Are you familiar with taquitos? I’m certainly not. This was actually my first experience trying them. I’ve seen them plenty of times before in the grocery stores frozen food section, but I’ve never taken it upon myself to buy them or even make them at home. Well, I had a serious craving for Mexican food the other day! I came upon these bad boys in my latest issue of Cooks Country Magazine and I decided right then and there that I would finally get the taquito experience.
Basically a taquito is a rolled up tortilla (usually corn) with, most commonly, a beef or chicken filling. They are fried to achieve a nice crispy exterior. Usually they are served with salsa or guacamole. The ingredients within the filling is what tends to vary. Sometimes you see some vegetables used, other times, cheese.
This particular recipe was formulated so that the filling would easily remain inside the rolled tortilla upon a shallow frying. Cooks Country used some mashed pinto beans to help achieve the right consistency. Pretty ingenius! Not to mention that the means add a little bit of extra nutrition… something that taquitos don’t have a lot of.
But what realllllly made me want to have at this recipe was the avocado sauce. I just LOVE avocados! And this particular sauce ended up so creamy and refreshing. With a nice bite of lime and tang from the sour cream. It was a total hit with the beef taquitos. It almost reminded me of the Avocado Ice Cream I made last summer since that used sour cream and came together quickly in the food processor. Although the flavors were obviously totally different…. that ice cream was damn good!
Confession: I did NOT fry my taquitos. Okay, well that’s not the complete truth, I fried up two, just to see the difference between frying and baking. They were of course more delicious fried, but the baked once were almost just as good and definitely a lot healthier.
Overall I’d have to say that my taquito experience went really well. They were flavorful with a bit of spice, not too dry, and they were easy enough to prepare. AND with that avocado sauce along with a cup of salsa… a great Mexican meal!
- For the Taquitos:
- 1 cup plus 4 tsp vegetable oil
- 8 oz 90% lean ground beef
- 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalopeños, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tb fresh minced cilantro
- salt and pepper
- 12 (6″) corn tortillas
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- For the Avocado Sauce:
- 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and chopped coarsely
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup water
- 3 Tb lime juice (2 limes)
- 2 Tb minced fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper
- For the Taquitos: Heat 1 tsp oil in 12″ nonstick skillet over med-high heat until just smoking. Add beef and cook, breaking up pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain fat; set aside. Mash beans with fork or potato masher; set aside.
- Heat 1 Tb oil in now empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in jalopeños, garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in mashed beans, tomato sauce, water, cilantro, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Stir in beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened and begins to sizzle, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl; set aside to cool, about 20 minutes.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set wir rack inside second rimmed baking sheet. Wrap 6 tortillas in clean, damp kitchen towel or paper towel; place on plate; and cover plate tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave until hot and pliable 60-90 seconds. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, brush edges of top half with egg. Place a row of 3 level tablespoons filling across lower half of tortilla. Fold bottom of tortilla up and over filling, then pull back on tortilla to tighten it around filling. Roll tightly and place seam side down on baking sheet. Cover with second clean, damp towel. Microwave remaining tortillas and repeat.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 200°F. Heat remaining 1 cup oil in 12″ nonstick skillet over med-high heat until 350°F. Using tongs, place 6 taquitos, seam side down, in oil and fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip and fry until second side is golden, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining taquitos.
- For Avocado Sauce: Combine avocados, sour cream, water, lime juice, and cilantro in food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with taquitos.