Taquitos (ta-key-toes) are small Mexican tacos that are made with a corn tortilla , a filling is added then rolled up and fried into a crunchy taquito. In Spanish when you use a word ending in “ito” or “ita” it can means that something is being called little, cute or even sweet. ( For example my love is mi amor but using this diminutive form one would say mi amorsito.) Spanish lesson aside, you may also know these taquitos as flautas ( which means a flute -because they resemble one) or even as tacos dorados which means golden or fried tacos. The typical or most common filling for these taquitos is shredded beef or shredded chicken, well at least in the area of Mexico I am from. I’ve heard of other fillings being used like potatoes, which sound yummy to me. The taquitos are usually served quite simple with some salsa maybe even some guacamole and shredded lettuce, simple yet delicious.
The day before making these I wanted to defrost the beef so it would be ready to boil in the morning. Well I somehow made the mistake of not really looking at the label of the frozen package and I accidently grabbed pork. I didn’t notice until the next day when I went to the refrigerator to grab the meat. I decided to continue anyways and see what happened , how bad could they be right. Well let me tell you these were so so so delicious that I’m glad I made the mistake. Both my husband and I were like yum, yum stuffing our faces, hehe. It was a quiet dinner because we were too busy chowing down to speak a word, only looks and smiles of satisfaction were exchanged. We can’t wait to have these again, soon! Well on to the recipe then.
400 grams boneless Pork/Beef or Chicken
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Roma Tomato
1 or 2 green chillies
1 small yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed
12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
shredded iceberg lettuce
sour cream or crema
crumbled Mexican Queso Fresco or feta cheese
1. The Pork needs to be boiled allowed to cool and then shredded. Once the pork is ready to be used prepare the rest of the ingredients. Finely dice the onion,chillies, mince the garlic and roughly dice the tomato. Heat 1 Tbs. of vegetable oil and saute the onion until transparent then add the chillies and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes then add the tomatoes and again saute for another 3 minutes. Next add the shredded pork to the pan and sprinkle the spices over the pork, mix to well combine all ingredients. Cook the pork mixture for 10 minutes then set aside to cool down.
2. It’s important to set up a smooth assembly line to prepare and cook your taquitos in order for the process to move along fast and smoothly. In a deep pan heat about 1/2 cup of vegetable to fry the taquitos. Next place half of the tortillas on top of a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and wrap the towel around the tortillas to cover. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute on medium heat. You want them only warm enough to be flexible enough to work with and roll up with out cracking.
3. Grab one warm tortilla and place some of the shredded pork towards one end of the tortilla and spread in a horizontal line. Tuck in the tortilla , as in the photo below, and roll up to form the taquitos. Use toothpicks to hold the shape for frying. ( Make sure to not over stuff the taquitos or the filling will fall out. ) Place the taquito in the hot oil and fry for a few minutes on both sides or until it turns brown and is crispy. Drain them on top of paper towels. Repeat this process until all of the tortillas and meat have been used up.
Once all of the taquitos are fried and ready to serve you can begin topping them.
Simple Tomato salsa:
4 Roma tomatoes
1 red chili ( more or less according to your taste)
1 small yellow onion
handful fresh cilantro
pinch black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1. Clean and quarter the tomatoes,chili and onion then place inside blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a smooth salsa.
This very simple salsa is great as a topping or to enjoy with corn chips for dipping.
When I lived at home and my Mom or Sister would make taquitos for dinner my belly was always very happy. I haven’t had these in such a long time and had forgotten how scrumptious these really are. As I took my first bite and tasted the salsa and crunchy taco I was instantly reminiscing of many a diner night in my parent’s house. They may have been a little bit of work but well worth all the effort. By the way these are fried which in my house is not a very common occurrence but due to the inferno I mean heat wave we are having turning on the oven was completely out of the question, so we had to endure the extra fried calories. As soon as the weather cools down I will try these out in the oven and keep you updated.