From the Mexican Kitchen: Chipotle Chilaquiles

knife-654362_1920It’s Cinco De Mayo! From the Mexican kitchen, I am linking to Chipotle Chilaquiles.

As the dish is described by Rick Bayless, the noted chef who specializes in Mexican cuisine, it is used in the Mexican kitchen to use up leftovers. This dish is easy and fast, and easily adopted to the dysphagia kitchen. The dish has a sauce, which is good for puree.

Please note: The National Dysphagia Diet is adaptable, as long as you proceed in a manner that is safe for the swallow. Before trying any new ingredients, make sure you have the approval of your healthcare providers, dietitians, SLPs, physicians. Follow their recommendations.

To all cooks in the Mexican tradition: This is an adaptation. It is better to have a tweaked version of the dish than no dish at all.

Serve with a side of guacamole puree. Below are the steps to adapt the dish to the dysphagia kitchen. Make this Chipotle-Chilaquiles recipe.  Then, return to the Essential Puree website, and follow these steps to adapt the recipe for the dysphagia kitchen.

Tweaks and Adaptations for Chilaquiles in the Dysphagia Kitchen

First, eliminate the tortilla chips. USE POLENTA. Tortilla chips will not puree. They are not safe for the swallow. The preferred ingredient for Essential Puree recipes from the Mexican kitchen is Ancient Grains prepared polenta. It comes pre-cooked, in a log, and one may slice it, and add it to recipes where the corn flavor is desirable. It is easy to measure, slice and puree. It will soak up the flavor of the sauce. In step three of the recipe, add the same amount of thinly sliced polenta into the sauce. Cut the polenta slices ¼ inch thick, then cut into quarters. The polenta will absorb the flavor of the sauce. It will simulate the flavor of the original dish.

Bonus: Polenta has better nutrition than tortilla chips.

Second, remove the chipotles. Use the adobo sauce for flavor, diluted with water. Do not make a hot dish for the swallow. Use the adobo sauce only if you are cleared by your healthcare provider. You want flavor, but during feeding, you do not want a sharp intake of breath. This will lead to aspiration of food. This is to be avoided at all costs. If you want the adobo taste, use half the amount in the recipe and dilute with equal amount water. Test a small amount on the tip of a spoon, mixed with pureed chicken, and see if the sauce is safe. If it produces coughing, do not use it.

Third, eliminate the fresh cilantro, use the paste version. If you like cilantro, and if it does not make you inhale your breath sharply, use the Gourmet Garden cilantro paste in moderation. It will give you the cilantro flavor, but it has a better texture for puree.

Fourth, If the queso anejo is too salty, use parmesan. You do not want salt content in any food to dry the mouth and throat for the swallow. Hydration is key in the dysphagia meal. Check with your healthcare provider and get down the routine of a bite, then a swallow of thickened water. Observe the swallow of the cheese and note if this produces difficulty such as coughing or a labored swallow.

For the Puree

Place a cup of the chilaquiles in the bowl of a mini food processor.

Place a quarter cup of sauce in the bowl and a quarter cup of water. Pulse five to ten times to break down. Puree.

Add a scoop of ThickenUp Clear, Thick and Easy Clear or Simply Thick: a pump or a scoop (gel or powder) mixed thoroughly with the puree will stabilize the ingredients and render the puree the correct texture for the swallow. If you follow the recommended guidelines, there is no reason you cannot have the comfort foods of this great culinary tradition. Please make sure to hydrate between bites.

Muy Sabroso! Swirl Away! Andale!


Featured photo credit: laura577 via Pixabay, cc