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Potato Taquitos

Potato Taquitos

From: Chef Barbara Sibley, La Palapa, NYC. Yield: 6 servings, 4 per person.

6 ripe Roma tomatoes
2 chipotle chiles en adobo (from a 7-oz. can)
¼ cup onion
1 garlic clove
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. white pepper
to taste salt
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Idaho potatoes
4 cups water for boiling potatoes
1 tsp. chopped jalapeno
1 egg, beaten
½ cup grated queso cotija (may substitute Parmesan)
1 Tbsp. chopped epazote
2 tsp. salt
24 corn tortillas
2 cups corn oil
1 cup chile de arbol salsa
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 cup guacamole
8 bamboo skewers

In a blender, puree tomatoes, chipotle chiles, onion, garlic, cumin and pepper. Blend until liquefied. In a deep sauté pan, heat 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil over medium to low heat. Pour liquefied tomato mixture into oil, being careful to avoid splatter. Cook, stirring constantly, until color becomes a deep red and oil is incorporated.

Peel potatoes and place them in a large stockpot with water to boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Remove from water. Place potatoes in food processor and pulse to mash (or mash by hand with fork or potato masher). Hand-mashing is the preferred method, as overblending changes consistency of the starch in the potato. Set aside in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely.

Once mashed potatoes are cool, add jalapeno, egg, queso cotija, epazote and salt to taste. Set aside and prepare to roll taquitos prior to frying.

If tortillas are stiff, gently warm them on a griddle or between two paper towels in microwave for 20 seconds on high. Keep them warm while you work by wrapping them in a dish cloth.

One tortilla at a time, place filling in a line down the center in this order: 3 tsp. potato and 1 Tbsp. chicken. Roll tortilla tightly around these fillings. Potato will keep chicken from scorching as the taquito is deep-fried. Squeeze as much juice out of the chicken as possible so mixture is not too wet.

Roll tortilla and hold it together with a skewer. At La Palapa, we place three taquitos on each skewer, as they hold together and are more manageable in the frying pan that way. Make all taquitos until you have 8 skewers with 3 taquitos on each.

In a deep sauté pan, preheat the oil for deep-frying. Deep fry the taquitos until tortillas are crisp and golden. Remove any mixture that falls out of the taquitos with a slotted spoon as you add skewers, so oil does not burn.

Place taquitos on a platter covered with one layer of paper towels to drain excess oil from taquitos. Serve on large platter with red chile de arbol salsa, white crema Mexicana and green guacamole.

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