Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Taquitoes

After the holidays we made a stellar chili from the leftover meat at the edges of a standing rib roast.  The next day we gilded that lily by rolling the remains of the chili with cheese in corn tortillas for taquitoes worthy of an occasion like the Super Bowl. 

Actually, many fillings are Super Bowl worthy from secret recipe house chilis and shredded leftover chicken to the simple ground meat mixture below.  Try some vegetarian options like bean and cheese or cooked potato and cheese. 

Years ago, while visiting the Oaxacan province in Mexico, I fell in love with a chopped potato and chorizo taco filling that is so tasty it defies its simplicity.  You just heard the recipe—just cook the potatoes and chorizo before rolling the taquitoes. (Mexican chorizo sausage requires cooking.   If you are using Spanish style cured chorizo just dice it and toss with cooked potatoes.)

Our home taquitoes are baked rather than fried so they are a lot less greasy than what you order out.  The secret is to lightly coat them with cooking oil and then to bake at high heat to get the desired crispness.  The filling should be tender to contrast with the crisp exterior. 

Super Bowl Tacquitos
Makes 24, recipe may be halved

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, turkey, pork or a mixture
1 cup salsa (something natural please)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
24 corn tortillas
cooking oil spray or vegetable oil

To dip/garnish tacquitos:
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
Guacamole (a ripe avocado chopped up with a few tablespoons of that all-natural salsa above makes a really easy guacamole)
squeeze of lime

Method
  1. Brown meat in a skillet until cooked through.  If using ground turley, you may need to add a little vegetable oil to the pan to prevent sticking.  When cooked, drain the meat.    Let meat cool a bit.  
  2. Stir in salsa and shredded cheese.  Filling may be made a day ahead.
  3. Line a baking pan with foil and lightly brush or spray with cooking oil.  Preheat oven to 450˚.
  4. Loosely wrap half the tortillas in paper towel and microwave on medium 30 seconds+ until pliable.  (This step prevents them from breaking when you roll them.) 
  5. Put 2 tablespoons of filling onto each tortilla in a strip– don’t over fill.  Roll tortilla and secure with a toothpick.  Don’t worry if they are not perfect.  
  6. Place rolls on prepared baking pan and brush or spray lightly with oil.  Repeat with second half of tortillas.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, uncovered, until taquitos are crisp.  
  8. Remove the toothpicks before placing on a serving platter! Serve with a squeeze of lime, greek yogurt, guacamole or extra salsa as dips. 

You can make extra and reheat these.  They even freeze well.  Reheat at 350˚ 12-15 minutes.