When we lived in Boston we had a little Mexican restaurant around the corner from us that consumed most of our disposable income. We loved this place. Adored it. One of my favorite things to order there was the chimichanga. With that in mind I went looking for simple chimichanga recipes the other day. While this chimichanga tastes and looks absolutely nothing like theirs, it is still a tasty recipe to try out.
I should mention that these were not initially going to be cute party-sized versions of chimichangas. While grocery shopping I bought small flour tortillas rather than big ones. I figured we’d make tostada-type things out of them, but Mr. Pea insisted we could still make chimichangas. And voila. Here they are.
Now the first thing we did was make our own refried beans. I saw the cans of them at the grocery store and the truth here is that I didn’t want to pay $1.89 for refried beans when I could get a can of pintos for .99 cents and do it myself. And besides, who knows what’s in the refried can? Beans! Lard! Mystery ingredients! Probably not, but that’s how I justify making a lot more work for myself.
There are oodles of recipes out there for refried beans; I was looking for one that didn’t involve so much frying, and went with this one, skipping the cheese and pureeing the whole thing in the blender for a much better texture. I then just set it aside, trying not to eat it. It’s pretty tasty.
Then we began the chimichangas. The recipe is based on one on Recipezaar, modified for the things I forgot at the store. The recipe should make 4 full-sized chimichangas, and we got some uh 10 (I think) little ones.
Here’s the recipe:
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t olive oil
8 oz refried beans (we used about a half cup–I’d cut back some when I make these again)
3/4 c salsa
1 c cooked rice (we had white rice from Chinese take-out in the fridge that we used–original recipe calls for brown)
1 16 oz can black bean (I like the low-sodium ones by Goya)
1 t cumin
1 1/2 T plain yogurt (it originally called for sour cream, which I forgot)
3/4 c grated cheddar
flour tortillas (burrito sized for full-sized chimis; we used 6″)
Start by sauteeing the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened and a little browned. Mix these with everything else, except for the tortillas. Warm up the tortillas in the microwave (cover with a wet paper towel and nuke for 30 seconds or so). This makes them more pliable. Place some filling in the center of the tortilla (3/4-1 c for big chimis, much less for minis–about half) and fold up on all four sides. Place on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake in a 400 oven for 15-20 minutes until browned. They will be extremely hot inside when you take them out of the oven–I burned my tongue on my first couple of bites.
Garnish with any extra cheese and refried beans.