Friday, September 25, 2009
My Second Venture into Chimis
You might remember an earlier recipe I posted for Oven-Baked Chicken Chimichangas. I make Chimichangas a million different ways. The recipe I'm posting today is another oven-baked recipe that is a cheese lover's dream. The filling is quite thick – even after baking. Don't expect a wet or oozy filling even though there's a lot of cheese in it. I've served these both with sour cream and without. The jury is split on which is better. I, personally, am not a huge sour cream fan and prefer to leave it out. Others absolutely insist on having it in there. I'll let you decide. I named it Chimichangas Blancas or White Chimichangas because of the white fillings – white-meat chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, and Monterrey Jack cheese. The filling, of course, has other colors as well but white definitely dominates. If you are worried about the spiciness level because of the jalapeno, don't be! It barely has any heat with that little 'ol jalapeno in it. Trust me. I normally add two or three.
With many of my recipes, I try to fix them at least once with healthier ingredients such as reduced-fat cheeses, less sugar, less oil, etc. I like to compare the taste of the lighter version to the full-flavored recipe (that is, the more-fattening version) because, often times, the lighter alternative does not significantly compromise flavor. If it tastes the same, after all, why eat the extra calories and fat! Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to do that with this recipe yet. If you want to make this recipe healthier, try using reduced-fat cheeses and leave out the sugar, sour cream, and bacon bits. If you make these chimis a more figure-friendly way, leave a comment and let us know how they turned out.
Enjoy – and happy baking!
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1 cup roasted chicken breast, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/3 cup real bacon bits (the kind sold in the salad dressing aisle)
1 TBSP oil
4 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp table salt
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream (very optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
8 oz of Monterrey Jack cheese
2 TBSP fine chopped cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, or spinach
About 7 Flour tortillas (8-9" each)
Oil for brushing
Preheat oven to 400F. Placed the chicken in a large bowl.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon bits until they are crispier then drain on a paper towel. In the same skillet, add the oil and allow it to get hot. Add the scallions, garlic, jalapeno, red bell pepper, cumin, and oregano. Cook for only 1 to 2 minutes then dump the mixture in the bowl with the chicken. Add the cilantro to the bowl as well.
While the bacon is crisping up, cream together the cream cheese, sour cream (if using), salt, sugar, and shredded cheese.
Mix the chicken and cream cheese mixtures together and taste for seasoning.
Brush 4 tortillas on one side very lightly with water then place them in a stack on a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the tortillas. Microwave the tortillas for about 25 seconds. This heats the tortillas enough to make them pliable.
Remove one tortilla from the kitchen towel and rewrap the others to keep them warm. Add 1/3 cup of the filling to the center of the tortilla. Wrap the chimichanga like you would a burrito. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla up over the filling then roll it starting from the bottom to completely enclose the filling. You should not roll the chimi too tightly or the tortilla will tear (or later burst during baking). Place the chimi seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other tortillas – heating additional tortillas in the microwave when needed.
Brush the tops and sides of each chimi with some oil. Bake for 21 to 23 minutes or until the chimis are golden and crispy.
Note: I, personally, am not a big fan of sour cream. In this recipe, the sour cream curdles a little bit when heated which does not seem to bother anybody else – except me. Others tell me that they really like the addition of the sour cream. I'll let you decide. The filling is quite thick in these chimis. You should not expect the inside to be too oozy when fully heated – even when adding the sour cream.
Posted by Cooking Ventures at 6:28 AM