by Joy Jangles
The Latin culture, often venerated for its expansive and diverse flavors, showcases their passion for life through their robust, flavorful and inventive dishes. Blending European traditions with Latin American soul, La Duni mixes the flavors, aromas, colors, textures, forms and sounds of both cultures to create the ultimate “Mestizo” experience.
This week for Sunday Brunch, Julia Lopez, executive corporate chef of La Duni will be sharing her recipe for Chilaquiles Rancho La Lira – Handmade crisped Corn Tortilla strips, topped with melted Asadero and Gruyere cheeses, finished with fresh Red or Green Salsa and Mexican Cream, served with Black Beans and optional sunny side up eggs.
Born in Chicago but raised in Chihuahua, Chef Lopez discovered her passion for cooking at a very young age. “I love to eat. Coming from a farmer’s family, where we grow everything, where everything is fresh, you develop that palate for fresh food, good ingredients. My family would constantly be cooking, 3 meals a day, everything was made from scratch.”
Having worked in the industry for over 13 years, Chef Lopez stresses the importance for patience and perseverance as the secret to her success. “It takes a long time to have a career in this industry. It’s all about building something and to build something you need perseverance and lots of patience. In the kitchen, it doesn’t only involve cooking. It involves people skills and management skills. I am lucky to be able to truly love what I do.”
Here is a chilaquiles recipe adapted from Gourmet.Ingredients: · 1 (8-oz) package 6-inch corn tortillas · 1 cup vegetable oil · 3 cups tomato salsa (26 ounces) · 1 cup chopped cilantro, divided · 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped · 1/2 cup sour cream · 1/4 cup heavy cream · 1/2 cup chopped red onion · 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or ricotta salata (1/4 pound)
Stack tortillas and cut stack into 8 triangles.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then fry tortillas in 6 batches, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Drain on layers of paper towel.
Purée salsa with 1/2 cup cilantro in a blender.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from skillet, then cook garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add salsa mixture and cook, stirring, until sauce comes to a simmer, about 2 minutes.
Whisk together sour cream, heavy cream, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Spread tortillas on a platter, then spoon sauce over them. Drizzle with sour-cream mixture, then sprinkle with onion, cheese, and remaining 1/2 cup cilantro.
Brunch is served every Saturday to Sunday from 9am to 3pm at La Duni. Don’t forget to also try their infamous Glorias, a delicate puff pastry filled with guava paste or their Huevos Gauchos, scrambled eggs with Argentinian Sausage, cheddar and provolone cheeses served with handmade flour tortillas and pompas potatoes.
Joy Jangles loves a good brunch and brings you a new version each week for craveDFW. You may find more of her unique perspective and beautiful photos at Joylicious.