What is a chimichanga? Chimichanga roughly translates in Spanish as "Thingamajig". Legend has it that the chimichanga was created when someone accidental dropped a burrito into a deep fryer. While the exact origin and year it was created is unknown, we know it hails from Arizona, perhaps along the Mexico/Arizona border.
We used to eat at my grandmothers house every Sunday growing up. While I don't remember a whole lot of meals that were made (I have the worse memory) These I always remembered. I absolutely loved these growing up. I fondly looked forward to grandma making chimichangas, most times with a side of cornbread (another favorite). While I was unable to get my grandmothers recipes before she passed, I did go on a hunt looking for similar recipes. I altered it to fit my families likes, and came up with this.
These can be deep fried or baked, and even freeze well. Although if you freeze them, you will probably want to bake them instead, as they tend to fall apart after thawing and attempting to deep fry.
This meal quickly replaced regular tacos and is loved my both my husband and brother in law who visits frequently.
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
14-16 Flour or Whole Wheat Tortillas
Oil for frying
In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion until done. Drain. Prepare taco seasoning and mix into meat. Add refried beans and stir until smooth and throughly cooked. Stir in cheese until melted. Spoon into tortillas, making sure not to over fill it, you need to be able to close completely. Fold in right and left sides, fold in top and bottom sides and secure with toothpicks. Set aside, continue with rest.
To Fry: Pour enough oil in a large pot to fully cover the chimichangas. Heat oil to 350 degrees and place a few in at a time, browning on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
To Bake: Brush all sides of the chimichanga with butter or oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes, turning at 10 minutes, until golden brown.
To Freeze: Lay unbaked/fried chimichangas on baking sheet and place in a freezer for a few hours. Remove sheet from the freezer and store frozen chimichangas in a ziploc bag or air tight container. When baking, lay frozen chimichangas on a baking sheet, brush with melted butter and bake as directed above.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings: More cheese, taco sauce, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, etc.
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