Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chimichangas make my Top 5

Could you decide what your favorite meal is?  Could you pick just one? 
High Fidelity: A NovelHigh FidelityI don't know if I can but then again I tend to have a hard time picking my one favorite of anything.  I tend to follow Rob Gordon's lead, the main character from the book & movie High Fidelity, and pick my top 5 of things. Top fives are amazing because as, High Fidelity explains, you can have a top five of anything from:
your top 5 worst breakups to your Top 5 track one's of music albums.  One of my husband and I's favorite games is to force each other to choose of Top 5's of something. In fact we even spent our entire first date talking about our top 5's!  My husband reasoned that if I had a good top 5 favorite albums then that meant I was probably pretty legit. 

We take Top 5's pretty seriously.  

This recipe for Chimichangas makes my Husbands Top 5 for Favorite Homemade Dinners.

This is a recipe by Linda Burgett at My Kind of Cooking.  
It comes from Linda's Mild to Wild Mexican Cookbook.  
 Linda is without a doubt one of my Top 5 favorite Cookbook Authors.


1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced  (I tend to use green chile)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tspn chili powder
1 tspn brown sugar
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn cumin
1/4 tspn oregano, crushed
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
8 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup refried beans
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Vegetable oil for frying

In a large skillet brown beef and pork over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and jalapeno pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onion is tender. Drain grease and add vinegar, chili powder, brown sugar, salt, cumin, oregano, and tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring constantly. In the center of each tortilla spoon 2 tbsp of the refried beans, 2 tbsp of cheese and 1/4 cup of meat mixture.  Fold the tortilla over filling and fold in the ends.  Secure with toothpicks. In a large skillet pour oil to an inch depth, heat over medium high down into oil. Add a second and cook 1 minute or until golden brown. Carefully turn over and cook the other side for 1 minute or until golden brown. Place on paper towl to drain. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked. 
Makes 8 servings.  
Mild Version: Eliminate cumin and jalapeno, reduce chili powder  to 1/4 tspn.  (honestly though i wouldn't eliminate the cumin.  it adds great flavor)

The great thing about this recipe is that once the meat and onions are cooked you basically throw everything else in and let it simmer for 15 minutes! Easy! 
Know that this looks kind of blah but it is actually Delicious!

*Note* It is important that you warm the tortillas before topping with ingredients and folding.  Tortillas will tear if not warmed properly.  A great way to warm tortillas is to wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel or towel and then heat it up in the microwave for 15 to 45 seconds.

 The wrapping of the tortilla follows traditional burrito folding procedures but you need to wrap these bad boys pretty tight.  
First fold opposite ends of the tortilla toward each other till they touch.

Then fold the bottom of the tortilla about half way up and then start to roll it into itself as though you were attempting to make a spiral. 

At this point Linda suggests you secure the tortilla with toothpicks, but I never do.  I just place the tortilla in the fry pan with the folded part down.  If it tries to come unfolded hold it together with tongs until it holds its form. Flip it over when it is golden brown.  

Then place it on a plate covered in paper towel to soak up the excess oil.  

Repeat until you are all out of tortillas or mixin's 

Enjoy the best Chimichanga recipe you will find this side of Mexico


  1. Wow! I am one of your top 5's! I am so excited about that! You are a brave woman to fry the Chimichangas without the toothpick holding it together. Next time I make these, I am going to use the tong trick like you do.