From leftover tortillas... to Chilaquiles
There seem to be a lot of variations on chilaquiles, which makes sense since it's a leftover/home kind of dish. The way I make it at home is completely different from what I get at a certain restaurant. Their's is more like a red chile casserole, and mine is like a crunchy saute. Both delicious, but you wouldn't even guess that they had the same name. (I didn't look at the threads you posted; they probably say as much.) Here's what I do at home (gosh, it's been a long time!):
Saute sliced onion (lots) in some olive oil. (I do mine till it's soft and golden around the edges because it will cook more, and I like some of it pretty dark. If you don't, then cook it less long or even add it at the same time as the tortillas.) Make sure there's still enough oil that it will lightly coat however many tortillas you're going to add. Add torn-up corn tortillas and saute at fairly high heat until the tortillas are as crispy as you want. (I like some of them pretty crispy and some chewy, with some bits that fall off and get browned.) Remove from heat, stir in a bunch of tabasco or other hot sauce (or don't), and serve with any, or none, of the following toppings: cheese (jack or cheddar or cotija), sour cream, avocado, salsa, tomato, green onion, cilantro, fried egg. Nums!
i usually use a rick Bayless recipe from Mexican kitchen with good results. For a healthier version of the dish, I don't fry the stale tortillas. Instead I dry and toast them in the oven. I think the microwave would also work (I've made good tostadas in the microwave but never tried turning them into chilaquiles). Chilaquiles are basically a vehicle for the sauce, so I think it works fine with baked not fried tortillas.
Inspired by the SF Dish of the Month for Chilaquiles, I made my homemade version for hubby on Saturday. I took two corn tortillas, cut them into small strips and deep fried them. I scrambled two eggs and poured them over the tortilla strips. Then I stir fried one cup of shredded chicken with some red salsa and poured that over the eggs and sprinkled with grated white sharp cheddar and melted it over the chicken, eggs and tortilla strips. Hubby said it was good but if I were to make the dish again, I would have on hand some cotija cheese and cilantro and freshly home made beans. Still, not bad for a first attempt at home made chilaquiles!
I also recommend the Rick Bayless recipe. You can even buy tortilla strips if you don't want to make them... but I think homemade tortilla strips are way better.