Cooking with Luisa – Taquitos

My friend Luisa, who taught me how to make Sopa De Tortilla recently, also taught me how to make Taquitos.  Taquitos are a Mexican dish made of rolled-up tortillas with a filling. The filled tortilla is fried and served with a variety of toppings.  Luisa demonstrated the dish with store-bought rotisserie chicken but these little crunchy rolls can be easily made vegetarian by using beans and cheese or any other vegetable of your (or your kids’) liking.  A side of rice and beans will complete this meal.  I am thinking these are a good vehicle for any kind of leftovers – I may try them with leftover curry one day! 🙂  Could work for school lunches and this will be a tasty addition to your birthday party buffet.

I am looking forward to my next lesson in Mexican home-cooking with Luisa.

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (leftovers or store bought rotisserie)

10 small corn tortillas

Vegetable oil for shallow frying taquitos

Garnish with:

1 cup salsa (store bought or home-made, red or green)

1 diced avocado

Sour cream or yogurt

Feta or queso fresco

  1. Place 1-2 tbsp of shredded chicken at the center of tortilla and roll up like a cigar
  2. Secure the roll with a toothpick and place the taquito in the heated oil (use a large frying pan or fry in batches)
  3. Fry on all sides till golden brown and crispy
  4. Garnish with toppings of choice (kids will enjoy this!)

If you make the taquitos ahead of time you can re-heat them in the oven and add the garnishes right before serving.

Cooking with Luisa – Sopa de Tortilla

I recently spent a wonderful afternoon cooking with my friend Luisa.  Her daughter and Ria are classmates and the family hails from Mexico.  When Luisa generously offered to teach me some of her daughter’s favorite home-cooked Mexican dishes, I jumped at the opportunity.

This tortilla soup is out of this world good.  It’s like nothing I have had at any restaurant.  Home-cooking rules!  This is Luisa’s mother’s recipe and came out of a beautiful hand-written notebook with lovely penmanship (who has that anymore).  My next cooking session may have to be with Luisa’s mother.

Epazote – the main herb used in the soup has no substitute.  It can be bought at Mexican groceries in the Mission.  Luisa recommends Casa Lucas Market.  If you cannot track it down and don’t want to trek to the Mission, leave it out.  Queso fresco and corn tortillas are available at your regular supermarket these days (Safeway carries both).  To quote Luisa, “Whatever you do, do not use the orange “Mexican” blend they sell, that is NOT Mexican”.  I hear you girlfriend, cheese should not be bright orange. If it is, it ain’t from your country.

Sopa De Tortilla

tsouptitle

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids

4 tomatoes (plum ok)
¼ onion
1 clove garlic
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

Rough chop tomatoes, onion & garlic and puree in blender.  Using a sieve (to remove skin and seeds) transfer blended mix directly into the pot  (with heated oil) you will cook the soup in.  Make sure the oil is not too hot and be careful as there will be some splashing.

2 stalks epazote leaves (optional)
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (doesn’t have to be homemade)

Add stock and epazote to pureed and strained mixture and boil for 6 – 8 minutes.

5 – 6 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips (or use one to two cups of crushed tortilla chips)
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Meanwhile, shallow fry tortilla strips till golden crisp  (yum, try not to eat right away ☺ )

Garnishes – (kids will enjoy picking and choosing their own)
Chopped Avocado
Sour Cream
Queso Fresco (Feta is a reasonable substitute)
Chiccarones–Fried Pork Rinds (optional – yummy, fatty and salty.  According to Luisa eating this with guacamole is yummm.  I really don’t need any more of these ideas)
Diced chicken (optional – to make a more substantial meal)

Pour soup into a bowl and add a handful of fried tortilla strips.  Garnish as you please.  Heaven in a bowl.

When Ria tried it – she did not even have words to describe the soup – she just vigorously nodded her head in approval and opened her mouth for more.  Muchas Gracias Luisa!