Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baked Chimichangas

Chimichangas are one of my most absolute favorite Mexican foods. My mom has been making these as long as I can remember and they have been the star of many a family gathering. So a little while back I got the hankering for some chimichangas and actually thought I could find a better recipe. So I looked and looked and found a recipe I thought would be good. Well, it got rave reviews and it was good, but it wasn't THIS good. It didn't really compare to my mom's recipe. So, I will never search for another chimichanga recipe again! This is my go-to; perfectly seasoned, wonderful taste!

If you're looking for a main dish to celebrate Cinco de Mayo look no further! These will be the star of your feast. They are easy to throw together, can be made a day in advance and they still get that flaky, crispy outer layer, resembling it's fried form, but healthier since it's baked.

Baked Chimichangas
for the Mexican Meat Mix:
2 lb. beef roast
1-2 cups beef broth
olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles
1 7-oz. can tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. flour
juices from roast
salt & pepper

for the chimichangas
12 8-inch flour tortillas
sour cream
roma tomatoes, diced
lettuce, shredded

Set out a crock pot large enough to fit your roast. Turn on low.

Heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Generously season both sides of roast with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Brown on all sides. Place browned roast into warm crock pot and add beef broth until it reaches about half way up the roast; between 1-2 cups. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. Alternately you could put the roast in a roasting pan in the oven at about 275 degrees F for about 2-3 hours.

Once roast is cooked, remove meat to a large platter, reserving juices. Shred meat and set aside. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds, then sprinkle with flour and saute another minute or so. Add green chiles, tomatillo salsa and cumin, then reserved meat and juices (should be around 1 1/2 cups-feel free to add more broth if you don't have many drippings). Cook about 5 minutes, until it has thickened. Cool slightly.

*Preparing the Mexican Meat Mix can be done a day in advance to minimize time spent in the kitchen during dinner prep.

To assemble the chimichangas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Warm tortillas in the microwave about 20-30 seconds so they are pliable when rolling. Spread about 1/4 - 1/3 cup Mexican Meat Mix on lower third of tortilla. Fold bottom edge up over filling, then fold sides toward center and roll up the rest of the way. Place on greased baking sheet and continue with remaining meat mix and tortillas. Brush the tops of each chimichanga with olive oil and bake about 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden.

Serve on top of a bed of shredded lettuce. Top with your choice of garnishes: sour cream, chopped fresh tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, cheese, olives, etc.

*These freeze very well. Once you are done rolling them all up, stop there and place them in a zip-top freezer bag. When you're ready to bake, continue with the rest of the instructions, baking slightly longer to account for them being frozen.

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