Racing Rachael: Taqueria in 30

Racing Rachael: Taqueria in 30
Carrie Applegate Jaeger

I'm starting off this week's post with a complaint. Although delicious, I don't think that taquitos and burritos alone constitute a complete meal. I think this "meal" is a bit of a cop-out on my dear friend Rachael Ray's part. So, I'm automatically deducting a couple of points for the lack of sides. But time was of the essence on the evening that I was cooking, and so I wasn't about to make anything that wasn't part of the "30-Minute Meal." And the real questions remain: Could it be whipped up in a mere half hour? Was it any good?

The food: Poquito and Grande: Taquitos and Burritos. Like I said, that was it. No salad, no rice, no beans. The recipe does include a dipping sauce made of onions, garlic, a variety of spices and fire-roasted tomatoes, which was surprisingly complex for a quick creation. The warm earthiness from the cumin and hint of cinnamon give it a distinctive taste.

The taquitos were crispy goodness filled with rotisserie chicken flavored with cumin, oregano, green chiles and cilantro. Although my burritos were small (I used 6-inch tortillas instead of 8-inch), they were a hit. Smoky adobos offered the primary flavor to the pork and zucchini (yes, zucchini) mix. I guess the shredded zucchini was supposed to make up for a lack of vegetable side.

I don't think there was enough of it in there to really count, but I like the idea of sneaking in veggies when you can. Layered with mashed black beans, cheese, and lettuce, these burritos had a nice contrast of flavors and textures.

The time: 34 minutes. If only the show were called "30ish Minute Meals..."

The verdict: This recipe really is quite simple, but your kitchen will look like a tornado blew through when you're done. Pots, pans, baking sheets...all dirty. I'd definitely make the taquitos again, especially for a cocktail party. Serve them with a little queso, and you'd really have an addictive treat. The burritos were good, but for the degree of disaster created, I may opt for burrito takeout.

Ways to beat the clock: Open all of your cans at once. Although it may not save you too much time, you will feel less panicky if everything is ready to go.

Happy (speedy) cooking!



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