Cook Like: Christina Nguyen of Hola Arepa
Serves one, with plenty of leftover salsa
Visitors to eat street’s Hola Arepa brick-and-mortar restaurant may not be aware of its street-food roots, but the vibe permeates the place: It’s bright and playful, with a down-home atmosphere. The restaurant’s tostada chilaquiles are gracious comfort on a plate: crispy layers of deep fried tortillas poached briefly in tomatillo salsa, garnished generously, and served with a fried egg.
Ready-made tostadas will work just fine in this recipe, but chef Christina Nguyen makes her own with her favorite local tortillas from Los Maizales Tortilleria at Marissa’s Bakery in south Minneapolis. –James Norton
- 3 6-inch white corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 2 oz. jalapeño
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- ¼ c. garlic cloves, whole
- 1½ Tbsp. salt
- ¼ Tbsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- ½ yellow onion, sliced
- 2 eggs
- Black beans
- Queso fresco
- Pickled onions (recipe below)
- Radishes, jalapeños, and cilantro, chopped, to taste
1. Deep-fry tortillas at 350°F until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.
2. Place tomatillos and jalapeño in saucepan. Cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil, turning tomatillos and jalapeño while cooking. They are finished when they turn from vibrant green to yellow.
4. Reserve 1 c. water from saucepan then drain.
5. De-stem jalapeño, then place in blender with tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, reserved water, salt, and pepper. Blend, starting slowly, until well-combined.
6. Sauté onion in oil until cooked. Add tomatillo salsa.
7. In hot skillet, fry two eggs sunny side up.
8. Place tostadas in saucepan with salsa for 20 seconds, stirring to let tostadas absorb some sauce.
9. Plate the dish by layering a tostada with black beans on top, another tostada with more black beans, then a tostada with the eggs and garnishes on top.
Pickled Red Onions:
- 1/2 c. hot water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. white vinegar
- 1/2 c. cider vinegar
- 1 qt. red onions, thinly sliced
Dissolve sugar in hot water, add vinegars. Add red onions and refrigerate for a couple of hours.