As I continue to spend more time in the kitchen, recipe apps like Allrecipes and Food.com are my go-to sources for direction and inspiration. For example, about three weeks ago, we hosted a party for my son’s first birthday. As part of the snack selections I bought two big bags of El Milagro tortilla chips. They were never opened. So I told my wife I would make the classic mexican breakfast dish, chilaquiles. (If you’ve never had traditional chilaquiles you are missing out!)
This morning, I finally decided to give it a go. I found a short list of recipes of varying difficulty and complexity. I chose one in the mid range based on the ingredients I had on hand, but I had to make a few substitutions. For example, instead of a can of enchilada sauce, I used up some green salsa and some pico de gallo. Instead of a Kraft shredded mexican cheese blend, I shredded some applewood smoked cheddar. There was one aspect of the cooking process that I wasn’t sure about, regarding cooking the chips, but I decided to trust the recipe and follow along as indicated.
They turned out delicious! Packed with flavor, the tortilla chips had the right balance of chew and crunch one expects from this dish. I do wish I’d had the fresh cilantro on hand, but beyond that, I couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s always exciting to try something new and have it turn out well. I did take some liberties with the ingredients, so there’s no way to know if my version was better than the recipe. My previous experiences in the kitchen have given me greater confidence to change things up when the pantry comes up short. The important thing to remember, though, is to trust the recipe when dealing with new concepts or techniques. After all, if it doesn’t turn out well, at least I’ll have learned what not to do. Enjoy!