Mother’s Day is on the horizon, and we want to help you pull out all the stops to show love and appreciation for your amazing mom. Of course, our moms – and yours – deserve the best.
So in search of the perfect Mother’s Day recipe, we sought the wisdom of Dona Savitsky, the talented and creative chef behind Oakland’s Doña Tomás restaurant.
Who is Dona Savitsky?
Dona Savitsky opened Doña Tomás in 1999 in Oakland’s Temescal District. But her culinary journey began long before that.
Dona’s love of cooking and restaurants began as a child, eating out with her dad at the classic, old school restaurants of her native Los Angeles. At 20 years old and pregnant with her first child, she left college in LA and went to culinary school in Santa Barbara.
She then moved to San Francisco where she worked her way through the kitchens of Square One and Ernie’s, until she was hired as the sous chef of Cafe Marimba. It was there that she deepened her love and respect of Mexican cuisine and honed her skills with many trips to Mexico to study. She was promoted to chef and spent the next five years cooking, eating, learning, having two more babies and dreaming of her own place.
After moving to the East Bay, her dream became a reality when she opened Doña Tomás in 1999 in Oakland’s Temescal District. In 2003 she opened Tacubaya taqueria in Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping district.
Dona takes frequent visits to Mexico to research the the cuisine, and uses the inspiration from her travel and research to create new dishes for Doña Tomás.
Serve up a fiesta of love with divine chilaquiles verde from Doña Tomás
How to Make CHILAQUILES VERDE
In honor of Mom, Dona has graciously shared her own yes-you-can-cook-too recipe for chilaquiles verde. This delicious and easy to prepare recipe can involve everyone in the family. Except mom of course.
Chilaquiles are the ultimate comfort food! They are also kinda glamorous because most people don’t know how to make them – yet the ingredients are pretty simple.
Dona notes that “It’s the layering of each item that really makes them so appealing. From the crispy chips that are slightly wilted by the piquant tomatillo sauce, to the savory silky melted cheese and tangy crema on top. It’s the perfect dish to serve to mom on Mother’s Day or for the whole family to make together.”
DONA TOMAS’ CHILAQUILES VERDE Recipe
Sautéed tortilla chips in tomatillo sauce with eggs and cheese. Serves 4.
- 3 cups tomatillos
- 1/2 white onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 to 1 1/2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and halved
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbs salt
- 10-14 oz tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded mild white Mexican cheese
- 2 Tbs butter
- 8 eggs beaten (scramble after you prepare the chilaquiles)
- Kosher salt
To make the sauce:
Soak tomatillos for ten minutes, then remove husks. Combine tomatillos, onion, garlic and chiles in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook until just softened ( about 15 min). Strain the solids but save the cooking liquid. Puree the solids in a blender with the raw cilantro and then add some of the (1 to 1 1/2 cups) liquid to thin it so it is pourable but not watery. Salt to taste.
To prepare the chilaquiles:
Place a large skillet with about 2 cups of the tomatillo sauce and heat it, then add the chips and sauté for about 3 minutes or until they are coated in sauce. Add more sauce if they are too dry and cook a little longer. Then add the shredded cheese, stir and gently mix them. The chips should be slightly crisp but tender, and not soggy.
Remove from heat and divide the mixture onto four small plates. Scramble the 8 beaten eggs with the 2 T of butter. Salt to taste. Add the scrambled eggs to each plate and sprinkle with the onion, queso fresco, cilantro and drizzle with creme fraiché. Serve immediately.