I recently read an article in the NYTimes recipe section that described a novel way of making beans, slowly simmering on a low temperature until al dente with plenty of water (instead of letting them boil away on your stovetop and continuing to have to add more water as the water evaporates during the boiling process). If you soak your beans for a good 24 hours and cover your pot, you can have a pot of beans ready in 30 to 60-ish minutes. (I had pinto beans ready in about 30 the other day.)
Taquitos are a good way to use up loads of corn tortillas (if you happen to buy a bunch from Costco, forget you did so and then realize they are expiring in about a week). That’s what I did tonight after simmering some black beans on the stove with some onion, garlic, chili powder, coriander and salt. Up until tonight, Sis and I have been slowly decreasing our (first of two) large stack of corn tortillas making quesadillas and tacos but going has been slow. I think the most we’ve gone through in one day is six. Tonight I banged out a baker’s dozen taquitos in less than an hour.
Sis asked if taquitos are easy to make as we were crunching our way through them for dinner. The easy answer is no. They are totally putzy. It’s an absolute must that you heat the tortillas up on the stovetop before rolling them and you have to do it at high enough heat that they get really pliable. If you don’t, they will crack when you roll them. Perhaps inexplicably they will also crack even more just sitting there.
You want a very tightly rolled taquito which is hard to do with a delicate corn tortilla, in my opinion. Even when you get them really hot and as pliable as possible. You want your bean mixture to start right at the edge of your tortilla and you want to start rolling the tortilla immediately in the smallest, tightest roll possible. The beans will spread out as you roll. Even if you think you’re getting the tightest roll possible, they still end up looking too fat. I made two different batches a few days apart, improving my technique the second time to yield marginally better looking taquitos. Hmph!
- 1 ½ c. refried beans
- ¼ c. salsa
- ¾ c. shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- 6-inch or 8-inch corn tortillas
- canola, avocado or safflower oil, for brushing
- sea salt
- salsa, queso, guacamole or sour cream, for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together refried beans, salsa, and shredded cheese.
- Pan-fry each tortilla in a skillet over medium-high heat to make the tortilla pliable and prevent them from cracking. It’s OK if the tortillas get some brown spots during this process.
- Lay a tortilla on a smooth work surface or large plate. Spoon about a small amount, about 1 or 2 tablespoons, of the bean mixture onto the bottom edge of the tortilla and smear toward the top. If you use too much the mixture will spill out during the rolling process.
- Tightly roll the tortilla from the bottom to the top. As you’re rolling the filling will spread and help bind the tortilla. Place the tortilla seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining bean mixture or reserve some of the bean mixture for another time.
- When the taquitos are assembled, brush the tops with oil and season with salt.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp and browned. Some of the beans and cheese will ooze from ends of the taquitos during the baking process. Serve with salsa, queso, guacamole, sour cream or a combination of two or more. To reheat leftovers, bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until warmed through.