Gimme Chimi: Beef Chimichangas – Arizona

The origins of the chimichanga are murky at best. Two restaurants in the Grand Canyon State stake a claim: Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, a

Beef Chimichangas - AZ

Phoenix chain, asserts that the dish was created there in 1946. Tucson’s El Charro Café also says that the dish was the happy accident of a burrito being knocked into the deep fat fryer in the early 1950s. The cook started to swear in Spanish, but seeing children, quickly changed her profane utterance to the word “chimichanga” which loosely translates as “thingamajig.”

In 2011, Macayo’s started a petition drive to have the chimichanga recognized by the Arizona legislature as the official state dish. Alas, that effort was not successful, so poor Arizona must muddle along without a signature dish to call its own. That’s OK, because StateEats is officially declaring our allegiance to chimis and all its variations, from pork to chicken to vegetarian. For this recipe, we went with the very traditional beef. We also tested both the deep frying and baking methods. Although purists may scoff, we actually preferred the baked version which is less heavy. Save your calories for a margarita (prickly pear!) and chips and guac.

You still have time to check out the Arizona State Fair which runs Wednesday through Sunday until November 6, 2015, in Phoenix.

Beef Chimichangas

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 50 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Small white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)

Instructions

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef until it is no longer pink. Drain the fat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno (if using). Cook until onion is translucent and pepper is soft. Add green chilies, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Soften tortillas one at a time by heating them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Add approximately one third of a cup of filling just off center of the tortilla. Fold up bottom edge closest to you, then sides, then roll up tortilla the rest of the way. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place into a shallow pan, seam side down. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until tortillas just begin to brown. Remove from oven, top with shredded cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream and top with chopped cilantro if desired.

 

 

 

 

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