Active time: 30 min. Total time: 35 min.
Yield: Serves 5 (serving size: 2 taquitos)

These easy Beef Taquitos are super crunchy, salty, and tasty—basically everything you want in an appetizer. They’re great to serve the kids and their friends after school, or with a cold beer on the patio on a weekend. If you don’t care for beef, feel free to use ground turkey or pork instead. Warming the tortilla before wrapping helps it keep its structure and prevents ripping. Dip an extra tortilla in the oil before frying your first batch, and make sure the tortilla immediately sizzles to ensure that the temperature is high enough. Serve with salsa, guac, sour cream, and Mexican beer.

Ingredients

AVOCADO CREMA

  • 1medium-size ripe avocado, ha
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream 
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro and tender stems 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes) 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 

TAQUITOS

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil, plus more for frying 
  • 1/2 pound ground beef 
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion (from 1 large onion) 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • 1 mashed pinto beans (from 1 [15-oz.] can) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 10(5 1/2-in.) corn tortillas  

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Crema: Combine avocado, water, crema, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a blender, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. 

Step 2

Prepare the Taquitos: Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high; add ground beef, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and cook, stirring often, until beef is well browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chili powder, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is blended into beef mixture, about 1 more minute. 

Step 3

Transfer beef mixture to a large bowl, and stir in mashed beans, chopped cilantro, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let cool 10 minutes. Meanwhile, warm tortillas according to package directions.

Step 4

Place 2 heaping tablespoons of cooled beef mixture on 1 end of each warmed tortilla, and spread slightly. Starting at filling end, gently roll each tortilla into a tight cigar shape. Secure seam side of taquito with a wooden pick, inserting just until pick pokes through other side. Place rolled taquitos, seam side down, on a plate; cover with plastic wrap, and place a clean towel over plastic wrap.

Step 5

Pour oil to a depth of  3/4 inch in a large high-sided skillet, and heat over medium-high to 350°F. (To test oil temperature, dip an extra tortilla into the oil. It should immediately sizzle.) Working in batches, gently lower rolled taquitos, seam side down, into hot oil, and cook, undisturbed, until seam side is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using 2 forks, turn taquitos over, and cook until crisp and golden all over, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer cooked taquitos from oil to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet to drain. (Between batches, use a fine wire-mesh strainer to remove any particles from surface of oil as needed.) Remove picks, and serve with Avocado Crema.

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