Shallow-fried vegetarian chimichangas

A proper chimichanga is a whacking great burrito that’s been deep fried, thereby endowing it with the power of a zillion calories. This version is somewhat lower in fat, and will give you an insight into just how much oil a tortilla can absorb. When you fry them, they’re like little sponges – however much grease you add, they’ll suck it all up. Where does it all go? Hips, arse and belly, I think.

For the beans

150g black turtle beans, soaked overnight
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp epazote
2 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil

The beans take a while to cook – rinse them and boil in fresh water for up to two hours. Or simply buy a 400g tin of cooked beans from the supermarket, which is much less hassle but about five times as expensive. Either way, drain the beans and mash to a rough paste.

Fry the onion, cumin and epazote until soft and aromatic. If you can’t get hold of epazote, don’t worry about it – it’s not essential. Add the mashed beans and mix thoroughly.

For the spicy veg

2 red peppers, sliced
1 cob’s worth of corn kernels
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp vegetable oil

This part is quick and easy. Put the oil in a frying pan, throw in all the ingredients bar the garlic, and cook over a high heat for five minutes, stirring regularly. Turn down the heat, add the garlic and cook for a further five minutes. Job done.

Plus…

Guacamole
Tomato salsa / pico de gallo
Pickled jalapenos
Cooked rice
Grated cheese
Sour cream
6-8 corn or flour tortillas
oil for shallow frying

I’ve already done recipes for guacamole and pico de gallo, if you fancy making your own.

Anyway, assemble the chimichangas by piling a bit of spicy veg, a bit of beans and a bit of cheese in the middle of each tortilla. Corn tortillas taste better but I think flour ones are more authentic for this dish. You can stuff them quite full – experience (and a pan full of burnt cheese) will tell you when you’ve overdone it.

Fold the edges over and fry them, two at a time, in shallow oil over a medium heat until brown, turning once. Keep them warm in the oven between batches, and remember to top up the oil. Serve with rice, sour cream and all the accompaniments.

One Response to Shallow-fried vegetarian chimichangas

  1. Kim says:

    Think I may have found some t for dinner tonight!

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