Flautas. Taquitos. Whatever you want to call them, I’ve had a serious craving for them lately. As you know, being gluten-free presents it’s fair share of challenges eating out. Shared fryers being one of them. There is an AMAZING, and very authentic, Mexican restaurant near us that makes the most incredible food. I’ve eaten there often and rarely have a reaction. Well, as long as I avoid the fried foods due to the shared fryer. :( Since I’m gluten sensitive and not Celiac, I had often thrown caution to the wind and had them anyway. A while ago, I had such a significant reaction (likely the oil hadn’t been changed in a while, I guess) the It decided that I’d not eat fried foods there again.
But, alas. What to do about my flautas! I love flautas. Rolled, crispy tacos, fried to a deep golden crispy goodness, oozing with cheese and chicken and sauces and….uh oh, I just drooled on my keyboard. Sorry…I need to clean that up before I continue.
When the craving got too strong one day, and I had a ton of shredded chicken left (if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you really need to get one for dishes like this…makes cooking chicken so it shreds beautifully!). I thought to myself “How hard can it really be???”. Little did I know that that this would set in motion a month long quest of creating the perfect flauta. I do confess that they are not as good as my local Mexican restaurant, but I’m also not a a 4’9” 67 year old Guatamalan/Peruvian grandmother who’s been making tortillas since she was able to walk, so, there’s that.
I’ve finally gotten a blend that’s close enough for me. And you can adjust to your own liking and spice level with the ingredients. Also, this recipe will make approximatetly 12 flautas. You will double or triple if it’s not just for a snack. (case and point, I made a dozen last night thinking I’d have leftovers for breakfast. To my dismay, they all got eaten by wondering snackers!).
Another note about the recipe, it takes a few tries to get into the flow. You need to warm up your tortillas before rolling the filling in and place it right into the hot oil. I’ve gotten into a rhythm. Give yourself a chance. My microwave is right next to my stove, so it’s easy. If yours isn’t close by the stove, you can heat up your tortillas first but cover them with a moist towel to keep warm and pliable.
Flautas De Casa
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (if you have grilled or baked chicken, shred in a food processor)*
1 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Salsa (choose heat level that you like)
12 GF Corn Tortilla (please check labels, not all corn tortillas are truly GF)
Oil for frying
Heat 1/2” of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat until glossy and hot.
In a medium bowl, mixed shredded chicken, cheese and 1/2 cup of salsa. Mix well. It needs to be wet enough to be “molded” so add the extra 1/4 cup salsa if it’s not. Kind of like pie crust, if you squeeze it and it keeps it’s shape before crumbling at the edges, you’re good.
Warm your tortilla (I do 10 seconds). Lay the tortilla straight in front of you, and put a line of about 2 Tbs of filling close to the edge of the tortilla (about an inch from the edge). Pat into a line and roll the tortilla starting at that closest edge. Place the rolled tortilla into the oil SEAM SIDE DOWN.
Continue with two more tortillas.
Place in the oil immediately after rolling as they dry out and crack if you wait too long! Alternately, if you roll them and keep them between two warm towels you cAN roll them all at once and fry them in batches of three. I’ve tried this with some moderate success).
Flip the tortillas after 3 or 4 minutes, once the seam side is golden brown and “sealed”. Fry for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and salt them as soon as they come out of the oil.
These are perfect served with normal taco accoutrements: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded lettuce, etc.
*you could also use shredded carnitas or ground beef meat, just make sure it's cooled so it doesn't melt the cheese.