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Recipe

 

Rice-Paper Chorizo Taquitos

 

As a variation from traditional taquitos, this recipe uses rice paper wrappers instead of corn tortillas to wrap up the spicy meat filling. Taquitos and flautas ("little tacos" and "flutes") are served in all Mexican communities, but are somewhat labor intensive. The corn tortillas must first be lightly fried in oil to soften them, then they are rolled with a precooked meat or cheese filling. A toothpick is sometimes used to secure the wrapping, then the taquitos are deep fried in hot oil.

rice paper

The method in this recipe cuts out a few of the preparation steps and also some of the grease. First, the wrappers need only be soaked in water to make them pliable, rather than frying in oil. Next, instead of precooked meat, a raw chorizo sausage mixture is rolled into the wrapper uncooked. The wrappers roll up easily and can be secured by just moistening the edge with beaten egg, rather than with a toothpick. In addition, whereas the traditional corn taquito is open on the ends, the rice paper wrapper completely encloses the filling. Finally, the rice paper taquitos are shallow fried in only an inch of oil, rather than the messier and more cumbersome deep frying.

Besides the easier technique, the results of this method are fabulous. The rice paper wrappers, traditionally used to make Vietnamese and Thai spring rolls, fry up extraordinarily crispy and crunchy. The spicy heat of the chorizo filling is tamed by the black beans. Cut in half and served with some shredded lettuce, green salsa and sour cream, these taquitos can either be a meal in themselves, or a unique appetizer. Allow 2 to 5 taquitos per person, if serving as an entree. As an appetizer, one taquito, cut in half, should be enough to draw praise but still leave room for the main meal.

A word of caution: commercially made chorizo, though full of flavor, is also full of fat, which will become hot, red grease as you fry the taquitos. It is not necessarily unpleasant, but if you prefer a leaner chorizo, make your own. Or, precook the chorizo and drain it thoroughly before mixing it with the bean filling.

Ingredients: Makes 6

  • 1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans, preferably black beans
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 6 round rice paper wrappers
  • corn or peanut oil for frying
  • 1 egg, beaten

In a mixing bowl, combine the chorizo, beans and green onions until well blended. Chill until ready to use. (This may be done 1 day in advance.)

Soften each rice paper wrapper by placing it under running water just long enough to wet both sides. then place the rice paper wrappers on a plate. within a few seconds they will have become soft and pliable. If they are at all brittle, let them continue to soak.

To fill a softened wrapper, spread it out on a flat surface or a sheet of waxed paper. Spoon enough filling along the lower area of the wrapper to make a thick cylinder. Fold the bottom piece over the cylinder, roll up one turn, then fold the sides in. Brush the top of the wrapper with beaten egg and roll the cylinder up, sealing the edges in and the wrapper shut. Set aside, seam-side down, while you make the other taquitos.

In a deep sided wok or frying pan, heat enough oil to come up 1/2 the height of the taquitos. The oil should be about 350 degrees, or hot enough to fry the taquitos inside and out in about 6 to 8 minutes. Do not crowd the rolls in the pan. Cook no more than 6 at a time, depending on the size of the pan. Drain the taquitos on paper towels.

Serve the taquitos hot with your favorite salsa, and if desired, with guacamole and sour cream.

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997—Kate Heyhoe. All Rights Reserved.
 

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