A chimichanga is a Mexican food popular in the Southwestern U.S. cuisine, Tex-Mex cuisine, and the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora. The dish is prepared by filling a flour tortilla with various ingredients, but the most common are rice, beans, cheese, machaca, carne adobada, and shredded chicken. Then, the tortilla is folded it into a rectangular package and deep-fried, so we can say that a chimichanga is somehow like a fried burrito. Also, chimichangas can be cooked in the oven. This dish can be accompanied with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, tomato and lettuce.
Here you have an easy recipe to prepare authentic Mexican beef or turkey chimichangas:
2-3 tbsp olive oil
450-500 g/1 lb ground beef (you can also use turkey)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cans (225 g/8 oz each) tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
12 flour tortillas (10 inches), warmed
1 can (100 g/4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 can (4 ounces) chopped jalapeno peppers
Oil for frying (if you are using the deed fryer)
1½ cups (175 g/6 oz) shredded cheddar/Monterrey Jack cheese
butter, melted (if you are using the oven)
Makes 12 servings
- In a large frying pan, cook beef over medium heat.
- When cooked through, drain the juices.
- Add beans, onion, ½ cup tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic and cumin.
- Warm the tortillas (in preheated oven, in microwave or on a comal).
- Add about ⅓ cup of the previous mixture in the center on each tortilla.
- Fold ends over filling, then fold sides to center to make a packet. You can use toothpicks to fasten.
- In a large saucepan, combine the chilies, peppers and remaining tomato sauce and heat through.
- In a deep fryer, heat 1 inch of oil to 375 °F.
- Fry chimichangas for 1-2 minutes on each side, until browned.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Serve with sour cream, salsa, tomato and/or lettuce.
If you prefer, you can cook chimichangas in the oven. To do it, first of all preheat oven to 500 ºF. Then, brush both sides of each tortilla with some melted butter. Afterwards, add the beef filling in the center of each tortilla and fold as usual. Put chimichangas, buttered side down, in a baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
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