Senor Pico Tex-Mex Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook

Senor Pico’s Chilaquile Pie

Tired of the old go-to nacho platter? Try this vintage ‘chilaquile pie’ recipe from Victor Bergeron’s Senor Pico tex-mex restaurant.


Fried tortilla triangles cooked in a chilli sauce, the chilaquile is an authentically Mexican dish that found its way into the United States around the turn of the century. (An early recipes can be found in the 1898 cookbook The Spanish Cook by Encarnacion Pinedo.) Unlike the traditional nacho plate that uses crisply fried tortillas, a chilaquile is more of a casserole dish in which softly friedly tortillas are then cooked in a sauce to varying degrees of firmness.  A chilaquile can vary from being still fairly crisp to being quite mushy. This recipe from Senor Pico is definitely more on the crisp side. You take softly fried tortilla triangles and layer them with cheese and seasoned ground beef. The result is something very like a nacho platter in terms of flavour but more integrated and homogenized in terms of consistency. I would call this a fun, unique dish that is still very straight forward in terms of flavour and would do very well as an appetizer. Bergeron calls for Las Palmas chili sauce however, here in Canada, I generally use La Costena. He also calls for Tillamook cheese from Oregon but any hard cheddar will do. Enjoy.


1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
2 lbs ground beef
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can red chili sauce
1 can corn
1 can sliced black olives
10 soft flour tortillas
1 lb Cheddar cheese (grated)
Green onions


Saute onions and peppers in the oil and add ground beef when onions are cooked down. When beef is cooked add chili sauce, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. Next add corn and olives and let simmer for 20 minutes. Cut tortillas into triangles and lightly fry until golden but not brown. Place on paper towels to drain the grease. Next make a layer of tortillas in a casserole and then alternate with layers meat, cheese and tortillas finishing with cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees and then garnish with green onions, coriander and radishes. Goes well sour cream.

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