Monday, January 11, 2010

You say "taquito"...I say LIAR

The picture you see above is the beginnings of what will be a Spanish tortilla (tortilla de patatas), this is one of three types of tortillas we eat in my house. The first kind (being the one we buy almost every shopping trip, and the one we use most often) are corn tortillas, they are gluten free, cheap, and perfect for tacos, enchiladas, and taquitos. The second kind of tortilla is the "larger than life so you can make a burrito the size of your head" variety. As unhealthy as these are, I do occasionally purchase them for special occasions so that I can make burritos and chimichangas. You will find these in my house about once a year, more often if I am pregnant. The third kind of tortilla, is tortilla de patatas...and it's not really a tortilla as we know it, it's more like an omelet. Missing from this list are six inch, ten inch, and whatever else they come in flour tortillas...because I do not eat them Sam I am, and I do not use them in my cooking unless we are having company.
One of the saddest things about living in the south for me is the lack of knock your socks off good food. I gave up on going to Mexican restaurants here, due to a post Mexican food home sickness/depression that kicked in almost every time we went out to eat it. After choking down plateful after plateful of Americanized Mexican cooking, flautas trying to pass for taquitos, tacos filled with instant mashed potatoes (did I stutter) and even cheese enchiladas filled with what tasted like Velveeta, I could take no more.
Sadly, I have by no means mastered the art of Mexican cooking at home. I do however have one or two recipes that I make at home that keep me somewhat satisfied. The trick for me is to have all the trimmings. If I make taquitos I serve them with homemade guacamole, salsa, fresh tomatoes and sour cream. Tacos are served with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans. It makes me a little less home sick.
Make Ahead Taquitos

Filling #1
Refried black beans (Beans that have been cooked with onion, garlic, bay leaf, cumin and cayenne, then blended, may post recipe some day)
2 blocks of cream cheese
can of chopped green chillies
hot sauce (if desired)
Soften the cream cheese and mix in green chillies, hot sauce (if you like it spicy), and black beans. Taste, add salt, and more hot sauce to taste. This makes A LOT of taquitos. I usually make this filling and spend hours baking and filling taquitos assembly line style. The best part about this though is that it freezes well, and you can serve them either taquito style or put them in a casserole dish and cover with enchilada sauce for nearly instant enchiladas.

Filling #2

Soyrizo (one pkg)
2 potatoes diced
1 Onion diced
Salt to taste
For this filling all you have to do is fry up the potatoes and onion with a little bit of salt, and add the soyrizo towards the end. This doesn't make as much filling, but it tastes fantastic. I have also used this as a taco filling, and have even on occasion added shredded carrots for extra veg.

To make the taquitos

Preheat oven to 350 and line up tortillas on a baking sheet. Place small amount of filling on each tortilla, DO NOT ROLL THEM UP YET. Stick them in the oven for a couple of minutes, this will soften the tortillas and enable you to roll them, without them cracking. When pliable, roll taquitos into taquito shape and place them (flap side down) back on the cookie sheet. You can brush them with oil at this point to give them that pan fried taste. Bake them until they hold their shape, then flip them over and bake a few more minutes. At this point I usually place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer to individually freeze them, then I take them out and put them back into the freezer until I'm ready to eat them. I usually heat these in the toaster oven or pan fry them and sprinkle with salt (while they are still hot).

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