Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Practice makes perfect

Last weekend we went to the Spanish Heritage Festival.  It was a super fun atmosphere.  There was great music and a lot of GREAT food.  Of course we had to sample some of the food so we shared a plate of quesadillas and a plate of chicken flautas.  I was so disappointed that I didn't have my camera with me because I would have loved to show you our food.  It was pretty impressive for fair food.  The flautas were the overwhelming favorite.  I knew that I couldn't replicate exactly what we had at the festival that day but I wanted to try and come close to that plate of deliciousness.

I had no idea how hard it was going to be to make these little chicken flautas.  I started with a batch of chicken that I grilled earlier in the week.  I put it in the food processor to shred it quickly and into small chunks.

I filled my first tortilla with chicken, rolled it up and the entire thing fell apart.

I warmed the next tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds, filled it with chicken, rolled it up and it also fell completely apart.

Then I tried brushing oil on the tortilla and rolling it up.  Failure again.

I had almost given up when in a last ditch effort, I logged onto WillamsSonoma.com and read through some of their tortilla recipes.  They suggested dipping each tortilla in hot oil to prevent breakage.  Brilliant.

I poured some canola oil into my pan and heated until it was smoking.  I dipped a tortilla in the oil for 1 second, flipped it and then took it out of the oil.  I laid the hot tortilla on a paper towel and filled it with chicken.

Then the tricky part, rolling this scalding hot tortilla into a nice tight flauta without burning my fingers.  Not easy.  It didn't take long for me to realize that this is a skill I was not going to master in one night.  I did my best to roll these flautas but mine were not nearly as neat or tightly rolled as the ones we had at the fair.

Once they were all rolled, I took 4 at a time and put them back in my oil to cook.  It worked best to put them in the pan seam side down so that they didn't unroll.  Something else that I learned the hard way.

 I laid the fried flautas in a 9x13 pan, covered them with foil and let them cool.  Only because it wasn't time for dinner yet.

When it was time to eat, I put the dish of flautas in the oven to warm at 350.  

I thinned my refried beans with chicken stock and heated them in a saucepan. 

I also shredded some iceberg lettuce and crumbled some queso cheese.

Okay so my first attempt at flautas took me well over an hour but that's mostly because I had so much trouble rolling the tortillas.  Once I figured that part out, the recipe went much quicker from there.  They were worth the effort.  We ate all but 2 of the flautas.  Now that I've worked out the kinks, I think I will give this recipe another try.

Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

  1. I had the same problem - but now put the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds, 3 or 4 at a time and they don't crack or fall apart!