bits and pieces

Sunday, November 21, 2010

beef, bean, and cheese chimichangas

Dearly Beloved: I have been a bad blogger of late despite being a very busy cook. I just moved to Vancouver and despite having been unemployed for two weeks, I didn't blog :( But never fear, I am back in action with much more deliciousness to share. Out here in BC we've been having 'family dinners' once a week... the majority of these dinners have been themed (sort of). One of our glorious successes was Mexican/Texmex night. Below you will find a scrumptious recipe for some tasty, comforting, and all around stupendous chimichangas.

Chimichangas are just great. Anything called a CHIMICHAAANGA is guaranteed to be pretty epic. Now chiiiiiiiiimichangaaaas! are usually fried but we didn't have a deep fryer (gasp!) when I made these things - so we took the health route and baked them. This recipe looks like a lot of work but it's actually fairly easy - the trickiest part is folding your chimichangas up, which was occasionally a struggle but really not too bad. These really are delicious and comforting - I made another batch with shrimp (instead of beef) and they were excellent as well. I reccommend eating these tasty delights with a big dollop of sour cream on top, a side of rice, and any left over beans. ENJOY.
1 lb ground beef
about 2 cups of your refried beans
wraps/tortillas (I think we used 12?)
a big onion - chopped
a green bell pepper - chopped
about 2 cups of shredded cheese - the recipe I adapted this from used just normal shredded block o' cheese from the grocery store, but I acutally used plastic cheese (aka kraft singles) too, and I honestly think it made it better. So if you've got both, use both!
1.5 cups of taco sauce/salsa (either work fine)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
any additional seasonings - I threw in a few dashes of hot sauce, some black pepper, and a bit of chopped cilantro. anything in the southwestern family of spices and herbs will be delicious.
1/4 - 1/2 a cup of butter

other things you will need:
a basting brush came in extremely handy
a big tray/dish for baking your chimichangas
a giant skilled/big pot to make your beef mix in
  1. preheat your oven to 350 F
  2. brown your beef over med-high in your wonderful skillet. Drain any excess grease and toss in your garlic, onion, and bell pepper and cook for a couple minutes until your veggies get tenderized - about 3-5 minutes.
  3. add your taco sauce and your spices, and cook for another additional 5 minutes or so until all your flavours are blended in, and your chimichanga mix is cooked through. Make sure you taste your meat-mix (gross) and add any additional seasoning. I'm a big fan of cumin and garlic powder. Hot sauce doesn't hurt either. Your mix shouldnt be TOO sauce-y otherwise your chimichangas won't stay in one piece.
  4. brush your tortillas on both sides with butter (this stage is messy/buttery). You can do them one at a time as you fill them with beef/bean/cheese.
  5. The construction process: 1. lay out your tortilla on a cutting board or some surface you dont mind getting dirty. 2. on the first 1/3 of your flat tortilla (so off to the right/left of the middle of your wrap a little bit) - lay down a sheet of plastic cheese. 3. on top of the cheese place a good spoonful of your refried beans. 4. on top of the beans add a good spoonful of your beef mixture. 5. on top of the beef mixture add a pinch of your grated cheese
  6. now comes the tricksy part - you need to roll up your chimichanga and ensure that the ends are tucked underneath. Your chimichanga will go SEAM SIDE DOWN on the tray/dish that you're baking them in. I honestly have no advice here other than the more I made, the easier it got. If your first ones are a little ugly, don't worry, ugly food is delicious too.
  7. repeat this process as many times as you want/until you've run out of chimmmmichanggggga filling.
  8. baste with any left over butter and bake for 30-35 minutes or until goldeny brown. EAT.

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