Sunday, April 3, 2011

Homemade Chimichangas

Thomas' brother's family got us a cookbook for Christmas called Fabulous Freezer Meals. The author, Jenny Ahlstrom Stanger, provides all sorts of recipes based on pre-made meal "building blocks" you can cook and store in advance, like taco meat or spaghetti sauce. I personally can't wait to try some of the recipes the ice cream cake section...

Anyway, we recently adapted her recipe for chimichangas. They turned out awesome, and they freeze pretty well, so if you feel like cooking a ton of them, you can easily have several meals from it.

1 lb ground beef
about 1/2 a medium onion
1 regular can refried beans OR whole pinto beans
shredded cheese (about 1 cup)
about 8 flour tortillas
vegetable oil
  1. Heat onions in a frying pan (in a little bit of oil). Add beef. Season to taste, using salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, etc.
  2. Once beef is browned, drain and cool for a few minutes.
  3. Build chimichangas one at a time by placing a little bit of the beef, a spoonful of the beans, and some cheese in the center of a flour tortilla.
  4. Roll chimichangas, folding two sides in for the "ends" and then folding the rest in on itself. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Heat some vegetable oil in a small frying pan, enough that you have about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom. 
  6. Place chimichangas (we did two at a time) seam-side down in the hot oil. After it cooks for a few minutes, the tortilla will be golden brown and it should stay (mostly) closed. At this point, flip the chimichanga in the oil using tongs and/or other utensils, very carefully.
  7. Once brown on both sides, transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain the oil.

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