This week is setting up to be full of meetings, deadlines, and travel. It’s one of those weeks where I don’t have much time to think about what to make for dinner and don’t really even have time to drive around looking for good quality prepared food. I don’t know why, but I always feel uncomfortable admitting that I’m in a dinner rut. I went to culinary school. I worked in restaurants. I’m supposed to have the answers when it comes to preparing meals and coming up with new ideas.
I figure that if I’m having one of these weeks, at least some of you, my readers, must be feeling the same way. So, with renewed energy, I’m digging deep into my bag of tricks and will post a few quick recipes this week. This is NOT a week for profound gastronomical experiences. We’ll get through this week with fast and easy dishes that will cook in about as much time as it takes to boil water for boxed macaroni and cheese (without actually resorting to that).
My go-to on weeks like this, when I’m out of ideas and time, is rotisserie chicken. My local supermarket has an organic option, so I bring one home and can usually get two meals out of it. First, I use the breast meat for chicken salad sandwiches (lunch for dinner?), or I serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli or sautéed spinach.
Next, I shred the dark meat and use it for chicken taquitos. I serve them with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole that my kids can use as dipping sauces. (My kids love dipping anything in anything. I couldn’t get my daughter to touch green beans until I let her dip them in ketchup. Gross? Yes. But effective…) If you don’t have time to make the guacamole and salsa yourself, your local supermarket should have decent fresh options in the refrigerator section.
I like using corn tortillas. I have absolutely no basis for saying this, but I feel like they’re less processed than the flour variety and they work better when pan-frying. Either kind will work but make sure you buy the small ones because they’re easier to roll.
My kids sometimes have a hard time handling them, so it may be easier to cut the taquitos in half or thirds after you cook them. Let them cool for a few minutes before cutting so the cheese doesn’t ooze out.
If you have leftovers, they’re good reheated the next day in the toaster oven at 350 degrees until they’re heated through.
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
- 8 small corn tortillas
- ½ cup vegetable oil for frying
- Fresh tomato salsa, for serving
- Guacamole, for serving
- Sour cream, for serving
- Put about 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken and 1tablespoon of shredded cheese in the middle of a tortilla and roll it up tightly.
- Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Preheat a 10” frying pan on medium-high heat. Add half of the oil to the bottom and add four of the tortillas. Cook, turning every minute or two. They’re done with all sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total.
- Remove to a paper-towel covered plate.
- Repeat with the remaining oil and taquitos. Remove the toothpicks (the taquitos should now stay rolled). Cut as desired and serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole on the side. If you have extra time and want to jazz it up a little, serve with Spanish rice and beans and a tangy vinegar-based slaw.
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