Happy 1 year Blog-Aversary to me! Woooooooaaaahh! That’s right I made it…Cheers!! July 1, 2013, I entered the world of blogging. To be perfectly honest, getting a post together reminds me of school work & I’ve never been a fan of school work so I’m not quite sure how I’ve kept this “afloat”. Spending time in the kitchen is of course the part I enjoy most. Trying to capture pictures in the evenings when natural light is long gone can become annoying as I had broken my tripod.😦 (No fear, bought a new) Also, trying to measure out a recipe when I cook off-the-cuff just slows things down. Yes, off-the-cuff, basically how I’ve lived my life.😉 The only recipes I’ve ever followed is when it comes to baking. And well that’s more of a science so it’s the only time I have patience in being precise.
Alrighty, not only is it my Blog-Aversary (cheers again to me) It’s Canada Day! Happy 147th Birthday Canada (or which was once referred to as Dominion Day) to the best country out there. Anyone reading this from back home knows Canada is the place to be raised. You must be asking, why does she live in the Caribbean? Easy answer, climate, among many other perks of island life. I’ve had my fill of the big country life and frankly it could stay right where it is, I’ve found peace on an island surrounded by crystal blue waters…Ahhh yes, time for a swim when I’m done with this post.
Well, i’m still not done with the three happy’s of July 1, 2014 – It’s also Emancipation Day here for 1/2 the island. Slavery abolished on July 1,1863 for the Dutch West Indie colonies. Strangely the day itself only became an official holiday in 2012. I remember that day a few years back as I had no clue of the relevance here until the government decided to finally acknowledge it, now making it a family day with celebrations & activities. Happy Emancipation Day!
As I will not dare to venture further into any history because that sounds absolutely exhausting, it’s always nice to read about the history of Canada (good refresher) and Caribbean history which is all fairly new to me.
First time I whipped this up was a direct result of shopping in our big box store Cost-U-Less which we all call “Cost-u-more” as you end up leaving spending more than anticipated. On this particular outing I was hungry, of course, head to a grocery store when hungry!?!? The staples, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc…was the purpose for this stop. Once my cart was full of necessities, there I stood in the freezer section staring/drooling at all the convenience foods that could easily fill my belly within 10 minutes of reaching home. Taquitos caught my eye so I read the ingredients for the 1st time. I’ve bought them once in the past, I won’t deny I fall to the mercy of junk food once a month! I refer to them as “junk food” because when I don’t know what an ingredient is then it’s classed as “junk food”. So after reading the ingredients & knowing what they taste like, back in the freezer they went. A few doors down I found flour & corn tortillas & decided to make them my way. Lets face it, there’s not much thought that needs to go into these and it’s a good time to be creative. Picked up a pack of ground beef and fresh peppers. Was thinking of adding black beans however I had stewed lentils the night before so why not use them?! Not to mention it’s a great way to hide lentils from people who claim to hate lentils. Once you read my simple recipe, there’s really no excuse to buy those frozen fellas any longer. Also briefly read about the difference between Taquitos & Flautus as I really didn’t realize there was a difference.Taquito : Corn tortilla, spanish for small taco rolled with a filling. Flauta : Flour tortilla, spanish for flute, rolled with a filling. Apparently fillings & length of them also vary within parts of Mexico. Again, I will not go down the history road as it sounds exhausting!
One tip I’d like to share with the rolling of these. I started with the flour tortillas & banged through them quite quickly. Moved on to the corn tortillas and as you can see in the below picture, this is what happens when you try to roll a cold corn tortilla! Warm the corn tortilla’s slightly to prevent them from falling apart. I don’t own a microwave so I just popped them in the oven for a few minutes.
Now, what do Taquitos & Flautus have in common with this July 1st day of happiness? Absolutely nothing! Simple as that. Just a recipe i’ve been meaning to post & baking a cake was out of the question today.🙂
Beef Flautas & Taquitos
2 pkgs Corn Tortillas (small, not the burrito size) 12 per pack
2 pkgs Flour Tortilla (small, not the burrito size) 10 per pack
625 gram Ground Beef
1 cup of cooked Lentils (or canned)
1 bay leaf
garlic clove (crushed)
1 scallion (spring onion) white & green part – finely chopped
fresh green pepper – finely chopped
fresh red pepper – finely chopped
fresh yellow pepper – finely chopped
125 gram Cream Cheese (1/2 a 250 gr block)
salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion & garlic powder (basically a store-bought taco seasoning mix)
Start by sautéing crushed garlic, scallion, bay leaf, and the trio of peppers in a splash of olive oil until they begin to soften. Add the ground beef and season generously with the dried spices. I used aprx 1/4 of each pepper. Really depends on the size of the pepper so I have no exact measurement for that.
Once the ground beef is cooked, remove from heat & strain out any excess oil.
In a large bowl, combine the beef mixture, stewed lentils (or canned lentils) and the cream cheese. I had some other cheese’s kicking around and of course added them as well. Taste the mixture and season further if needed. I’ve since made them adding jalepeno’s for an extra kick.
Lay out the tortillas on a flat surface. Don’t forget to warm the corn tortillas slightly to make them pliable to roll. Keep them warm & work quickly. Place a nice heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture on the tortilla and roll tightly placing them seam side down.
If baking in the oven a toothpick is not required to secure them. Just place them seam side down & bake until golden. If deep-frying them (which I prefer) secure the seam with a toothpick & fry until golden
I served these as a snack dunking them in a mixture of mashed avocado, sour cream, fresh lime juice & a mixture of dry seasonings.
Great to freeze before baking/frying. So easy, homemade taquitos & flautas straight from your own freezer, ready for a snack.
I was able to make 37 pieces even after the corn tortilla wreckage!
Buon Appetito ;)BTW, I may not have purchased the frozen taquitos, however, I made a quick stop at McD’s for a happy meal instead!🙂