How is it that it's June already? It feels like the past few weeks have whizzed by in a whirl of last-minute wedding planning, and suddenly it's time again for my monthly Secret Recipe Club post.
Meet This Month's Blogger
This month, my assignment was The Keenan Cookbook, a blog written and photographed by Chris and Rachel. He maintains the site and does the cooking, while she does the photography and the all-important taste testing.
They're also mom and dad to two little boys (also known as the Toddler and Baby Boy), which means most of the recipes in their repertoire are blissfully quick and easy to make... exactly what I needed this month given everything else on my plate.
I bookmarked a few different options, including a deliciously retro Reuben Casserole, a very seasonally appropriate Gnocchi with Roasted Asparagus Pesto, and some rather tasty-sounding Crunchy Chicken Salad Wraps.
In the end, though, I decided to give their Chicken, Salsa and Cheese Flautas a whirl. (Why yes, I am still totally obsessed with all things taco-esque in nature.)
How I Made This Recipe my Own
My only change was to add some thinly sliced red pepper to the mix for a little extra nutrition, and to skip the pan frying in favour of oven baking until crisp for an even healthier alternative - hence the renaming to Baked Chicken Flautas.
The filling of chopped rotisserie chicken, shredded cheddar and bottled salsa comes together very quickly, and is then rolled up in flour tortillas and then baked in a very hot oven until crispy on the outside and bubbling hot on the inside.
I think the best description for these is the eggroll's deliciously gooey, cheesy Mexican counterpart. They're a little crispy on the outside, and wonderfully cheesy on the inside.
This is the kind of recipe that's perfect for a busy weeknight when you want something simple and straightforward. Add a few slices of avocado or a simple green salad to round out into a full meal, or whip up a batch as a game day appetizer.
We gobbled up almost an entire batch between just the two of us for dinner. Seriously, they're that good. And best of all, they're almost completely guilt-free!
Considering they're so easy to make and so delicious to eat, I can see a double (or even triple) batch making an appearance on the table the next time I throw a party, along with a vegetarian version made with black beans instead of rotisserie chicken.
Oven-baking instead of deep-frying makes these flautas a delicious and healthy option for a quick weeknight dinner.
- ½ small red onion, diced
- ½ small red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 ½ cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 cup salsa
- ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 8-10 small flour tortillas
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Prepare the Filling:
- While the oven preheats, set a large saute pan over medium heat, and add oil. Once oil is hot, add the onion, red pepper and jalapeno, and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are soft. Stir in garlic and cumin, and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Remove from heat, and stir in chicken, salsa, cilantro, and lime juice. Set aside the filling to cool for 10 minutes or so.
Assemble the Flautas:
- Stir the cheese into the cooled chicken filling.
- Arrange the tortillas on a clean working surface. Spread a heaping ¼ cup measure of filling down the middle of each tortilla, then roll up tightly into a cigar shape.
- Arrange the flautas seam side down on the prepared baking sheet, and lightly spray the tops with a little more cooking spray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tortillas are crispy and golden-brown around the edges, and the filling is hot and bubbly.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut the flautas in half and serve with small dishes of the various garnishes so everyone can top off their plate as they like.
The filling can be prepared in advance - simply transfer the cooled filling to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 2 days or until ready to assemble.
- Category: Main