You people are funny, ya know that? Kate and I get a kick out of trying to read our audience. We think we have you pegged and know the kinds of things that are going to excite you but every once and a while you throw us a curve ball. Some times we’ll spend weeks anticipating a post we’re just sure you’ll go crazy over and then we post it and, …meh. Then there are other times where we pull something together at the last minute or write a tutorial about something we’re sure everyone already knows how to do and people go nuts over it. Or how about the polls? The polls that overwhelmingly tell us that you want to see more low-cal foods and easy dinner options, but what does everyone go ga-ga over? Cupcakes. And Cookies. Go figure! Hopefully either way we’re keeping you both entertained and loaded with an arsenal of good eats.

I mention this because one of my surprise hits were these Creamy Chicken Taquitos. Truth be told I threw those together the night before I needed something new to post and I really hoped that I wrote everything down right and no one hated them. They turned out to be a huge hit and I’ve seen them popping up all over the blogosphere. They were even recently featured in the Chicago Sun-Times. Sure it’s just a blurb, but the blurb says, “these are some of the best taquitos I’ve ever had” so I’ll take it!

I figured I’d ride the wave while it’s hot and show you another great baked taquito. I created this recipe with one purpose in mind: using up left over pot roast. I love a good roll-over meal; one you can make one day and then transform the left-overs into something else the next day. I often make pot-roast or french dip sandwiches on Sundays, and inevitably we have a tupperware container full of left-over meat the next day. I think slow-cooked beef like that is best right out of the oven (or crock pot) and I just can’t eat it again like that for left-overs. So this is my solution and I loooove it. My husband says he thinks these ones are even better than the chicken ones. You be the judge! I think any left-over roast will work great with this as long as it’s not flavored with something like bbq sauce. But your basic pot roast or french dip is perfect.

Baked Chipotle Beef Taquitos
print recipe text only

3 C cooked, shredded beef roast
4oz green chilies, undrained
1/4-1/2 t minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I do 1/4 for mild spiciness)
3 t adobo sauce from the canned chipotle peppers (see below for note)
1 t garlic powder
1 t coriander
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
zest from one lime
1 T fresh lime juice
1 package Queso Fresco (about 12 oz)
6″ white corn tortillas (about 20) I decied I like white corn torillas WAY better than yellow.
olive oil or cooking spray
kosher salt

Note: If you don’t want to work with the chipotle peppers, or can’t find them, try adding some Chipotle Chili Powder. You can find it by the other spices in the grocery store. It will still give you a smoky spice, so start with a little and increase to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Take your shredded beef and slice any larger pieces across the grain so you have pieces about 1/2-1″ long. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce:We’ve talked about chipotle peppers before. They’re little red beauties that come canned in a smoky sauce. (They’re the same peppers used in this salad) Most of my recipes only use a small portion of the can you need to buy. So as not to waste the rest, I take the left overs and after de-seeding the peppers, I blend it all together with the sauce and then freeze it in 1t portions. Then it’s easy to pull out for recipes like this.

To prepare the peppers for the taquitos: pull out a pepper, trying to leave as much of the sauce as you can in the can. You’ll want to slit the pepper open to remove the seeds. You can just scrape them out with a small knife. Or, what I often do is just take care of it over the sink. Open it up and run it under a slow stream of water to wash the seeds out. You’ll want to be careful as the flesh is tender and can wash off too!

Mince it up as needed. And be careful, they’re spicy! Don’t touch your nostrils or your eyes, or pretty much anything else before washing your hands very well. Kate and I both know this from experience. Lots of experience.

Combine chilies, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, coriander, cumin, chili powder and lime zest and juice in a bowl. After stirring to combine, gently toss together with shredded beef.

Wrap a pile of about 10 tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute to soften. (after those are used, do the next 10)

Now bust out the queso fresco. You can find it at just about any grocery store now days. It’s generally in the refridgerated cheese section and looks like this:

You can always substitute monterey jack or pepperjack, but I like queso fresco because I feel cool using foreign foods. Plus, it’s a traditional Mexican cheese and it tastes good.

Working with one tortilla at a time, crumble about 1T queso fresco in a line across the center of the tortilla. Top with 1-2 T shredded beef mixture and roll that baby up.

I use 6″ tortillas and I usually get about 20 taquitos. I fill them on the full side, so you could definitely stretch this and easily get more out of the recipe.

Place seam-side down on a lightly oiled/sprayed baking sheet. Use cooking spray or lightly brush olive oil on the top of each one. (I use olive oil in a mister and it works perfect.) Lightly sprinkle kosher salt on the top of each one.

Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and your house smells like a Mexican restaurant. A Mexican restaurant in a good way, not in a nasty, greasy, stinky way.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool for just a few minutes. Eat ’em hot!

These should absolutely, positively be served with a healthy smothering of fresh guacamole. And some sour cream if you wish.

Freezer instructions: People are always making requests for freezer meals- so here ya go! Taquitos are definitely best right after cooking, so if you’re not going to use all of them, plan ahead and freeze some. I bake just enough for my little family to eat for a meal and then food-save the rest in dinner-sized portions. Then you can pull them out for a quick meal, appetizer or snack any time! To freeze Make as noted above through the step where you sprinkle the tops of the taquitos with salt. Place in a dish a single layer, not touching each other and set in the freezer. After frozen, place in zip-top bag, foodsaver bag, or any other air tight container. To cook, preheat oven to 425. Place frozen taquitos on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until edges are golden brown. (Usually about 30 minutes)

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