It seems there’s debate over whether to call the above pictured deliciousness aflauta or a taquito. In some parts, a small corn tortilla wrapped around a meat or cheese filling and—here it comes!—deep fried is most certainly a taquito. If it was a flour tortilla instead of a corn one, they say, it would then be called a flauta.Where you stand on the issue seems to depend on where you grew up (Texas, for example, versus Mexico.) But no matter what you call them, one thing remains true: they’re absolutely delectable.
I had forgotten how much so until recently, when I had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant near home and strayed from my usual enchilada order, picking a platter of flautas instead. (Yes, a platter. Ay. ) Fried to crisp perfection and slathered in thick, fresh crema, they made me wonder why they weren’t my usual order. That is until I wiped a bit of that crema from my chin, a pointed reminder of exactly how decadent they are.
So I came home determined to find a way to make a healthier version of these amazing little flutes so they could be a more regular part of my life. This past weekend I did just that: I swapped out the frying for high-temperature oven-baking; replaced the meat filling with a veggie one that includes mushrooms, which always make me feel like I’m actually chewing something “meaty.” I tossed in a red pepper, a jalapeño, onion and garlic to amp up the flavor. And while I used cheese on the inside — because a girl can’t live by veggies alone — I opted for a reduced fat Monterrey Jack to lower the guilt level.
For the filling:
1/8 cup and 2 T olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen and thawed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded, 1/4-inch dice
8 oz mushrooms (baby bellas or white button, or which ever variety you prefer), in 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup white wine
1 T worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar or Cotija, whichever you prefer)
8 6-inch corn tortillas, fresh (you can also use %100 whole wheat)
Guacamole, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a heated sauté pan. And onions and red bell pepper and cook over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, until onions start to caramelize. Add corn and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook for another 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the sauté pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt, cover and cook over medium heat until mushrooms release their juices, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid, increase heat to high and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, another 4 or 5 minutes. Add wine and worcestershire sauce and continue cooking until liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the mushroom mix to the rest of the vegetables, stirring to combine.
4. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet. Top each one with cheese, distributing it evenly. Bake for about 2 minutes until the cheese is slightly melted. Take them out of the oven, and distribute the vegetable filling evenly on each tortilla. Roll up the tortillas tightly, and place on the baking sheet seam side down. Lightly brush with olive oil, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden and crisp.
5. Serve immediately, topped with fresh made guacamole.