Taquitos are an amazingly versatile food as they can be stuffed with almost anything from chicken, beef, pork or seafood or made vegetarian with squash, mushrooms and spinach or black beans and mashed sweet potato. I find them almost addictive when each bite is dipped into fresh guacamole. Usually, I shy away from making them because they are rolled and fried, and keeping them formed perfectly hasn’t always been easy.
Today, I decided I would make baked taquitos. I figured that the worse thing that could happen would be that they would turn to mush and I’d throw some sauce and onions over them and call them enchiladas. My worry was unnecessary because, although it came as a complete surprise to me, baked taquitos are super easy to make.
First, you have to understand the psychology of the corn tortilla. When it is cold and dry, it wants to break apart. Knowing this, I melted some coconut oil in a skillet, and quickly dipped each tortilla, coating both sides. Then I drained them on paper towel, stuffed them with shredded chicken and rolled them right in the pan I was about to bake them in.
My fresh guacamole is another simple recipe. The truth is, there are many ways to make guacamole from straightforward to loaded with gourmet complexity. I think the only way I would say is uncalled for is adding sour cream to it. All you really need to get great guacamole is avocados that aren’t too ripe or too firm. Middle-of-the-road avocados that will give a bit when pressed but aren’t squishy are perfect. If your market doesn’t always carry ripe avocados, you may need to think about buying them a few days ahead and placing them in a paper bag on the counter to ripen.
Another thing I love with taquitos is shredded lettuce, old school, ice berg laced with chunks of tomato and chopped green onion and cilantro. Adding thin sliced radishes on the side adds another fresh and crunchy taste to the plate. I never add dressing to this, but instead simply squeeze a quarter of a lime over the vegetables. With black beans on the side, taquitos and guacamole make a complete and satisfying meal.
Chicken Taquito Ingredients:
(Makes 1 dozen taquitos)
2 tbsp. coconut oil
12 organic corn tortillas (non-GMO if you can find or make them)
shredded meat of 1 deli rotisserie chicken, boned and boiled until falling apart with 4 cups water and 1 can El Pato Sauce
4 ripe but firm avocados
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
3 tbsp. pico de gallo salsa
juice of 1 lime
Black Bean Ingredients:
1 can black beans
2 tbsp. pico de gallo salsa
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 head organic iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 Roma tomato, cubed
3 green onions, chopped
3 radishes, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
lime quarters for squeezing juice over the salad (to taste)
(You can make the taquitos with plain shredded rotisserie chicken, but the meat will be more dry and less flavorful)
1. Bone chicken and place it in a pot with water and El Pato sauce. Cook over medium heat for approximately one hour or until the meat shreds easily and the liquid has reduced greatly.
2. Shred the chicken meat and set aside. If you do this a day or two or even three before you make taquitos, it will be fine. Store unused meat in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°.
4. Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Turn the flame down to warm.
5. Dip each corn tortilla in the melted oil until both sides are covered. Let excess oil drip back into the skillet as you remove the tortilla and transfer it to a waiting paper towel to drain.
6. Place a thin strip of meat in a tortilla near one edge. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can around the meat. Place the rolled tortilla in a glass baking dish. Continue this process until all of the taquitos are rolled. Squeeze them together in the baking dish as tightly as you can.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tortillas are fairly crisp (they will not be as crispy as fried taquitos.)
8. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
1. Scoop the meat of four large avocados into a bowl. Discard the pits and skins.
2. Add the lime juice and mash with a fork.
3. Add the salt, garlic powder and salsa. That’s all! Fresh tasting guacamole is not hard to make.
Black Bean Instructions:
1. Place the contents of the can of black beans in a sauce pan. Add the salsa and olive oil and warm over medium heat until a thin film forms over the top of the beans.
2. Turn off the flame and let rest for several minutes before serving.
Now, put it all together with the chopped salad and enjoy as a meal or a great party appetizer!
Note: This recipe is completely gluten-free, and contains the healthy fats of coconut oil and avocado.