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Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos

What do you call these?

Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos

In most of the restaurants that we frequent here in southeast Texas, they’re called “flautas” and might be made with either corn or flour tortillas. On the freezer aisle, they’re called “taquitos” and I’ve only seen them made with corn tortillas. The internet seems to loves “taquito.”

Whatever you call them, they’re absolutely one of those convenience foods that are infinitely better when homemade.

We usually make flautas (taquitos) with leftover pulled pork, some chopped onion, and a little cheese – nothing else – and then dunk them into some Chuy’s-inspired Creamy Jalapeno Ranch or barbecue sauce (we have clearly-drawn battle lines in this house). This time, we put the ranch in the flautas.

Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos

You’ve probably seen the base for this recipe somewhere. It’s quite popular, having been made by some of my favorite bloggers. Our version uses a homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing instead of salsa. The chipotle ranch is killer as a dipper for sweet potato fries and it’s even better here.

I doubled the recipe (big batch shown below) to make sure that we have plenty of good football eats on hand for the weekends, and ended up with nearly quadruple the taquitos (flautas) because I used the smallest tortillas I could find (~5 inches). And instead of individually wrapping each flauta (taquito) destined for the freezer (no way), I just bagged them up in 2 large freezer bags after freezing solid on baking sheets. Nothing stuck together and I didn’t waste a ton of plastic wrap.

I also did an even split between corn and flour. Corn tortillas get crispier in the oven but I prefer the taste and texture of flour tortillas much more (another southeast Texas thing). And they’re a lot easier to work with, though I have to confess – I only had 1 corn tortilla tear on me this time. My failure rate is usually much, much higher. Like near slamming cabinet doors and expletive levels.

Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos (Flautas)

Creamy baked chicken taquitos dressed up with a homemade chipotle ranch dressing. It's the perfect snack for gameday.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup Chipotle Ranch Dressing (or a store-bought equivalent)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used half cheddar, half monterrey jack)
  • 2 dozen 6-inch corn or flour tortillas (or ~4 dozen 5-inch tortillas)
  • Guacamole, for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

If you despise shredding chicken like I do, check out this tip to do it in seconds!
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat (if not preparing for the freezer).
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, and cilantro until uniform (a mixer makes this easier but can be done by hand).
  3. Fold in the chicken and shredded cheese until well coated.
  4. Spoon ~3 Tbsp of filling into a line across the lower 1/3 each tortilla.
  5. If using corn tortillas, work with 3 at a time, microwaving for 15-20 seconds on a plastic wrapped plate before filling and rolling.
  6. Roll each tortilla up tightly and place seam-side down on the pan.
  7. To freeze, stop here. Place the pan(s) into the freezer and freeze solid, ~2 hours, and then transfer to a large ziptop bag.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes (~25 if frozen), until crispy (and lightly browned, if using flour tortillas).
  9. Serve with additional chipotle ranch, guacamole, and sour cream if desired.

Notes

Yields: 2-4 dozen, depending on tortilla size

Adapted from Our Best Bites via Pink Parsley

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

There are 10lbs of fresh, pitted cherries in my freezer right now – they probably won’t still be there when that cherry margarita craving hits in November, but I do plan to stretch cherry season out as long as I can this year!

We’ve managed to work cherries into dinner, dessert, and most importantly: margaritas. What’s missing from that list?

Breakfast.

And pizza. One thing at at time, though.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I took my very favorite stripped-down basic muffin recipe – it’s moist, reliable, and bakes up a beautifully domed top every single time – and converted it to a dark, chocolatey muffin loaded with fresh cherries chunks and chocolate chunks.

And it was sweet, rich, and decadent. Exactly like dessert-for-breakfast should be.
Continue Reading…

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Texas Tortilla Soup

Amanda chose this week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge: Texas Tortilla Soup.

I was super happy to put this on the menu this week. One, our oven is broken (waaah!) and that has really messed with my mind. And our menu. Second, I’ve posted the soup before and it was in dire need of a new photo. But really, it’s because the soup is freakin’ awesome.

The Pastry Queen’s Texas Tortilla Soup has been our go-to chicken tortilla soup recipe for the last 5 years. It’s broth-based, so it’s the rare Mexican food dish that won’t kill you with fat, calories, and sodium. But what really sets it apart from your average tortilla soup is that the body of the soup is built with roasted tomatoes.

Slow-roasting (or fast… depending on how much time you have) the tomatoes removes the excess water, concentrates the flavors, and caramelizes some of the sugars in the tomatoes. The tomatoes are then pureed and added to the broth. The resulting soup has far deeper flavors than the soup from your favorite Mexican restaurant. And topped with a little avocado, chopped onions, cilantro, and jalapenos, and a dollup of fat-free Greek yogurt, it’s wonderfully filling with far fewer calories than the Mexican restaurant soup.

Um, did I mention it’s good for you?

This is one of those great meals that you can make on Sunday and not worry about making dinner again until Wednesday. And it freezes beautifully. One batch feeds us for 3 nights. We usually split a grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it, made with one of those small $.50 bakery baguettes, a couple slices of avocado, and shredded monterrey jack.

Thanks to Amanda for getting my husband so excited about going to the grocery store this week! You can check out the full recipe here and the other PPQ members’ take on the soup here.

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Amanda of Fake Ginger chose this week’s Project Pastry Queen Challenge: Rather Rich Corn Muffins.

I’ve made these muffins a hundred times. Quite possibly literally 100 times. It’s my go-to cornbread/corn muffin recipe for good reason – it’s perfectly sweet and super moist. It’s also a very non-fussy recipe. I throw everything into the mixer bowl before turning it on to mix until just combined. That’s it.

I almost never make them the same way twice. The batch for this week’s challenge was flavored with roasted corn, a large roasted jalapeno (that was Seventh Circle of Hell hot), and a pile of shaved Parmesan.

The possiblities are endless. Some of my favorite variations:

  • Pepper + Cheese – A handful of cheddar cheese and 1 or 2 chopped serranos or jalapenos (seeds and stems removed).
  • Madeleines – Regular or loaded with other ingredients, baking the batter in a madeleine pan makes them “fancy.”
  • Roasted (pictured) – During the summer, we eat lots of grilled corn on the cob. I like to throw a large jalapeno and an an extra cob on the grill specifically for muffins the next night. Simply cut the charred kernels off the cob and add it to the batter. For the jalapeno, grill until black/blistered. Place in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap and let cool. The skin will peel off easily. Remove the seeds and stem, chop to desired size, and throw in the batter.
  • Italianized – Sundried tomatoes, shaved parmesan, and leftover grilled corn on the cob that has been slathered with this Basil-parm-Garlic butter.
  • Greek-ificated – Chopped kalamata olives, crumbled goat cheese, and chopped red peppers.
  • Fats – I don’t always use heavy cream. Sour cream, greek yogurt, and my favorite – buttermilk (which I used this week) – sub really well for the heavy cream.
  • Thanks to Amanda for picking such a great recipe! Be sure to check out the Project Pastry Queen blogroll for other Rather Rich Corn Muffins. And stay tuned for next week when the group tackles Texas Big Hair Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Tarts, as chose by Joelen.

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