Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flacita Burritos

When my beautiful sister was in college in Chicago, she worked for a time at a Mexican restaurant. The cooks there called her Flaca (meaning skinny) because she is tall, skinny and very blond. For Spring Break, our parents let me fly to Chicago for a visit, and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out around the restaurant while she worked. The cooks quickly dubbed me Flacita (or Little Skinny). I decided to called these treats Flacita Burritos, not because they are skinny or healthy, but because calling them that takes some of the guilt out of eating them. Denial is a powerful thing.

I got the idea of these in my head on Friday, and just couldn’t shake it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off, but by Pete, I was going to figure it out. I ended up spreading out a buffet of warmed corn and flour tortillas, apple butter, peach and apple jam, toothpicks and a pot of hot oil. Okay, really the pot was the end of the buffet line, but I’m guessing you get the idea.

I tried corn tortillas first because I wanted to do a sort of taquito, but since I was using apple butter as opposed to diced apples, they were hard to roll tight enough without ripping them. I tried both rolled and fold ones, and although they fried up well, the crunchy texture and corn taste were a bit more than I wanted.

I tried round 2 with the flour tortillas, which were quite a bit larger. The rolled/taquito style still didn’t work too well, but the burrito-style ones I tried worked perfect! Simply roll them up, and stick a toothpick in somewhere to keep everything nice and compacted once you put it in the fry oil. If you don’t have toothpicks, you can use metal tongs to hold them together for a good 25-35 seconds just to be sure they’ll hold their shape.

Once in the fry oil, the burritos only take about 1 min on each side. or until lightly browned on each side. Remove from the oil, and place on a baking rack to drain. I use a roasting pan with paper towels between the rack and the pan to keep it clean and keep the burritos crispy. As soon as you get them on the cooling rack, sprinkle them generously with a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Serve these immediately, preferably while piping hot. Or if you’re like me, bite them the second they cool enough to be picked up, therefore burning your tongue repeatedly in a wanton fashion.

Flacita Burritos

Flour Tortillas
Apple Butter
Cinnamon and Sugar, blended
Toothpicks (optional)
Oil for frying

Heat tortillas in the microwave, covered with a wet paper towel, for 30 seconds or until pliable. Lay flat, and place 3-4 table spoons of apple butter on bottom 1/3 of the tortilla. Roll up, pin with toothpick, and set aside.

Heat 1″ of oil in a pot (I use a dutch oven) to 350*. Place burritos in the pot, with the ‘tortilla flap’ down so the burrito doesn’t expand. Cook for 1 min on each side. Remove from oil unto cooling rack, quickly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to drain off excess fat.

Serve immediately.

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