You may have noticed that I haven’t published many Mexican recipes. The simple truth is why cook it when I can get authentic Mexican any night of the week within a 10 minute drive from my doorstep?
One thing I have not seen here though, is a Chimichanga. Maybe it isn’t really Mexican? I don’t really care. It is fun to make and even more fun to eat. The photo shows just one chimichanga on our plates, along with a lot of shredded lettuce and tomatoes. The truth is, we both went back for seconds so this recipe will serve 2. You will have ground beef and beans left over, so you could have a couple of friends over or you can make a extra to re-heat later or use the leftovers in tacos or quesadillas the next day.
Don’t be discouraged by the amount of instruction. Basically, you are putting cooked meat on a tortilla rolling it up and frying it. Just be careful with the frying part, that oil is HOT. And of course, never leave heating oil unattended on your stove.
Special Equipment required: A deep fryer or large deep sided frying pan and a deep fry thermometer
CHIMICHANGAS with AVOCADO SAUCE
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, leaves & tender stems, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, well stirred
1/4 cup milk (maybe more depending on thickness of sauce)
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more milk, depending on the size of your avocado and how thick your sour cream is. Just keep blending until you have a spoonable, but not runny, sauce. Set aside. (you can make this several hours ahead, just be sure to cover and refrigerate).
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 lb ground beef
pinch of ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in frying pan, over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent and beginning to soften. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute. Add ground beef, thyme, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until meat is cooked through. Stir often to breaking up those bits of beef as it browns. This should take about 7 minutes. Taste for seasoning and remove from heat. Let cool a few minutes.
4 8″ flour tortillas
1 15 oz can refried beans
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (or any mild flavoured cheese will work just fine)
2 – 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
Heat refried beans gently in saucepan. This makes it easier to spread them on the tortillas. Warm the tortillas on low heat in the microwave a few seconds to soften. This will avoid tearing during assembly. Wrap in a clean towel to keep warm.
Putting it All Together
The general idea here is to use the middle portion of the tortilla for the fillings. You want a rough rectangle more or less in the centre of the tortilla, with at least a 1″ border on both sides.
Lay 1 warmed tortilla on the counter in front of you. With the back of a spoon, spread 1/8 of the beans across the centre, leaving a 1″ border on both sides. Place 1/8 of the beef on top of the beans, staying, more or less, within the rectangle you created with the beans. Top ground beef with a small amount of grated cheese and a sprinkle of diced tomatoes.
Fold sides towards the centre, and over the mound you have created. Hold sides gently in place with your fingers, then using your thumbs, flip the bottom up and over the filling. Gently press everything into place so that it is all firmly packed, and roll the burrito away from you, stopping with the seam side down! Set aside, seam side down and proceed with the next one until all burritos are filled. If you find you are having difficulty rolling the burritos, use less filling. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Once all your burritos are stuffed, Preheat oven to 150F and place a cookie sheet with a rack inside of it in the oven. Heat 1″ of oil in a large deep sided (at least 4″) frying pan to 350F. Using a spatula, carefully lower burrito, SEAM SIDE DOWN into the hot oil. You can fry 2 at a time.
Cook until bottoms are golden (2 – 3 minutes) then use tongs or spatula to gently roll them to cook the other side -about 1 minute longer. Carefully remove from oil and place on prepared cookie sheet to keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining burritos.
Serve with Avocado Salsa, shredded lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, more diced tomatoes, rice or even more refried beans.
shredded iceberg lettuce
pickled hot peppers