These taquitos are my attempt at replicating El Paso’s Chico’s Tacos’ famous beef tacos smothered with their special juicy tomato broth, and then loaded with tons of gooey, mild, finely shredded cheddar cheese, and their tongue-burning green chile salsa.
You can take the girl out of El Paso, but you can’t take El Paso out of the girl! I left El Paso in the 90’s, but every time I go back the first place I visit is Chico’s Tacos. It makes my mouth water just thinking about them.
I’m not the only El Paso, Texas native that hits Chico’s Tacos as soon as I arrive. Check out this Food Network video with Aarón Sanchez, an award winning chef, author, television star, and restaurateur. He explains the phenomenon perfectly!
Rolled Taquitos with Ground Beef (Chico's Tacos)
Yield: 12-16 taquitos
1 pound ground buffalo or lean ground beef
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
12-16 corn tortillas
Vegetable or Canola oil for frying (depth of 2″ in your pan)
1 pound finely shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried parsley
2 roasted Anaheim chiles or 1 can (4 ounce) green chiles (optional)
¼ cup water
1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Remove any excess fat drippings.
Heat the oil until hot. Grab tortillas one at a time with a pair of tongs, and dip them for few seconds in the oil to soften them. Pat dry with paper towels and pile them into a single stack.
Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cooked ground meat in a line across the tortillas. Tightly roll them up, then skewer with toothpicks to keep them closed.
Once they are all assembled fry them in hot oil for about 1-2 minutes on one side, then turn over and finish frying until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
In a blender combine whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, chile (optional), water, and puree until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer to keep warm.
Boil jalapeños until soft. Remove stems from jalapeños and blend with tomato, garlic clove, water and salt.
Place your single order (3 taquitos) in a bowl, pour sauce over taquitos, and sprinkle cheese on top, and drizzle with jalapeño salsa.
Serve with accordion or crinkle fries and a michelada!
Photography by Jeanine Thurston