Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ligia's Flautas

En la Cocina con.....Ligia Espinoza (my Mother-in-law o mi suegra)
This summer we have been lucky enough to spend a couple months living in San Diego with my in-laws. Some of you may cringe at the thought of this, but I kid you not, I love mis suegras. From Day 1 (almost 10 years ago) they made me feel like their daughter. They are so wonderful.
Living with them, I can fool myself that I am really in Mexico. Family is constantly in and out of the house, we always speak Spanish, and the food is authentic Mexican. I have been eating mi suegra's food for years, but to be in the kitchen with her has been a real treat. Last night she asked what I would like to cook. I was craving flautas. I mean taquitos.
Hmmm. Are they flautas or a taquitos?
You can call them either name depending on your location. Some say the difference is if they are made with corn tortillas (taquitos) or with Flour tortillas (flautas) My mother-in-law calls them flautas, and I'm going to stick with that. When it comes to Mexican food, she knows what she is talking about. Flautas means "flutes" in Spanish and this is what they look like, right?

They are easy and the finished product is like a piece of art.

Ligia's Flautas
You will need to start with:
The freshest corn tortillas you can buy.**
(**In San Diego this is easily done. Fresh tortillas are sold everywhere. In Canton, Ohio where my parents live - not so easy. You may need to try several packaged brands to find the best.)
The stuffing for the flautas could be several things. Usually pork, chicken, or beef.
Mi suegra used shredded beef. (In the store labeled as "roast.") Boiled until cooked through and then shredded. Add salt.
In a frying pan add 1/2 inch vegetable oil and heat on high.
Place some shredded beef in a line down the middle of the tortilla.

Roll it. Fry until golden. (see pic above) Repeat.
The pure deliciousness of this dish comes in the toppings.
Chopped iceburg lettuce
Sour cream
Red vinegar onions (sliced and soaked in white or apple cider vinegar, salt & pepperfor at least 30 minutes)
Salsa Navarro (roasted salsa with oregano-recipe here)
Queso fresco (crumbled white cheese, sold in most stores in Mexican isle)
Plate 4 or so flautas, pile with toppings and enjoy! Refill plate. Oh, yes you will!

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