Flautas are a great meal any time of year if you ask me. I love how they get crispy and are a Mexican finger food - and since most Mexican food is so messy, I relish flautas. Though traditionally fried, I baked them, as well, any time I have ever tried to deep fry something, we should have had the fire department or an ambulance on speed dial. Jennifer + Hot Oil = Disaster Waiting To Happen. I have stories that I will not share at this time, but let's just say I've had my oil incident, it wasn't fun, and that I've even had an exploding salsa incident - I was lucky that I didn't get hurt in either incident, but the kitchen didn't fare so well. I am one of those people who manage to hurt myself in ways I can't even explain. Just call me clumsy.
Anyways, flautas are also great as the oven only has to be on for a few minutes and they are great mediums for disposing of some of summer's abundance - we even got to use our first garden grown jalapeno and it was good.
These flautas got a big thumbs up from both Brett and I. The only thing I will do differently next time is not make so many, they are larger than they look!
Also, be forewarned, waiting to eat these things is torture. Flautas have some special insulation property that keeps them piping hot for a long time. So while you are starving, you have to stare down the steaming flautas hoping that your first bite won't involve scalding mouth.
I made two variations on this flauta. I tried them with and without a thin "schmear" of refried beans since we had them on hand. It was good with the refrieds, but Brett and I thought the flautas stayed crispier and had a good zing without them.
Black Bean and Veggie Flautas
Makes enough filling for 10 small flautas.
1 cup black beans, cooked
1/8 cup traditional refried beans (optional)
1/2 cup long grain brown rice, cooked
1 small tomato, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 cup button mushrooms, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 hot banana pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of half a lime
small flour tortillas ("fajita sized")
Preheat oven to 400.
Heat a few tablespoons of water in a skillet. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
Layer a few tablespoons of filling in each tortilla and secure each with a toothpick. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.