Tino’s Chicken Flautas

Tinos

In 1976, Joe and I and our sons Benjamin, Jeremy, and Sean  (age almost 3, 5 1/2, and 8) moved from North Dallas to the growing suburb of Plano, Texas. From the time we were getting ready to move to our house on Deep Valley until the time we moved from there, our favorite Mexican food restaurant was Tino’s, owned by Tino Trujillo. Even after we moved away from Plano, we tried to make it to Tino’s when we were back in the area. From the location we first visited in 1976, Tino moved to a spot in Plano’s Collin Creek Mall. Later, there was a third location called Tino’s Too. One of our favorite dishes was Chicken Flautas.

I can still remember Tino’s smile, his warm welcome, and his personal greetings to our sons as they grew. I was delighted to get the recipe for chicken flautas when it appeared in the Plano Star Courier, our local newspaper. There was a feature in the paper titled Cooking Corner.  This recipe was titled Pollos Flautas and was contributed by Georgie Farmer, whose picture appeared along with a plate of flautas.

Interesting to me when I pick up the now yellowed and tattered newsprint:  It does not say Tino’s Flautas, but I have always called it that. It has been many years since we had a meal with Tino, and he is no longer with us, so I can’t ask him. But these flautas are exactly like the ones I remember enjoying so long ago. We remember you fondly, Tino!

Tino’s Chicken Flautas

3 Tablespoons margarine (use butter now!)

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chicken broth

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon parsley

1 teaspoon grated onion

dash each of paprika, ground nutmeg, and black pepper

2 cups finely diced cooked chicken

24 corn tortillas

guacamole and sour cream (optional)

In sauce pan melt butter. Blend in flour, salt, and chicken broth. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Add lemon juice, parsley, onion, paprika, nutmeg, and pepper. Stir in chicken and cool slightly. Place about 1 1/2 Tablespoons chicken mixture on each tortilla. Roll up tightly.  Fry in deep hot oil at 350 degrees, holding together with tongs for about 10 seconds or until tortilla is crisp. Spoon on guacamole and/or sour cream. We also serve with salsa.

Mexican Chicken Stew

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I once received this recipe in an email from my friend of many years, Julie. She labeled it “heavenly!” Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you. The hearty stew is very easy to assemble, and goes together quickly, particularly considering the large quantity.  It is one of my favorite meals to prepare for sharing with a family who needs a meal brought in.  This week I took a crockpot full to our son and daughter-in-law who just brought their beautiful new baby Nora home. As stated in the recipe directions, it reheats beautifully and freezes well. It is a delicious one pot meal, good with a pan of cornbread or warmed corn tortillas.

Note:  When I make this, I preheat the oven to 400 degrees and begin roasting the lightly seasoned chicken breasts, then put the rice on to cook (1 cup equals 3 cups cooked). While these two ingredients are cooking, I assemble the other ingredients and chop the fresh veggies. By the time all other ingredients are in the pot, the rice is done and the chicken is ready for shredding. If you wish, buy a rotisserie chicken to bone and shred.

Mexican Chicken Stew

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion,  chopped

4 large cloves garlic,  chopped

l large green pepper, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried cumin

2 (28-ounce) cans petite chopped tomatoes

3 cans black beans, drained

3 lbs. chicken breasts, roasted and shredded (about 4 large chicken breast halves)

1 bag frozen sweet corn

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 (32 oz) boxes chicken stock, 2 quarts total

2 limes

3 cups cooked white rice

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Optional:Sour cream, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Extra lime quarters

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add green pepper, garlic and jalapeno and continue sauteing until soft. Add spices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and aromatic. Add tomatoes, beans, chicken, corn,Worcestershire, and stock.

Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.

Cut the limes in half, squeeze juice into the pot, and then add the juiced halves as well.

Add rice and cook 5 minutes longer to warm rice through. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and serve with lime quarters for squeezing at table. Pass sour cream and cilantro for desired additional toppings.  This is wonderful reheated and freezes well.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bean Chalupas

Our family loves Mexican food.  Along with Enchildadas Verde, Cheese Enchiladas, Fish and Shrimp Tacos, and Chiles Rellenos, we include Chalupas among our favorites.  These Black Bean Chalupas are so easy to make, look beautiful on your plate, taste fresh and delicious, and are full of healthy fresh vegetables.

Black Bean Chalupas

4 corn tostadas.

1 whole garlic pod

1 can seasoned smashed black beans

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups finely shredded romaine or other lettuce

1 tomato, diced

4 green onions, sliced

1 red and 1 orange sweet pepper, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeds removed and sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

vinegar for sprinkling on top

First, roast garlic by wrapping entire pod in aluminum foil and placing in 400 degree oven until pods soften, about 20 minutes.  Remove garlic and cool slightly. While garlic is roasting, prepare vegetables and set aside until ready to assemble chalupas.

 Reduce oven heat to 375, place tostados on baking sheet to heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, but leave oven on. Heat black beans with a dash of olive oil , stirring as they warm.

Assembly:  Place tostados on plate and squeeze enough garlic out of cloves to spread on top of each.  Then spread about 1/4 cup of the smashed beans.  Next, add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. To finish, divide the vegetables and cilantro among the four tostadas and sprinkle with a few drops of vinegar.  I like flavored vinegars, and often use sherry vinegar.