Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chimichangas

Chimichangas.  Now that's a word I don't hear everyday in Mexico.  And it wasn't a word I heard growing up in the States either.

When I was little, my grandmother would wrap whatever leftovers she had (mostly beans) in flour tortillas, then fry them in oil until they were golden brown. She called them Burritos Fritos (fried burritos). 

I loved Burritos Fritos and often took them to school for lunch.

It wasn't until I was in my teens, that we learned that these fried burritos had another name.

Now, I've mentioned that my grandparents and I would go camping almost every weekend in Oak Glen, California. Every Friday evening, there was a potluck for all of the campers.

Well, one weekend, Gramm completely forgot about the potluck.  She looked inside our camper's very small refrigerator, hoping to find a little inspiration to prepare a quick dish to share with our fellow campers.

She pulled out a plastic bowl with leftover refried beans, a block of cheese and flour tortillas.  In no time at all, Gramm had prepared a platter full of her Burritos Fritos. 

A few of the women at the potluck raved about how good Gramm's Chimichangas tasted.

Gramm and I weren't sure what a Chimichanga was, and informed the ladies that what they were eating were Burritos Fritos.

The kind ladies were a little surprised to learn that we, being Mexicans and all, didn't know what a Chimichanga was.  They explained that these fried burritos were sold at many a Mexican restaurant and were called Chimichanga's.

Who knew?!

I now make Chimichangas for my kids and they find the name rather amusing.

Chimichangas can be made with just about anything; refried bean, carne asada, grilled chicken, you name it!  I prepared mine with Ground Beef filling.

Traditionally, Chimichangas are deep-fried in oil.  But I prefer to toast mine on a comal (griddle).  And to "kick them up a notch", I like to top them with a little cheese and sauce.

Chimichangas

Ingredients:

  • 3 large dried ancho chilies
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef, pork or chicken
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut in large chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Shredded Manchego or Cheddar cheese


Directions:
In a small saucepan, bring the dried ancho chilies and 2 cups of water to a boil.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.



Remove the seeds and stems from the chilies.  Puree in blender, with the water they were cooked in, until smooth.



Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet, over high heat.  Sauté the chopped onion and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add the meat and continue to cook over high heat until the meat is no longer pink.



Stir in the tomatoes and chili puree; season with salt and pepper.  Cover skillet and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer until almost all of the liquid has absorbed.



While the meat is cooking, puree the tomato and onion chunks, with the garlic, chicken bouillon and 2 cups of water.



Pour puree into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and continue to simmer until the sauce reduces slightly.



Heat the flour tortillas over very low heat, on a comal or griddle, just until they are very soft and pliable.



Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground beef filling onto the center of the tortilla.



Fold the outside edges of the tortilla over the filling slightly, to prevent filling from spilling.



Finish rolling up the tortilla to form a burrito.



Place the burritos seam side down on the comal or griddle and toast the burritos until they are a light golden brown on all sides.



To serve, place the burritos seam-side down on a plate.  Top with shredded cheese and warm tomato salsa.  Serve with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans.  Enjoy!!!



With Love,

10 comments:

  1. Leslie these look wonderful! It sounds delicious and looks mouthwatering!
    I'm saving this and will definately try it soon!

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  2. I love that you more toasted than fried them, this is how I want to make them. For sure this is on the menu this weekend. Im curious did your grandma use more grease, the ones Iv seen around here and in the states are practically deep fried.

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  3. my mom used to make something like this, well hers had ground beef, onion,olives, shredded lettuce all cooked together and a can of tomato sauce and some chili powder for the meat mixture, then she would make homemade flour tortillas, and add some of the meat and a little cheese and then fry them. They were so good!! she made the same mixture for her enchiladas but used already cooked homemade tortillas. she grew up around my dad family(native american) they lived on there native land, so not sure where they learned it from. she would also make these burritos,with homemade flour tortillas that she would fill with roast beef and gravy, and sometimes she would boil watercress and put in a homemade flour tortilla and eat with a piece of fried deer meat, oh it was good, now I'm hungry!!

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  4. Now that's a plate full of goodness I would have no problem downing!

    I love that you have a pink blender too!

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  5. Kind of a Sloppy Joe in a tortilla...looks good. I make a Russian version about once a month using cabbage leaves in place of the tortilla..my way of being a tiny bit more calorie conscious. I will try your mixture next time.

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  6. Ummmmm, estas chimichangas se ven bien ricas.

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  7. We had this for dinner tonight and OMG! it was sooooooo good! Thank u soooo much for this recipe!

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  8. I made this tonight; everyone loved it! Thank You!

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