I am a taquito making machine. I can produce 100s of the little flute-shaped delicious finger foods in the shortest amount of time. I’m not quite sure why that is, maybe having four hungry and growing kids who always asked for taquitos (and they were hungry ALL the time) had something to do with it. Maybe it’s that I don’t used that darned toothpick to hold them together.
When I was a little girl, my job was to put the toothpick in the hot taquitos to get them ready for my grandmother to deep fry. It was the only job in the kitchen that I loathed. I hated being bothered with it and always thought there could be a better way. I grew up, had kids and found a better way. I don’t advise everyone to use my method, simply because I have a tendency to just stick my hands too close to hot oil (never been burned) and I would never recommend that to anyone. You can do it using kitchen tongs but in this recipe I didn’t. Aiden had run off with my tongs as he often does with my kitchen tools calling them “my toys” and I couldn’t pry them away for hours. So I used two forks.
You can make taquitos* or flautas as some call them (it means flute) with anything. Shredded chicken, turkey, pork, beef, it all works and is a wonderful way to use left over meat. I even do a special roasted lamb that I baste in tequila just for another taquito recipe and they are to die for. For this recipe, I used shredded beef that I had left over from a pot roast. I just shredded it and set it aside.
I serve these taquitos over a bed of fresh watercress and sliced radishes, then cover them with drizzled crema Mexicana and gobs of mashed avocad0 guacamole.
Guacamole can be made the traditional way, which is just mashed avocados and salt or you can get creative and add more stuff to it. If I’m making it to serve with nion, a little lemon and the liquid from jalapenos en escabeche or fresh chopped jalapenos. For taquitos, I like it plain. I leave an avocado stone in the bowl simply because that’s how my grandmother did it.
Corn tortillas (store bought is fine and what I used this time)
some good, hot salsa
Heat olive oil on medium heat.
Heat the tortillas on a comal or right over the flame on your stove which is what I usually do. I usually heat up a big stack and pile them up which keeps the heat in.
Working quickly, add shredded beef to the edge of the tortilla that is closest to you. Make sure you don’t add too much or you will have lumpy, unweildy taquitos that don’t hold their shape or look nice.
Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can and using tongs, grasp it by the middle. Slowly add it to the frying pan of heated oil and hold it there for a bit till the rolled edge hardens enough to hold itself together. Do one after another till there is no room in the pan.
Let fry for a few minutes, then turn. Fry till golden brown and crispy.
Place standing up in a bowl lined with paper towels and let drain.
Serve over a bed of watercress and sliced radishes with guacamole, salsa and cream.
I made a green serrano chile salsa for this. Recipe to follow.
*In San Diego they call them rolled tacos and for some reason, it drives me up the wall. You want to set my teeth on edge call my taquitos rolled tacos and it’s fingernails on a chalkboard. Ugh.