Chimichangas aren't something we've had around here before except on a date night out, but that's about to change. We've had baked tortilla shells before filled with taco salad, so I figured, why not baked chimichangas?
Thinking "burrito" I fashioned the filling from sauteed onions, poblano pepper, and lean ground pork - mostly because I'm a frugal shopper and not only is it leaner than most beef, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper too - at least in this man's country.
I added about a cup of salsa for moisture - a mix of salsa verde and peach salsa because it's time to start clearing out the refrigerator before our trip north. Oh, I also spiced up the meat using my homemade taco spice mix and believe me, once you try it, you won't be buying any more of those package mixes full of heaven knows what.
Piled onto a huge flour tortilla along with some re-fried beans and grated cheese, the monster sized chimi's are rolled, placed on a sheet pan and brushed with melted butter before they hit the oven. Forty minutes later, they're out, steaming hot inside and super crisp outside. They're much lighter than a typical deep fried chimi and certainly missing nothing in flavor.
We topped ours with more salsa and sour cream, but guacamole and shredded lettuce would have been marvelous too, had there been any hiding in our refrigerator that is.
Chimichangas – Baked Not Fried (an original from JBug’s Kitchen)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large poblano pepper, finely chopped (core and seeds removed)
1 – 7 ounce can chopped green chile
1 pound lean ground pork (or use beef, chicken or turkey)
1-1/2 tablespoons taco spice mix (see recipe below)
1 cup prepared salsa
6 large burrito sized flour tortillas
1 – 16 ounce can refried beans
2 cups grated cheese (I used a mix of sharp cheddar and Monterey jack)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Salsa/Sour Cream/Shredded Lettuce/Guacamole as garnish
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add onion and pepper and sauté until onion is softened. Crumble in ground pork and cook until no longer pink. Add green chile, taco spice mix, and salsa and simmer, stirring often for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350. Spread flour tortillas with a thin layer of re-fried beans, then place approximately a half cup of filling in a narrow row on bottom third of tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold in sides of tortilla towards the center then roll and place seam side down onto a sheet pan that’s been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Repeat for remaining tortillas, placing on the sheet pan allowing plenty of space between each chimi. Brush with melted butter and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. (If they’re not browning, finish under broiler). Serve topped with salsa, sour cream, shredded lettuce and/or guacamole. Makes 6 servings.
Taco Spice Mix:
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small jar with a tight lid.
A year ago - Minty Lamb Pita Pockets
Two year's ago - Buffalo Chicken Chili