With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Tuesday this year, tacos might seem like the obvious way to celebrate. But we’re rolling away from the “Taco Tuesday” trend – literally – and going with taquitos.
A popular Mexican dish, taquitos are corn tortillas rolled around a filling of seasoned meat and cheese, then fried (although you can bake them, too). They’re crisp, delicious and can be dressed up with a variety of toppings and dips.
The filling starts with cooked shredded chicken (a Costco rotisserie or leftovers are great for this) seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Lime juice, green chilies and cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese are mixed in, as well.
Before the taquitos are assembled, the tortillas are heated in the microwave, making them more pliable for preparation. Each tortilla is then topped with 2 tablespoons of filling, then rolled and placed seam side down on a baking sheet.
You can then fry or bake them – whatever is your preference. Traditionally taquitos are fried, which makes them ultra-crispy. The latter produces a softer, tender-crisp bite.
You can top taquitoes with all your favorite taco fixings: shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pico de gallo, jalapeños and cilantro. And salsa, sour cream and guacamole are a must for dipping!
Other meats, like shredded beef, pork or turkey, can be used instead of chicken. Or go vegan with beans and rice or roasted veggies. The cheeses can be swapped for whatever you have on hand; a Mexican blend, pepper jack or even cream cheese.
You also can use flour tortillas instead of corn. However, the hashtag #TaquitoTuesday will no longer apply, as the flour wrapper changes their name to flautas. Save those for Friday: #FlautasFriday.
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of one lime
1 (4 ounce) can fire roasted green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
20 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Oil, if frying
Optional for serving: salsa, guacamole and sour cream
In a large nonreactive bowl, add the chicken, all the seasonings, lime juice, chilies and the cheeses. Stir to combine.
Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel, place on a plate and microwave for 1 minute, or until tortillas are pliable.
To roll the taquitos, put two tablespoons of chicken filling on the lower third of a tortilla. Fold the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling and snuggly roll from the bottom to the top. Place the seam side down on a greased baking sheet.
To bake the taquitos: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the taquitos seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Lightly brush the taquitos with oil, or, alternatively, spray them with a cooking spray. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. (You can broil them for a few minutes after baking if you want them crisper.)
To fry the taquitos: Heat 1 inch of oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, work in small batches of 3-4 taquitos and fry, flipping as needed to brown evenly until crisp and golden, 3-5 minutes. Using tongs, remove the taquitos to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining taquitos.
Serve alongside salsa, guacamole and sour cream, if desired.
Audrey Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.