You can make these chimichangas with the overgrown, 16- or 18-inch flour tortillas. But 12- to 14-inch tortillas (the fresher, the more flexible) make impressive chimis too—even 10-inchers will do—and they're easier to deep-fry at home. As a crisp alternative to frying, place rolled chimis in an oiled 10 x 15-inch pan and brush lightly with salad oil. Bake on the lowest rack in a 400 degrees F oven until golden, about 35 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with cheese.
6 flour tortillas (12 to 14 inches)
About 1 1/2 quarts salad oil
2 firm-ripe avocados (about 1/2 pound each)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 (16 ounce) can red chili or enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded lettuce (iceberg and/or romaine) and/or red cabbage
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) shredded jack and/or Cheddar cheese
Tomato or fruit salsa
Lay 1 tortilla flat. Fold 1/3 up over center. Spoon 1/6 of the filling across
the doubled portion, leaving a 2-inch border at each end. Roll tortilla once, fold
in ends, then roll snugly to enclose filling. Secure seam with toothpicks. Repeat
to fill remaining tortillas.
In a 5- to 6-quart pan (at least 10 inches wide) or 14-inch wok over high heat,
bring about 1 inch oil to 360 degrees, adjust heat to maintain temperature.
Using a wide metal spatula, lower 1 chimichanga at a time into hot oil, filling
pan without crowding. Fry until golden on all sides, turning occasionally, 6 to
8 minutes total per chimi. Transfer to a towel-lined 10- x 15-inch pan. Keep warm
in a 225 degree F oven. Repeat to fry remaining chimichangas.
Meanwhile, peel, pit, and thinly slice avocados. Moisten slices with lime juice.
In a 1- to 11/2-quart pan over medium heat, warm chili sauce; pour into a small
Line a platter or plates with lettuce. Remove toothpicks from chimis and place,
seam down, on lettuce. Sprinkle chimis evenly with 1 cup cheese and garnish with
avocado. Serve with remaining cheese and the chili sauce, sour cream, and salsa,
Nutritional Information: Per chimi with pork: 927 cal., 50% from fat; 50
g protein; 51 g fat (16 g sat.); 68 g carbo (3.8 g fiber); 1,654 mg sodium; 131
Source: Sunset Recipe Annual 2000 Edition El Charro Cafe: The Tastes and Traditions
of Tucson (Fisher Books, Tucson, 1998)