Monday, November 19, 2012

Taco Challenge

The McGhee family has been road-tripping a lot lately.  Road-tripping to see family.  Road-tripping to see friends.  And even road-tripping for doctor's appointments.  I have to confess, that I am, by far, the worst road-tripper in our family.  Sitting still for any length of time is torture for me, so I welcome any opportunity to pull over and get out of the car.  

So the other day when we were on a car trip and my oldest mini shouts out, "there's Taco Bell, can we pleeeeeease go to Taco Bell?"  All I could think was "Taco Bell?  We're all going to die" but I was so happy to escape the confines of the car, that I agreed.

Something you should know about my oldest mini is that he is very picky and we struggle to get him to eat and keep on weight.  So when he marched up to the counter and ordered three hard shell tacos and an order of nachos, I was shocked.  As he devoured them, pausing only to tell me that was the "best meal he's ever had", I stared in utter disbelief.

And then I realized that my biggest competition in feeding my oldest mini is Toxic Bell.  I decided I would celebrate the fact that my mini had just ingested a 400 calorie lunch (and praying that he could keep it down) rather than curl up in the fetal position in realization that the kid that turns up his nose at nearly everything I cook, has found his true culinary love in Taco Bell.

Once we got home, I decided I would try to win my oldest mini over again with homemade taquitos.

Creamy chicken taquitos
  • 1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/4 C green salsa
  • 1T fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 2 T sliced green onions
  • 2 C shredded cooked chicken (I used the taco chicken meat from our local market)
  • 1 C grated pepperjack cheese
  • small corn tortillas 
  • kosher salt
  • cooking spray

1.  Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

2.  Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge. 

3.  Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

4.  Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

5.  Then roll it up as tight as you can.

6.  Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

7.  Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

A word of advice....DO NOT forget to sprinkle the kosher salt on top.  I have forgotten before, and there really is a difference in the flavor.  

My cooked chicken.

Filling....chicken, cream cheese, salsa, spices, cilantro, and green onion.

Fill your shells with the filling and cheese.

Roll up your shells.

Place all the filled shells on a baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray (I used olive oil spray) and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake until brown and crispy.

These taquitos are delish.  I totally picture these being the perfect dinner for a household that has teenagers in it.  Make sure you make lots of them though because they go quick!  

I am sad to say that my oldest mini said these were delish, but nowhere near as awesome as Taco Bell.  So, there you go!  I LOSE!!!!