Friday, June 1, 2012

Baked Chimichangas

I think the only Tex-Mex dish I've ever posted on this blog is a black bean soup. Since I've been getting inspiration from Just a Pinch Recipe Club (so many members cook southwestern), I've become a bit braver and decided to try something out of my comfort zone- Chimichangas. Now Chimi's are usually deep fried and rather caloric, but I came across many recipes that were baked and I took some tips from everyone and came up with a recipe I really, really like.

Gound Beef Chimichangas

2 T unsalted butter
4 T vegetable oil, divided
1 jalapeno pepper diced
1 small onion diced
1/2 green pepper diced
1 pound chopped ground sirloin
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix- I like the lower sodium Old El Paso
1 can (16 oz) fat free refried beans - I use Old El Paso
1 can (10 oz) Enchilada Sauce - I use Carlita medium heat
4 10" flour tortillas- I used Mission Brand, but since this was my first time buying tortillas, I had no idea what was good and what wasn't- I found these in the refrigerated section of my market
1 cup shredded reduced fat Monterray Jack cheese
Light sour cream for garnish
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Guacamole for garnish

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. In medium sauce pan on stovetop, heat butter and 2 T vegetable oil until warm. Set aside. (You'll be brushing the outside of the tortillas with this mixture to help them brown.)

In large skillet on stovetop, heat the remaining 2 T oil on medium and add the onion, jalapeno and green pepper. When vegetables begin to soften, add the ground beef and brown until almost cooked through, breaking up the meat into small pieces as you go. Drain any fat that may accumulate and add the taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened and water evaporates.

Now it's time to fill the tortillas. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter/oil mixture. I lined mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Spread 1/4 of the can of refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2" border on 2 ends. Top each with 1/4 of sirloin mixture and 1/4 cup of cheese.  Tuck in two sides, and fold in thirds (like a business letter). Put tortillas seam side down on baking sheet, brush top with butter/oil mixture and bake 8-10 minutes. Now flip chimichangas, brush with remaining oil/butter mixture and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Now you're ready to top these little muchachos with the sauce, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro and anything your little heart desires. Note**These are rather big and filling, and most people serve them with additional refried beans and rice. That was too much food for me, but I did try on the second day using half a chimichanga, all the toppings and some rice. Still a filling meal. But I must say, I liked this recipe so much that I made it twice in a week. And it will be made again. But now I'm looking into using smaller tortillas, more like an appetizer portion and not a meal. If it's not too time consuming and tastes just as delish, I'll be a happy senorita, and of course post the revise. Buenos noches.

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