I was pretty happy with all those taquitos I made this winter, I thought they were great. Now I know they could be even better…
My moment of clarity came last week at work when we found ourselves with several pounds of leftover chicken salad from a banquet. In stepped super-hero, Sous-Chef Ceasar (he’s a man of many titles) who said ‘lets make flautas.’ He added some of his special brand of love to that chicken salad (meaning beans, cheese and spices, get your mind out of the gutter), rolled it up into corn tortillas and took it for a dip in the deep fryer. It was topped with some guacamole and cotija cheese and thus a beautiful appetizer special was born. It sold like hot cakes all weekend.
Now these little suckers were what flauta/taquito dreams were made of. Perfectly crispy yet creamy, a veritable flavor explosion. I think that the secret was that mayonnaise in the original chicken salad. I decided in that moment when the first fauta, fresh out of the deep fryer, hit my lips that I needed to try to make these little suckers at home.
But before we get down and dirty, a little linguistic digression. Latley, I’ve been working on improving my Spanish by asking my Latino co-workers clarification on words I wasn’t sure on and adding a few new bits of vocabulary here and there. (Yesterday I learned that ‘chichis’ are nipples where as ‘tetas’ are boobies but ‘pechugas’ are what chickens have…) So, I asked one of my coleagues what the differerence between taquitos and flautas was. He said “Flautas come out of a deep fryer and taquitos come out of a microwave.” Interesting. Seeing as what I make at home are no where near authentic Mexican food, and I’m not busting out my deep fryer today, I’m going to keep on calling them taquitos.
Southwest Chicken and Black Bean Taquitos – served with Spanish rice, slaw, lime sour cream and avocado sauce
Serves 5 – 6 – cost approx $1.26 per serving, including sides and sauces
Makes approx 40 taquitos – Batch costs $4.45 or $.11 per taquito
- 2 cups cooked black beans – from 1 cup dry beans ($.40)
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken – a great use for leftovers ($.43 I got a whole chicken for $.60/lb because it was the sell by date, if you can be flexible in your menu planning or have room in the freezer you can take advantage of those killer deals!)
- 1 jalapeno, small dice ($.25)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, small dice ($.25)
- 1/2 onion, small dice ($.06)
- 2 cups/ 8oz shredded mild white cheese – jack, mozzarella, or white cheddar would be good ($1.20)
- 1-2 Tbs ground cumin, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise ($.50)
- 40 corn tortillas ($1.11)
Just mix up all the ingredients in the first set to make the filling.
Follow the procedure outlined in my first taquito post (https://fullbellyfullwallet.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/pulled-pork-taquitos-im-falling-fast/) to roll up the little suckers. From this point you can either freeze them for later use or bake them right away. When you want to eat, cook at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with any sauces that you like and dig in! These would be a great appetizer or could be a full meal when paired with some rice and veggies.