Sometimes I miss college. Well, let me rephrase. Sometimes I miss certain parts about college. Like the part where you can walk up and down the halls of the dorm and always find someone with their door open to hang out with. And the part where the most important thing on a weekend was figuring out what costume would be perfect for the theme of the next party (okay, so sometimes I still do this). But the thing I was missing this week was Torero’s – the signature Mexican restaurant in our college town. Because our meal plan was ridiculous, you could get Torero’s delivered to your dorm room anytime you wanted, on meal plan points. I had tried a variety of things from the menu, but one time someone ordered Taquitos, I tried one, and I fell in love. I’m pretty sure every time after that, I ordered chicken taquitos myself. Somehow I happened to never actually read the menu to realize they were deep fried, and although they clearly looked deep fried, I chose to ignore this little fact.
I don’t think I’ve had a taquito since college, but when I saw these baked chicken taquitos on Pink Parsley, I knew I would have to try them. Not only are they a baked version of my favorite college Mexican treat, but they also use my favorite salsa – Salsa Verde. (The same salsa I use in Chicken Enchiladas Verdes). Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, because these really don’t take that long to put together – in fact I think these are easier to make than the enchiladas. If I was a little more organized, I would’ve planned grilled chicken for dinner one night, and made sure to cook enough to have leftovers for these the next. Perhaps one of the greatest things about these taquitos is that you can freeze them (unbaked) and then bake them whenever needed. Actually, the ones in the picture were baked from a frozen state. I originally planned to post this the first time I made them – but we ate up all the taquitos so quickly that I didn’t get to snap a picture. I’ll have to say, they taste just as good from the freezer as they did the first time. This would also be a great meal for a big group dinner, because once you have the filling made it’s really simple to put together, and have you ever met a person who doesn’t like food they can eat with their fingers?
Baked Chicken Taquitos
– Recipe indicated is for 20-24 taquitos, which will serve 6-8 people
- 3 -4 chicken breasts (~4-5 cups shredded)
- 1 block (8 oz) low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup salsa verde (tomatilla salsa)
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 tsp chile powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion
- 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 20-24 small (6-inch) flour tortillas
- cooking spray
Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add chicken breasts to the water, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink when cut into. Remove chicken from water, let cool slightly and then shred. (You could also use leftover chicken, or roast the chicken in the oven)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and lay a wire cooling rack over a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and a pinch of salt & pepper. (Everything but the chicken, cheese, and tortillas). Once mixed, fold in the chicken and shredded cheeses.
Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. In order to help the tortilla stay closed, you may want to spray some cooking spray on the seam. Place seam side-down on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Spray the taquitos with cooking spray, then place the wire rack on top of a baking pan (otherwise the cooking spray creates a sticky residue when baked on the cookie sheet.) Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with dipping sauces such as salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. I think sour cream mixed with salsa would also be delicious.
*To Freeze the taquitos, roll them up as usual but do not bake. Place on a baking sheet in the freezer in order to “flash” freeze them individually. Wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze in a freezer bag. To bake, remove from oven, and bake un-thawed for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees.
Believe it or not, I used to order scones from coffee shops because I thought they were a healthy option. In my defense, they always tasted so dry that I figured they must be healthy. After making these scones, I realized that they don’t exactly get the title of “healthy” but at the same time, they are way tastier than their coffee shop counterparts. Plus making them gives you the right to talk in a fake British accent and pretend you’re Kate Middleton for the day.
While these scones might you feel like British Royalty, they are great for another reason – you can freeze them unbaked, and then bake them from a frozen state. This is a great option if you want to impress some overnight guests without having to wake up at 4 am. Just flash freeze them individually on a baking sheet,wrap, and store in a freezer bag until ready to use.
The only tricky thing with making these is that the dough is a little sticky. I found that forming the dough into a rough square, and cooling it in the freezer for 10 minutes really helped the consistency. I also added quite a bit of flour, but try not to add too much or you might run into the dreaded dryness of a coffee shop scone. This recipe, as shown only makes 8 scones, so I think next time I will double it, and bake one batch to eat, while keeping the others un-baked in the freezer for a later date.
Makes 8 scones
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen whole
- 1½ cups fresh blueberries (slightly less than 1 pint container)
- ½ cup whole milk (or see my post tomorrow on good substitues for whole milk)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- zest of half a lemon (or 1 heaping teaspoon)
- For Topping: 2 T. butter, melted and Sugar for sprinling
If you plan on baking the scones immediately, preheat oven to 425˚ F. Wash and dry the blueberries and place in the freezer until needed.
In a larger bowl, combine flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Whisk to combine. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined. Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball. Form the dough into a rough square, and place on a floured plate to chill in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Return the dough to the floured work surface and roll into an approximately 12-inch square. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface. Roll the dough up to form a tight log, so that the blueberries are in the center. Lay the log seam side down and press the the log into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. If your knife gets sticky, try flouring it. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
If you are going to freeze these, flash freeze on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, then wrap individually and store in a freezer bag until needed. To bake, brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18-25 minutes (slightly longer if baking from a frozen state). Let cool on a wire rack before serving.