ChilaquilesWhile living in Mexico I became somewhat addicted to a local dish called chilaquiles.  Basically they’re a ‘leftovers’ dish made of cut up stale tortillas sauteed in a red or green sauce and then topped with onions, crema (like thin sour cream), crumbled cheese, avocado and chicken (or eggs).  There are many other variations on how to prepare them – probably almost as many variations as there are Mexican Mamas – but this is how I always had them.  They are, quite simply, amazing.

Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that they were on the menu for dinner at Earth Lodge.  Imagine my dismay to discover that Chilaquiles in Guatemala (or at least at Earth Lodge) are substantially different than Chilaquiles in Mexico.

ChayoteIn Guatemala, they prepare Chilaquiles with Chayote (pictured right), which is a green, fairly flavorless, squash-like vegetable.  They start the dish by skinning the Chayote, slicing it in half, and removing the core.  After that, they fill it with a thick (almost 1/3 inch) layer of a thick, salty cheese.  Finally, the dip the stuffed Chayote in batter and fry them until lightly brown.  The dish is finished with a light red sauce and, though fried and very cheesy, is not at all heavy or greasy.  The vegetable becomes firm though easily cut with just a fork and seems to take on the flavors of the other ingredients.

I still prefer the Mexican version of Chiliquiles, but this was better than I anticipated though likely not something I would order again. 🙂

Final product served with rice, salad and garlic bread: