It feels strange to be posting again, it seems like a long time ago I decided to start this blog with so many hopes for posting recipes very often.
Has it ever happened to you that you make plans and none of them happen as you had hoped? Have you ever heard of the phrase that says: “Want to make God laugh? Then tell him your plans”. Well, that is exactly what happened to me. God really had a good laugh when He heard my plans of posting once a week.
Little did I know the year He had already planned for me, including the challenges and rewards of homeschooling a bright teenager, plus my husband’s unexpected visit to the ER when he was hospitalized after Thanksgiving. But some things did go according to plan, like celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary in our favorite city (New York) at the end of the year. I am thankful for all that God gave us in 2009. I’m also thankful for your patience, I know some of you stopped by and wrote some notes. I thank you all for your comments, always …
Now, lets talk about this recipe. The name of these crispy rolled tacos (“Flautas”) is given to them because of their resemblance of a “flute”, and because you hold them with your fingers to eat them. In some parts of Mexico these tacos are made using a thin long oval-shaped corn tortillas and deep fried in lard. The best flautas I have ever had are from Toluca,while I was living there back in the late ‘80s. Those flautas were long, thick and cooked in a mix of vegetable oil and lard topped with a spicy jalapeno sauce. If you live close to some areas of Chicago, Texas and California you can buy these tortillas at the Tortilla Factories. But we are using regular corn tortillas as many people in Mexico do for this recipe. Flautas are very popular among the children and are really easy and affordable to make. My mother still makes them with a potato filling like back then when she had 8 children to feed. But this time she cooks for her grandchildren that come to Grandma’s house every day for lunch after school.
12 corn tortillas (the thinner the better)
2 cups of the filling of your choice, Beef, chicken or potato (see instructions bellow)
12 toothpicks to hold the tortillas together
Vegetable oil to fry the flautas
1 cup of “Cotija” Cheese shredded or fresh Mexican Cheese Crumbled
1/2 cup Mexican cream or creme fraiche
Note: Optional toppings
Shredded lettuce or cabbage, tomato slices, chopped onion, avocado slices, and some people even add cilantro.
For the beef filling
1 Pound of Flank steak or skirt cut in cubes
1/4 of an onion
2 garlic cloves peeled
1 bay leave
Enough water to cover the meat.
Salt to taste
Cook the meat in a small pot with the onion, garlic, bay leave, salt and water. Simmer covered for about 40-45 minutes or until tender, cool and shred the meat.
For the chicken filling:
1 large chicken breast bone in,
1 garlic clove
2 slices of onion
Enough water to cover the chicken
salt to taste
Place the Chicken, garlic, onion, salt and water in a pot and simmer covered for about 30 minutes.or until tender. Let it cool and shred.
For the potato filling:
2 Large potatoes
salt to taste and enough water to cover the potatoes.
Peel and cut the potatoes in large cubes, cook in salted water until tender, do not over cook. Drain and mash. Taste in case it needs more salt.
Heat the tortillas on a griddle to make them more pliable and easy to roll. Put some shreds of the meat close to the edge of the tortilla.
Roll tightly but not to much to avoid squeezing the filling out of the tortilla.
Secure the tortilla with a toothpick. Roll another tortilla with its filling and again hold the center with a toothpick. You can attach them in pairs as shown in the picture.
While you are rolling the tacos, heat the oil in a frying pan on high heat.
Deep fry the flautas in the already heated oil turning once until golden and crisp.
Remove and drain the excess oil on paper towels, as shown in the picture at the top.
It’s also a good idea to let them cool a little since the filling will be very hot.
Serve 3 per plate and top with the salsa of your choice, Mexican cream, and cheese. My son likes them with cream and cheese (and ketchup) only. I prefer to eat them with lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese and salsa.
Enjoy! And remember you do not need your silverware to eat this dish.