Monday, October 10, 2011

Taquitos & Flautas

Taquitos & Flautas w/ Guacamole
Beef Taquitos & Flautas
Taquito: a corn tortilla wrapped around shredded beef, shredded chicken, or chopped steak and fried to crisp perfection.  Sometimes called a rolled taco.
Flauta: a flour tortilla wrapped around shredded beef, shredded chicken, or chopped steak and fried to crisp perfection.
I'm making both tonight because I had a lot of left over carne asada from the other night.  I like to make these whenever I have a relatively large amount of left over roast or chicken.  They're simple, delicious, and yes, probably super fattening.  I don't make them every day, so get off my back about the fat.  They're good, and in moderation they make me happy.
The taquitos are really crisp and when you bite into one, you get this awesome combination of textures and flavors: tortilla chip crispiness and corniness, and spicy, tender meat.  Mmmmm...
Flautas are pretty remarkable too.  The tortillas crisp up just on the outside, but on the inside it's soft and warm.  It adds a different flavor and texture to the meat and gives you a pretty different experience than the corn tortilla.  They definitely taste a little more decadent and unhealthy than the corn.
The trick to making these is the pre-frying of the tortillas.  If you skip that step, particularly with the corn tortilla, you're going to make yourself crazy with the crumbling tortillas.  You're going to fry them anyway, so why not twice?
These are best served with your favorite salsa, or if you're a guacamole fan like me, with your favorite guac.

Taquitos & Flautas

  • 2 cups (or so) cooked shredded beef or chicken or chopped cooked steak
  • 10-12 tortillas (regular corn and/or fajita sized flour)
  • canola oil
  • taco seasoning or salsa, if meat is not very seasoned

Heat up about 1 1/2 inches of canola oil in a high-rimmed frying pan over medium-high heat.  It should be hot enough so that when you place a tortilla in it, the oil bubbles immediately.

Get a heat-proof plate ready by lining it with a paper towel.  One at a time, quickly fry the tortillas, turning once.  Don't let them fry too long.  About 3-4 seconds is all it takes.  Remove with tongs and place tortillas on plate.  Just pile them on top of one another.  Turn heat off.

Season meat with a little salsa or taco seasoning if you like that flavor.  Otherwise, you can just use the meat as-is, because if it's left over, it's probably already got seasoning on it, right?

Momentarily separate the tortillas to release some of the heat and steam they've got from being stacked.  Place about 2-3 tablespoons of meat (less for corn tortillas, more for flour) about 2/3 the way down a tortilla, arranging the meat into a line.  Fold over that bottom third and roll as tightly as you can without ripping the tortilla.  If you roll too loosely, the meat will fall out and the taquito will unroll, and you won't want to eat them.  Roll tightly and place seam side down on a plate.  Secure the flour tortilla flautas with a toothpick.  Repeat and place taquitos right next to each other so they can keep each other in order (see picture).

Turn the heat back on under the oil.  It should only take a few minutes to come back up to temperature.  Then place as many taquitos as will fit with about 1/4-inch between.  I can fit 4-5 in my frying pan.  Turn taquitos after about 2 minutes, and basically fry them until the ends are a dark golden brown.  Remove with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.

Serve with salsa and/or guacamole.

Makes 10-12 taquitos

1 comment:

  1. I make the taquitas using cooked hamburger meat mixed with packaged taco seasoning. I put the corn tortillas in microwave (about 3 at a time) for about 20-30 seconds. This makes them easy enough to roll without tearing and saves having to fry them twice. We serve with several dipping sides - queso; sour cream, refried beans, quamaula dip, salsa, etc.


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