Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baked Taquitos

I've been experimenting lately with taquitos.  I love fried taquitos at restaurants, but since we don't deep-fry anything at home, I can't exactly make the restaurant version.  Recently, I found a recipe online for baked taquitos.  Can't be hard, I thought, just turn on the oven and stick 'em in.

After a few different versions, I've discovered that (no surprise here) chicken is much better than beef.  I chop or shred chicken into small pieces, somewhere between a quarter- and a half-inch diameter.  I line up a couple tablespoons of chicken about a third the way across a taquito stretching from edge to edge.  Next, sprinkle some cheese--we use cheddar, mozzerella, colby, whatever we like and have--on top, not too much.  Then I roll it up nice and tight so it forms a long, skinny roll of chicken and cheese wrapped by the tortilla.  Oh, and I like to use flour tortillas... but either flour or corn would work just fine.  Place them about an inch or two apart on a foil-lined cookie sheet and spray the rolls with a fine mist of non-stick spray (olive oil spray, butter spray, whatever).  I just barely get any on the tops of the taquitos.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Turn one-third of the way and bake an additional 3 minutes.  Turn one last time to get the last side another 2-3 minutes.

Mine have always turned out crunchy and crispy, melty and yummy.  For variety, I tried them with a little tiny bit of red pepper sauce coating the chicken for a hint of spice.  I've also made them with ground beef and taco seasoning (leftover taco meat I had in the freezer, yes I'm that smart/lazy/cheap).

Lessons I've learned: tighter rolls work best.  Too loose and the insides will all be outside faster than you can re-roll them!  Don't put in too much cheese or it'll make a huge mess and make the taquitos difficult to turn as the melted cheese will stick to the foil something awful.  Oh, and use foil.  Just trust me about that.

I'm working on homemade spanish rice to go along with my taquitos as well.  Could use some practice there, but at least rice is cheap.  Still haven't figured out what vegetable goes well with rice and taquitos... suggestions?

2 comments:

Jules said...

corn!

Dr. Weirdbeard said...

...mixed with red bell pepper (which isn't spicy, if you are worried). There's other stuff that goes in but I don't remember at the moment. One of the ingredients is something black... They should have premixed bags in the freezer section for an idea I think.

This isn't quite what I was thinking, but is close. Search google for "southwest corn pepper" and get more ideas