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In the Kitchen With Ricky: Mashed potato taquitos are a simple twist on leftovers

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 29, 2021

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

If you’re anything like me, when you’re prepping all those dishes for Thanksgiving this week, you bulk them out a bit more to ensure that there are leftovers. After all, leftovers are just as much a part of the tradition as the meal itself.

There are turkey sandwiches with cranberry and stuffing, turkey tetrazzini and turkey hash, but, at some point in the days following turkey day, you just hit your limit on leftovers. Well, here’s another suggestion for you, and I think you, too, will find these are just as crave-able on their own as their filling is when it’s dolloped next to your turkey this Thursday.

Potatoes are a common filling for tacos in Mexico and often consumed during Lent when people are abstaining from meat. Potatoes are also cost-efficient and often combined with spiced chorizo to add flavor and richness.

Another popular way to use potatoes as a filling is to mash and combine them with a little cheese before using in a taco. This filling is very similar in texture to the mashed potatoes we know and love, and that is where the inspiration for this use of leftovers originated.

Taquitos are a great vessel for meats, beans and veggies and are a fun way to change things up when it comes to leftovers, making for a quick and easy anytime meal. Feel free to make a batch of these taquitos with the potato filling below and then another using leftover turkey that you shred and season.

Additionally, you can serve the taquitos with shredded lettuce or cabbage, sour cream and guacamole. I hope you enjoy this recipe so much you find yourself making a batch of mashed potatoes just to make these crispy little tacos. If that is the case, do so the day before, as I recommend using the potatoes cold when filling your tortillas.

Leftover mashed potato taquitos

Taquitos:

2 to 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 package of large corn tortillas (12 pack)

3 cups of oil (peanut or canola is recommended)

Kosher salt to taste

½ cup queso cotija, crumbled

Cranberry salsa:

½ cup leftover cranberry sauce

½ cup prepared salsa

In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the oil over medium heat while rolling and assembling the taquitos.

Soften the tortillas in a pan over medium heat on the stove or wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave.

Stir the leftover mashed potatoes and place 3 tablespoons onto a softened tortilla.

Roll up the tortilla and secure the loose edge with a toothpick.

When all the taquitos are filled and rolled, the oil should be ready. Feel free to check with a thermometer, which should register 325 to 350 degrees.

Gently place a taquito in the oil. If it bubbles, then add the remaining taquitos to fill the pan. I recommend frying four taquitos at a time.

Fry until lightly golden brown on both sides.

Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel or a cooling rack.

Sprinkle with kosher salt while fresh out of the fryer.

In a small bowl, combine the cranberry sauce and prepared salsa.

Move the taquitos to a platter, top with crumbled cotija and serve with cranberry salsa on the side.

Yield: 3 to 6 servings, depending on if serving as an appetizer or main dish.

Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at ricky@rindandwheat.com. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.

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