Taquitos!

January 13, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit, I love the crappy taquitos you can get in the freezer section at the supermarket.  I mean, half the time, they’re just vehicle for sour cream or guacamole anyway right?  I can’t be the only one on this.  But it is also pretty rewarding to make them from scratch and serve them at a house dinner.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, I more or less improv-ed my way through this whole process, cobbling together things I’ve learned and/or intuited over the past [coughmumble] years.  Anyway, let’s get rollin’!

The Goods:

6-inch tortillas (I prefer corn tortillas. You can also use flour tortillas – which are easier to work with but lacking in flavor, in my opinion)

Filling (I’ll include my method for quick black bean puree, but you could also use any canned refried beans, or shredded chicken or pork or beef or sauteed veggies)

Honking big skillet/pot/pan for frying

Good oil – Peanut oil is great for frying, as is soybean oil. Veg/Canola also okay.  You want something with a good high smoke point.

The method:

[If you’re using premade refried beans or a meat filling that you’ve prepared, skip ahead to “set the beans aside for a moment.”]

If you’re using dried black beans, I hope you’ve already soaked them overnight!  Boil them in salted water until nice and soft (then drain them).  If you’re using canned, drain and rinse them.

Now, glug a bit of oil into the bottom of whatever pot will hold whatever amount of beans you’ve got. Heat your beans through (add a splash or two of water if they’re sticking or burning.) Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.  (And cayenne or chipotle, if desired)

Now – break those beans down! Either go medieval on them with a potato masher or hit ’em with a stick blender.  Add some more water if it’s too thick.  You want something easily spreadable, but not oozy. If water is too boring as a thinning agent, try your favorite premade salsa!

Okay, set the beans aside for a moment.

Get your oil heating up in your skillet/frying pan.  Uh, if you’ve got a hood over your range with a fan, you definitely want to turn that on right now. You want to cover the bottom of the pan with oil, but don’t go too deep; we’re not looking to submerge the taquitos.  Aim for about 350 F for an oil temperature – and if you don’t have an oil or candy thermometer, it will be when you can see bubbles forming when you put a chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon into the oil.

Meanwhile, microwave your tortillas (even still in their package is fine) for a minute or two until they’re all soft and pliable. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this part.

Ready? Here we go! Grab a tortilla, plop some of your filling in a line down the center, roll it up, and place seam-side down into the oil. Do that until your pan is fairly full but not crowded. Fry those babies until golden brown and beautiful, then flip them and fry the other side. (You could go SUPER thorough and try to get them lovely and brown all the way around, but I haven’t got the patience for that, to be honest.  two sides is good enough for me!)

If you’re making a lot of taquitos, remove them to a parchment-lined sheet pan once they’re done frying, and you can reheat the whole pan in the oven for a few minutes when you’re ready to serve.

Enjoy with salsa, chipotle crema (literally just canned chipotles blended with sour cream), sour cream, guacamole, or any combination thereof.

Happy Eating!

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