Chimichangas are a real taste treat! They are actually deep-fried burritos, usually filled with refried beans. If you don’t have a deep fryer, it doesn’t matter much; just heat 1/2 or so of oil in a skillet and cook them there. It’s a little slower because they only cook on one side at a time, but they taste just as good!
I can’t help but tell you about the El Charro Cafe in Tucson, Arizona. That is where the chimichanga was invented by Tia Monica Flin. The cafe was founded in 1922 and is the oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant in continuous operation in the United States. My mom and dad dated there in college and treated my grandmother, mom’s mom. We’ve eaten there, and so have my children and grandchildren. Five generations!
I normally include chopped onion and shredded Mexican cheese with the beans, and you can experiment with other fillings, including jalapenos, chopped lettuce, salsa, and so forth.
Chimis are great either for dinner or as an appetizer. We make them from uncooked flour tortillas. The tortillas we buy for home are smaller than the big ones at the taco shops, so one or two as an appetizer is not too much.
The important thing is to keep the insides inside while frying. To do this, spread the filling over the middle half of the tortilla about 1/3 the way down the tortilla, as shown in the photo above.
Then fold over the part nearest you, fold in the two sides, and roll the tortilla up, as shown above.
After the final roll-up, moisten the edge and press together lightly. Let them dry out a little to seal them up.
Now they are ready for frying. They will only take a couple of minutes, so keep an eye on them. Since they cook so quickly, I only cook two or three at a time so they have plenty of room in the fryer.
Drain the fryer basket for a few seconds, and dump the chimis out onto a wire rack over paper towels. When they are cool enough to handle, it’s chow time!
The top photo shows a serving of chimichangas with Mexican rice.