for about 5 minutes before layering over the refried beans, mexican rice, grated emmental, and lastly, quickly fry the eggs in some coconut oil before placing them on top and serve immediately!
I also made some guacamole to act as a refresher from the heat of the chilli and it worked really well.