Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Homemade Taquitos - Do It

Yesterday was a rough day. While I sat eating my lunch sandwich with mom, dad called to say their house was broken into. Again. Ugh. So we tell our respective managers and head home. They didn't take much stuff, but they took all of mom's jewelry (except for a bolo tie that was her father's - I love that thing). So it was very emotional for her.

I went home, changed into jammies and got back to work. Putting on your pjs at 2pm is basically admitting defeat for productivity (at least to me), so I skipped the gym. And for dinner I wanted nothing more than a small roll of sushi. Nothing to cook or heat up, just lift chopsticks to mouth. I already had the ingredients for dinner, though, and I couldn't waste them.

I am so glad I cooked. Heavens To Mergatroid, these were delicious!

I found this recipe through Pink Parsley, who apparently adapted it from Pennies on a Platter, who got it from Our Best Bites. So essentially it was recipe telephone (or as I call it, Recipe Purple Monkey Dishwasher). I don't care where it comes from, it is DELISH! And extremely easy, especially if you happen to have leftover cooked chicken already.

Here is my adaptation:
Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

3 oz cream cheese, softened (reduced fat is fine)
1/3 cup salsa verde
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
apprx 3 drops cayenne sauce
2 tsps minced garlic
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken *
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
8-12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, and all of the spices. Fold in the chicken and cheese. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap. Cook 20 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and pliable.

Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with avocado and corn salsa or guacamole.

*This is how I prepare my chicken if I don't have leftover chicken to use: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread a piece of aluminum foil across a baking sheet, and arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in the center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and season as you wish. Fold the aluminum foil over the chicken breasts, and enclose them to form a "packet." Bake the chicken (on the baking sheet) 35-45 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

**To freeze, prepare the taquitos, but before baking, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the taquitos are completely cold. Wrap each taquito in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze. To bake, unwrap the taquitos and cook in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes (no need to thaw first).

To be fair, I didn't measure any of my spices; I rarely do. And I used pre-made salsa verde, but Pink Parsley has a recipe, in case you would rather make it as well.

These are very simple and delicious, as well as very adaptable. I recommend you make them soon. I cooked double the necessray chciken, so I have some leftover in the fridge. I discovered (via snacking while cooking, a constant crime of mine) that the mixture makes a great dip as well. I forsee Friday lunch being tasty and familiar...

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