Ever since I started this cooking blog, I have begun to analyze flavors in restaurants. I haven’t decided yet whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Does it make me enjoy my meal more, or does it distract me from pure pleasure? In any case, when I eat something delicious, I now try to figure out whether I can recreate it at home.
(The answer to that question is often “no.” I’m not what you would call a natural cook.)
Recently, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant we hadn’t tried before, and we both ordered the Chimichanga with Chili con Queso. I thought the Chili con Queso was going to be a red, beefy sauce with some cheese mixed in. Instead, it tasted like queso dip, really delicious.
Chimichangas are fried, but I wanted my home version to be a little bit lighter. (By no means can I call this a “light recipe.” But at least it’s lighter than it would’ve been if I had fried the chimichanga.)
I came close to the deliciousness of the restaurant’s version. This was really tasty, and very easy, too!
Recipe: Oven-Baked Chimichangas with Queso
1 5-oz box of Spanish rice
1 lb ground beef
1 packet of burrito seasoning
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can green chilis, drained
½ C water
16 oz Velveeta
1 can green chilis
1 t cumin powder
Cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside.
Brown the meat, drain and rinse. Put the meat back into a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the burrito seasoning, beans, 1 can of chilis, and half a cup of water. Simmer until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice.
Preheat the oven to 425. Put a generous amount of beef mixture on each flour tortilla. Roll up the tortillas and tuck the ends under. Spray with cooking spray or brush with a small amount of olive or vegetable oil. Place seam-side down on a pan lined with aluminum foil. Leave plenty of space between each chimichanga so they’ll crisp up. Bake until they’re golden brown and hard to the touch.
While they’re baking, cut the Velveeta into ½-inch chunks and put in a microwave-safe bowl with other queso ingredients. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time, stirring each time, until melted. Spoon the queso sauce generously over each chimichanga.