Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Taquitos

Remember my post about pulled pork tacos? I came clean about my undying love for all things taco. What a great meal. Beef/chicken/fish/pork plus cheese-y goodness plus crisp veggies all bundled together in a soft tortilla or crunchy shell.

I was ready for a change from the typical taco dinner when, not so surprisingly, I was watching Giada DeLaurentiis on the Food Network. This woman—she totally gets me.

Taquitos. She made turkey taquitos.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Why would you take a sinful meal like tacos and then DEEP FRY them? I mean, yes, that does sound wildly delicious. But now I’m just rambling.

Well, my dear naysayers, let’s call this dish Baked Taquitos. And let’s just say….they are delicious.

I did ground chicken with spinach and crème fraiche. This crème fraiche may seem random, but remember how I wanted you to splurge on it for the Potage Parmentier? Well, here’s an easy way to use the rest of a carton!

This dish is a quick and tasty snack to enjoy on Football Sunday or to serve along some rice and refried beans for a fun weeknight dinner!
Here’s what you need:
1 pound ground chicken
2 cups packed spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 package 6 inch soft flour tortillas (usually 10 in a pack)
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ cup crème fraiche (or, if you don’t have this, sour cream would do the trick)
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

In a large frying pan, cook down the diced onions in olive oil until transluscent. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the ground chicken. Cook until all the chicken is browned and crumbly. 
Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan and heat your tortillas until soft and warm, about 30 seconds on each side.
Add the chili powder to  the chicken mixture and reduce heat to low.
Gently stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove the chicken from the heat.
Add the creme fraiche or whatever creamy ingredient you are using. Stir until just combined.

Let the mixture cool down slightly while you finish warming your tortillas.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet.
Add 2 heaping spoonfuls of the chicken mixture to one half of each tortilla, leaving about an inch along the edge to allow for spillage.

Roll the taquitos tightly and place seam side down the baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the taquitos with a little more olive oil and sprinkle generously with cheese (note: the cheese may roll off the taquitos, but it still gets really crispy in the oven. I took to eating the extra cheese like chips. Yeah, amazing I know).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tips of the tortillas are a golden brown.
Serve with salsa and guacamole for dipping!

So easy -- but it TOTALLY beats the out of the box taquitos. The outside has an amazing crunch, and--because we baked these babies--the inside stays warms and gooey. Yes please!

What's your favorite appetizer to make at home??

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