Monday, November 22, 2010

Keep the Turkey and Cranberry Sauce. Pack Up the Mashed Potatoes.

If you are a regular reader of my blog (oooh, thank you!), you know that I promised you some leftovers' recipes. I thought it best to post them before Thanksgiving, so that you will know what to keep and what to pack up for the family. I saw these recipes last weekend on a show called Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian. (This episode is re-airing on Wednesday, November 24th at 9:30 a.m. if you'd like to watch her make these recipes. It's good to see the techniques used.) W was outside blowing leaves and the kids were playing. I had just put on a pot of slow-cooker chili, and decided to lay down on the couch for a few minutes and watch t.v. before the football game started at 1 p.m.

I have never made my own taquitos, but I love the frozen variety. When I saw how easy they were to make, I dvr'd the show and went back and watched it again to get the technique down. It's important to have your oil very hot (the host used a thermometer but I will just make sure a drop of water pops when it hits the oil -- who has time for a thermometer). Since the meat is already cooked, the oils heat is important primarily for the crisp factor, so worst case, they are just gonna be a little oily. It's also really important to get the toothpick in securely to hold the taquito in it's wrap. Otherwise, the whole thing just might unroll.  They only cook for 3 minutes, so just be sure to keep an eye on them.

The cranberry salsa didn't initially pique my interest. I am, personally, not big on cranberry. When I saw what was added, however, I liked the idea, and at that point W was back in the house and said it looked good. I love cooking for him, so when he's interested in something new, I usually make it. The salsa is done in the food processor, and it doesn't take very long at all. 

I hope you enjoy these lovely Tex-Mex recipes after traditional American meal. My notes are in italics, FYI.

Turkey Taquitos (makes 18)

  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mexican-flavored canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 white or yellow corn tortillas
  • Serving suggestion: Serve with Cranberry Salsa, recipe follows
  • Special equipment: toothpicks


Sweat the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a saute pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Remove from the heat and add to a large bowl. To the bowl, add the shredded turkey (I will just pull mine with my fingers), cheese, tomatoes and season with salt, and pepper, to taste. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
She says to warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds so they are pliable, but I don't have a microwave so I will steam mine in a double boiler with a wet towel over the top until the tortillas seem pliable.
Fill the tortillas with a tablespoon of filling (don't overfill) and roll into a thin taquito, securing with a toothpick. Keep the taquitos covered with a damp towel before cooking otherwise the corn tortillas will dry out and crack. Heat 2 cups oil in a straight-sided pan to 350 degrees F (again, if you don't have a thermometer that's okay, just make sure the oil is super hot). Place the taquitos in the hot oil in batches and shallow fry until crisp, rolling to cook all sides, about 3 minutes.
Drain the taquitos on paper towels and salt. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

Cranberry Salsa

  • 1/2 cup canned whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (just eyeball it)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped 
  • 1/2 white onion coarsely chopped, covered and microwaved for 1 minute (no microwave like me? just sweat the onion for a minute or two in a pan with olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup Mexican-flavored canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the cranberry sauce, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, onion, red pepper, green pepper, tomatoes, and salt, and pepper, to taste in a food processor and pulse until blended, but still chunky.


  1. Sounds really good - i like this kind of cuisine, it keeps you hot on rainy days!

  2. Oh yes, it's so great with a fire lit, too!

    I am attempting to make your paper wreath. So far, yours looks much better than mine!