Makes 6 flautas
This classic combination of flavors is greatly enhanced by a little touch of "cowboy cuisine." Serve these just as they are for noshing, or serve them on salad greens that have been tossed in a light sherry or red wine vinaigrette. Sacre bleu, podna!
For the filling, cook the bacon in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is brown but not crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pan. Sauté the apples in the bacon fat, stirring gently, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until evenly browned and tender, but not mushy. Add the thyme and remove the apples from the heat. Add the pepper, lime juice, and brown sugar and stir well. Pour the apple mixture into a shallow pan and spread it out to cool to room temperature. Put the cool apple mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the bacon, walnut, and cheese.
Lay the tortillas on a flat surface in a single layer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are leathery but not brittle. Heat inch of oil in a skillet to 325 degrees F., or until it is hot but not sizzling. Place 1 tortilla in the oil for 1 to 2 seconds, or until it is pliable. Using tongs, place the tortilla on a paper towel to drain. Repeat this step with the remaining tortillas. Drain them well, blotting the surfaces to take away excess oil. Spoon about 4 tablespoons of the filling in a line down the center of a tortilla and roll it into a tight cylinder. Close the seam with a toothpick. Repeat to roll and seal the remaining tortillas. The flautas may be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance, but they must be covered airtight with plastic wrap to keep them from drying or splitting. Refrigerate the flautas until ready to serve them.
When ready to serve the flautas, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees F., or until sizzling but not smoking, in a large, heavy pot or deep-fryer. Using tongs, add 3 or 4 flautas to the oil and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Using tongs, transfer the flautas to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Place the flautas on a wire rack or grill screen set on a baking sheet. Put the pan in the warm oven. Repeat the process to fry the remaining flautas. Remove the toothpicks and serve the flautas at once. If you like, cut the flautas in half on the diagonal with a serrated knife before serving.
a hands-on guide to the techniques of southwestern cooking
by Leland Atkinson, with a foreword by Mark Miller
1996, 144 pages,
full color throughout, $19.95 paper
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page modified February 2007
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