When I look back on what I ate in college, I can’t help but cringe. It’s not like I’m eating caviar and escargot these days, but my diet back then — whether by lack of funding or ambition — was appalling. I remember the day I made a container of Ramen noodles, placed it on the ground next to my chair and then put my foot directly in it when I got up to answer the door. I salvaged what noodles and broth remained in the cup and continued eating. What? I paid a full 79¢ for that stuff and I didn’t feel like waiting another three minutes to eat.
Nowadays, thoughts of Ramen or Easy Mac or Domino’s 5-5-5 ne’er cross my mind, but there is one of my college guilty pleasures about which I sometimes get nostalgic: the 7-Eleven taquito. That hot, Monterey Jack chicken filling? That crisp, greasy encasement you could feel sticking to your insides moments after consumption? Ahh, yes, I sure miss you, old friend.
Fortunately, I’ve found a way to fill that void without giving myself a coronary: creamy chicken taquitos (a la Let’s Dish). This is by far one of the best savory things I’ve created on my quest for kitchen glory. It is easy to make and share, has great flavor and doesn’t leave you wondering how long it’s been spinning on that metal hot dog-turny thing.
♦4 oz. low-fat cream cheese
♦1/4 c. green salsa
♦1 tbl. lime juice
♦1/2 tsp. cumin
♦1 tsp. chili powder
♦1/2 tsp. onion powder
♦1 clove garlic, minced
♦3 tbl. chopped fresh cilantro (I omitted)
♦1-2 green onions, chopped
♦2 c. shredded cooked chicken
♦1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
♦6-inch flour tortillas
Heat cream cheese in microwave for 30 seconds, until it’s easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Stir to combine, then add cilantro (if desired) and green onions. Add chicken and cheese, and combine. Place two to three tablespoons of mixture on lower third of tortilla (1/2 inch from edges) and roll tightly. Place seam-side down on a sprayed baking sheet. Spray tops of taquitos with cooking spray before baking to help them brown. Bake 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees, turning halfway through.
Total time? 20 minutes prep, 12 minutes bake.
Cost? $1.79 tortillas, $2 chicken, $1 cream cheese, $1.69 shredded cheese.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. These would have been perfect if they had a tad more spice, but overall, they were awesome. I ate them for dinner, lunch the next day, dinner that night and lunch the day after that without getting sick of them. I got eight out of this recipe, and you can freeze the leftovers (if you have any).