Randy Clemens' Chilaquiles

Cookbook Review + Recipe from The Sriracha Cookbook

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Good morning! How's about some hot and spicy chilaquiles to get your day started off right? A little extra dash of Srircaha on that?

This recipe comes from The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens. Considering our long and well-documented love affair with Sriracha brand hot sauce, this cookbook hits close to our hearts and even closer to our stomachs.

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This cookbook is pure fun...as long as you like your fun on the spicy side. We had no idea that Sriracha could be used in so many ways! Sure, we've added a dash to mayonnaise before, but what about mixing it into cream cheese and making it into crab rangoons? We also never thought of pairing Sriracha with things like maple syrup or fresh peaches, but now that we're looking at the recipes, we wonder why it took us so long.

We love the playfulness of this cookbook, but that doesn't distract from the fact that these seem to be some really solid recipes. They run the gamut from Sriracha pesto and Sriracha kimchee to cheddar-Sriracha swirl bread and miso-Sriracha glazed salmon. Sriracha is sometimes the main player and sometimes steps back into a supporting role, but it's always there to perk things up.

This recipe for chilaquiles is a great example of the kind of recipes in the book. Chilaquiles are a true Mexican comfort food, one that just begs for lots of spicy flavors. This dish is essentially day-old tortilla chips smothered in tomato salsa and cooked until the chips begin to soften. Topped with cheese, leftover meat, and perhaps a fried egg or two, chilaquiles make a great breakfast or brunch dish for a big group of people to share. Clemens' version of the dish incorporates Sriracha, of course, for an extra zing in every bite.

All in all, we'd say this book is definitely worth picking up. It's an ode to Sriracha, to be sure, and a great cookbook besides.

Find It! The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens, Ten Speed Press 2011 ($11 on Amazon.com)

Chilaquiles
Makes 8 servings

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
1/2 cup Sriracha
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound tortilla chips (fried, not baked)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled cotija or feta cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a large food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes with their liquid and Sriracha until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large deep pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften and brown slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, another minute or so. Pour in the tomato mixture and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tortilla chips, stirring to coat with the sauce, using caution to avoid breaking them up as much as possible.

Heat thoroughly for 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the chips to absorb some of the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate the chilaquiles, spooning over any remaining sauce. Top with the chicken, cheese, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

(Reprinted with permission from The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 “Rooster Sauce” Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc., Photo credit: Leo Gong © 2011)

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