Flautas Flautas! : No Amigos Here!

Everyone that lives in Nebraska is aware of Amigos right? Anyone that has ever attended UNL definitely knows what Amigos is. Before D’Leon’s was a household name, everyone’s favorite late night food after the bars was Amigos.  When I hear taquito, all I can envision is Amigo’s week old questionable ‘beef’ (if that’s what they want to claim it is) put in a tortilla and fried until it’s hardly edible. Give me a soft taco any day there, but I wouldn’t serve an Amigos Taquitos to a dog. So once I saw this recipe for Taquitos my first thought was to run and hide. BUT  Annie’s Eats (who took the recipe from Our Best Bites hasn’t let me down yet… AND it’s baked not fried. The best part….they look for more edible than the local version I’m used to seeing! Here’s the game changer… I’ve been told these are actually called Flautas….so lets keep it accurate. 

I have made these twice now, the first time I was in a late week night hurry at the store, so for the chicken I just bought the dayold (save $1) and cold not warm (save another $1!) rotisserie chicken.  $3 bucks is a steal for about 5 cups of shredded chicken that’s already been cooked and ready to go! When I made these again last night, I when out to the farm and slow cooked some chicken at 200 degrees for a couple hours. It was good but the rotisserie one was better. I think the next time I’ll try to make shredded chicken by throwing it in a crockpot all day.

Best thing about this recipe is that if you already have the chicken prepared it’s a super easy dinner to throw together that’s ready from start to finish in 30 minutes. Another added bonus for anyone who has a busy schedule is that you can make these ahead of time and throw the pan in the freezer and bake them out of the freezer! Just bake for about 30-40 minutes instead of the 15.  So why not make a double batch and bake one now, and save the other for another week!

                   Two key pieces of advice on these. 1. Rolling them as tight as you can is key, I found that the best way is to fold it in half over the mixture and roll from there. 2. Lay out all your tortillas on the table, place the mixture on all of them at the same time before you roll them. That way you know visually they all have equal amounts in them and will bake more evenly. 

The Best Bites link shows a pretty good step by step with photos, but I used the directions from Annie’s Eats.  I’ll repost my adapted recipe as well. Little bit of cumin goes along way in my book, I’m not a huge fan so I almost always cut whatever is listed in half….at least.  The first time I tried pouring the remaining salsa from the can over the top of the flautas and you really couldn’t taste it…I would suggest dumping more in the mixture or just saving it for after to dip them in if you don’t want to toss it since the recipe doesn’t call for it all. These are great to just pick up and go, or with refried/black beans and/or spanish rice on the side as well.

Baked Creamy Chicken Flautas
½ tsp. paprika 
(3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
half can of the green salsa or about a 1/3 cup. Add as much as you want depending on your taste preference.
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus more to taste (I actually like lemon juice better after trying both. Your call!)
¼ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus more to taste
2 green onions, sliced
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup shredded cheese
10 small corn or flour tortillas
Kosher salt
cooking spray

Another added ingredient that makes these even better is black beans, or making a cheese cream sauce and pouring it over the top too!

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder and mix well. Add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepperjack cheese and combine well. It’s about 2tbsp per tortillas. Make sure to place them seam side down in the pan (I line a 9×12 cake pan with parchment paper) then spray them with cooking spray and sprinkle Kosher salt over the top and bake for 15-20 min or until the edges start to turn golden brown.

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