Sunday, May 3, 2009

Taquitos!

On Saturday night, Nick & I were invited to Heather's 30th birthday bash! Yippee Happy Birthday Heather! As the theme was Cinco de Mayo, the evening was full of guacamole, margaritas, and balloons (what's more festive than that!?!?). Happily, guests were asked to contribute a "Cinco de Mayo" nibble or drinkable so I was presented with the fun task of thinking up our nibble...

I had the idea of trying my hand at taquitos after reading Heidi Swanson's Chile Pea Puffs post on 101cookbooks.com. These Pea Puffs made me realize you can really make any delicilous themed / flavored filling you can thing of, wrap it up in a wonton skin, and bake it until crispy - emulating a samosa (as the Pea Puffs are), an egg roll, or a crisp little dumpling!

I have a feeling I'm going to be making and baking a lot of these little guys this Spring -- I'm already thinking of a spiced chickpea puree filling, a spinach and feta filling (a la spinach pie!), and a traditional spring roll (cabbage, mushrooms, etc.).

For this Taquito version I looked to the traditional Tex-Mex flavors - peppers, onions, beans, cilantro, corn & spices!

Taquitos:
*Makes about 3 dozen taquitos

1 yellow & 1 red bell peppers
1 purple onion
1 jalapeno
4 cloves garlic
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 can pinto beans (rinsed)
1 cup corn (if frozen just rinse under warm water for a minute to defrost)
1 bunch cilantro
Juice of a lime
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons of you're favorite salsa
10 dashses of hot suace (such as tobasco)
salt & pepper
wonton skins *the skins I bought have eggs in them but I'm sure you can find a Vegan version
olive oil and / or cooking spray

Chop the peppers, onion, garlic, and jalapeno into big chunks and puree in a food processor (or chop finely by hand but who really wants to do that...). Heat a large saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the pureed vegetables, cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the rinsed beans to the vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes. Use the back of your spoon to mush the beans into the sauce. After 5 minutes, add the corn, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salsa, and hot sauce. Taste the mix and see if it needs salt & pepper (probably does...this takes on a lot of salt so don't be shy). Cook for another 3 minutes or so until everything is combined, looking nice and mushy, and all the water has evaporated (don't want a wet taquito!).

Pre-heat the oven to 400 and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (or cover with parchment paper). At a large work space, line up a pile of the wonton skins and a little cup of water. Fill the middle of the skin with a teaspoon of the mixture, wet the sides of the wrapper and fold up sealing the middle and sides (you can make these any shape you want...). The assembly process takes a while or if you're like me, you probably want to put loud music on, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get into the taquito zone...

Continue rolling taquitos until the baking sheet is filled. You'll be making enough to fill 2 baking sheets. Brush each taquito with a little bit of olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes, turning half way through (at 5 minutes). While the first batch bakes, roll the rest so when the first tray comes out of the oven the second batch can be placed on the tray and go right in (of course you can also bake 2 trays at once). Once they're baked until crisp, cool on a wire wrack.

*These are really good (and hot!) right out of the oven. Nick & I agreed they are okay, but not great, later served at room temperature. Best eaten right away!

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