Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Flautas

Let me start by saying I was skeptical when I first saw this recipe. When you are born and raised in Southern California, you know good Mexican food. And quite honestly I don't really like to stray from the classic recipes when it comes to Mexican staples like flautas. Okay, let's be honest, I'm usually not the one doing the cooking, I usually call up my favorite little restaurant, Las Barcas and let them make it for me! But when I saw this simple and somewhat healthier version, I thought I'd give it a whirl and I am so glad I did!

This is a perfect recipe for busy week nights. The flautas are quick to assemble and pop in the oven. Better yet, you can prep ahead of time and bake right before you are ready to eat. I made them for both my family and my parents (all of us Mexican food lovers) and everyone devoured them. Served with some black beans and fruit you have a perfect, family friendly meal. But, I think they would also be great as an appetizer, if you cut them up into smaller bite size pieces.

The original recipe called for corn tortillas (making them taquitos), but I thought flour would crisp up in the oven better. Either way, this recipe is definitely a keeper for my busy night menus.

Baked Creamy Chicken Flautas

Adapted from Our Best Bites

3 ounces cream cheese, softened (I popped mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds)
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese (pepper jack if you want a spicier version)
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425˚F.

Mix together the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic in a large bowl. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly.

Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two damp paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 15-20 seconds worked for me).

Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone. Make sure the flautas are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

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