Monday, February 21, 2011

Double Take: Chimichangas from Krista's Kitchen

This blog post was delayed by a terrible reaction to giving blood and a graduate student's tendency to make to do lists that would exhaust superman. Maybe one day I'll get ahead on the lists. Exciting note: I was only missing one item on my to do list for Saturday so that's a start.

Today (Thursday if you checked Mel's blog) marks an important moment for our weekly double takes. We've been posting recipes from the All new Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook for about a year now. While some recipes we've liked, we've found several we didn't. For future selections from Southern Living, read as many reviews as possible from and keep a backup plan. As for us, we feel that the book might be best used as cat scratching device. Starting today, double takes will instead be featuring recipes from our favorite blogs. Its kind of funny to me, because when Mel and I first started cooking together (then at the same place, same time), we cooked recipes from the internet. We were almost always pleased so I'm excited about this change. Is there a recipe you've seen that looks delicious on a blog but you hesitate to make it? If so, send it our way, and we might test it to improve your confidence. :)

Our featured blog of the week is Krista's Kitchen. She made a healthier version of chimichangas. How?....She substituted a few lower fat ingredients and baked them instead of frying them. Spoiler alert!!!! I liked them better baked!

How To:

(I'm giving the rundown here but at the bottom, I'll post the link for Krista's recipe so you can get the measures. I'm clarifying a few things in my how to that will save you some time and hopefully help make these even easier to prepare.)

1. Decide how many you want--the full recipe makes 6 chimichangas suitable for a single serving each. (I made half a recipe.)

2. Boil some water, then add your chicken. For half a recipe, 2 small chicken thighs yield the perfect amount of chicken.

2b. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 F.

3. Chop up onions and toss all ingredients to be cooked with chicken in a small saucepan or skillet.

4. Remove chicken from water. DON"T PITCH THE BROTH!!! When it is completely cooked, shred with a fork and toss in the sauce pan on medium heat.

5. Heat your tortillas briefly. (30 s in the microwave worked well.) I kept mine in a plastic container to prevent tortilla dehydration. A lightly dampened lent free towel would work well too.

6. Fill tortillas. I like to place the filling in central stripe. I sprinkled liberally with cheese. Krista recommended 2 Tbsp but I look at that as more guidelines than rules. I was probably using about 3 Tbsp of cheese but you could certainly use more and they'd be even more lovely. Then I fold the upper and lower ends inward. Then I fold the left and right sides inward. Do this any way you like but if you fold the shorter ends in first, I think it holds closed a little better.

7. Place filled tortillas seam side down in a casserole pan. (An 8x8 works well for 6. I used a 4x8 for 3 but you could use and 8x8 if you want.) Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes or until you get a lightly browned crispy crust.

8. While your tortillas bake, its sauce time! If you keep half and half at home, good for you. (Are you a coffee addict?) if you don't, (What's up? Don't you like coffee? What do you mean heavy cream is more common in your fridge? [Um yeah the latter is definitely me though.]) If you're in the no half and half category, you can sub 1/2 cream, 1/2 milk to make 1/2 and 1/2. No, it won't be fat free. However, you won't have an extra container of heavy cream with no clue what to do with it either. I used 1/2 portion of cream and 1/2 portion of 2% milk. Mix the homemade or store bought half and half with flour until smooth.

9. I repeat, make sure you mix the half and half with flour until smooth before heating. Otherwise it will clump in the hot fluid and it will never truly be smooth. This is also true for cornstarch in recipes. The goal here is that the flour with milk is going to thicken your sauce.

10. Snag a cup of broth from the chicken you boiled earlier and boil it with 2 tsp. of chicken boillion granules and a little pepper. (I have come to like Better than Boillion. Use what you like.) What's that? You dumped the broth from the chicken? Its ok. Use 1 c. from a can of chicken broth or use water with 1 Tbsp of chicken bouillion granules.

11. Stir in your half and half /flour slurry. Cook on medium heat and stir/whisk until thickened.

12. Add 2 Tbsp (or more depending on your heat preferences) of chopped green chilies to your sauce.

13. Pull out those light browned, crispy chimichangas and serve a little sauce on top. Feel free to add a dollop of salsa too! Yum!

Mmm. Look at that cheesy goodness!

My thoughts:

I really liked the baked chimichangas. The sauce was ok, but I'm a cheesy sauce kind of gal. I thought the chimichangas were great with just salsa on top. If reheating the sauce, add some water or it will get a little clumpy for you. I'd definitely make this again. Its a tasty meal and fairly quick. I might try a different sauce in the future or just not bother with the sauce altogether. My salsa of choice this time was Pineapple Peach Chipotle. Mmmm.

Check out Krista's blog for the full recipe and maybe look around  - who knows what else you'll find there.

Also, pop over to Mel's blog to see what she thought of Krista's Baked Chimichangas.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! We both came to the same conclusion about the sauce! That's great!