Chicken and Spinach Flautas

We eat a lot of Mexican food. A lot of those posts will end up here. I won’t apologize!

Flautas are delicious, crispy tortilla rolls, similar to taquitos but bigger. And better in every way. The version I found on Pinterest (from the blog Healthy. Delicious.) is oven baked, so you avoid the guilt and hassle of deep frying. Hubby and I were a little weirded out by the spinach at first, but you can barely taste it! Which is a big plus for green haters. We can barely wait for these to cool before wolfing them down.

Chicken and Spinach Flautas

– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, if you want a low-fat option)

– 16 oz beer

– 2 c water

– 1 tsp paprika

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tsp ground cumin

– 1 tsp chili powder

– 1 jalapeno, finely minced

– 3 c baby spinach, chopped

– 5 burrito-sized flour tortillas (or whatever size you have on hand)

– 8 oz shredded cheese of choice (I use Monterey Jack)

– Cooking spray (or oil)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Put chicken, beer, and water in high-sided pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from liquid and shred*. Add all seasonings to chicken and mix well.

Discard all but 1/4 cup of the chicken liquid from the pan. Add your minced jalapeno and spinach, and cook on low heat until spinach is wilted.

Assemble flautas. If you are using burrito-size tortillas, cut them in half; otherwise, leave them whole. Put chicken, spinach, and cheese along the edge of the tortilla, and roll them up. Place them seam side down on an oiled baking sheet. (The amount of chicken you want in your flauta will determine how many you get. We like ours full, so we get less.)

Spray cooking spray over the rolled tortillas (extra points if you use a cool oil sprayer and not Pam). Bake for 10 minutes. Flip them and bake for 10 minutes more, if needed (mine are usually crispy after the first 10 minutes.)

Serve with your favorite salsa and too much guacamole. Proceed to roll yourself out the door afterwards.

* Healthy Delicious listed a tip that changed my chicken-shredding life: If you have a stand mixer, you can drop the chicken straight in and use the paddle-attachment on low to shred the chicken. I found this is easier to do with the thighs than the breasts, but it is AMAZING. I hate shredding meat by hand. Don’t beat it to long, or the chicken will get crumbly and weird.

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Restaurant Salsa

I found this salsa recipe from Pioneer Woman, my all-time favorite blogger. (She is beyond hilarious, and I wish we were friends in real life.) This salsa is restaurant style – runny enough to drink, but addictive as hell. The last time I blogged this, I was a tomato-hater, so I took everyone’s word that it was decent salsa. Now, I need a 10-step program.There have been times where I scoop these up with some Juanita’s tortilla chips, and called it dinner. And then did it again for breakfast. (True story.)

Restaurant Style Salsa

– 1 can whole, peeled tomatoes (28 oz)

– 2 cans Rotel (10 oz each)

– 1/4 cup onion, chopped

– 1/2 cup cilantro

– 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

– 1 whole jalapeno, seeded and chopped (leave the seeds in for a spicy kick!)

– 1/4 tsp sugar

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1/4 tsp ground cumin

– 1 to 2 tablespoons menudo mix (optional, but I like the depth of flavor it adds)

– juice of half a lime

Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor (be careful, it will be full to the brim!) and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste.

new beginnings

I am converting my old blog (saucyconfessions.blogspot.com) into a beautiful new beginning. I am not looking for a million readers, or fame; I want this to be the place I come to share new experiences with whoever might like to learn from my mistakes. At this point in my cooking career, I follow recipes to a T. I browse other blogs and Pinterest for inspiration. And I demand my food-loving friends give me their recipes! I have a horde of computer print-outs, and scribbles on notebook paper and junk mail envelopes jammed in a little three-ring binder that I want to share with youI may not create new things on my own, but I love sharing what I find. And this is where I will do it.