Makes 8 servings
A chimichanga is essentially a fried burrito, so this recipe starts with a homemade tortilla dough. Don't be intimidated (also don't be afraid to substitute prepared burrito-sized tortillas)! The dough comes together easily for a tender, crisp exterior. The filling is made up of chayote, a tender gourd popular in Latin American cuisine. If you cannot find chayote, you can substitute summer squash, like zucchini or pattypan.
Chayote and Pineapple Filling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups small-dice onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
- 3/4 cup small-dice red peppers
- 1 1/3 cups small-dice yellow peppers
- 1/2 cup small-dice roasted poblanos
- 3 cups small-dice chayote, peeled and seeded
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup small-dice pineapple, fresh cored and peeled
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 recipe Chimichanga Dough
- 4 cups grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more as needed, for frying
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the jalapeño and red and yellow peppers; sauté just until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the poblanos and chayote and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, pineapple, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne; sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, and mix in the cilantro and parsley. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Divide the chimichanga dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover the dough balls with a towel to prevent them from drying out as you work. Working with one ball of dough at a time, flatten the dough into a disk with the palm of your hand and then use a rolling pin to roll it into a 10-inch tortilla. Repeat until all of the dough is rolled out into 10-inch tortillas.
- To fill the chimichangas, mound about 1/3 cup of the filling and 2 tablespoons cheese in the center of the tortilla. Fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll up the chimichanga from the top down. Transfer the filled chimichanga to a platter or baking sheet, seam side down.Continue until all the chimichangas are filled and rolled.
- Add enough peanut oil to skillet to come to a depth of 1/2-inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Place four chimichangas in the pan at a time and pan fry, seam side down, until the undersides are golden, about 2 minutes.Turn over with tongs and panfry until all sides are golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly; keep warm on platter in a 300°F oven. Panfry the remaining chimichangas in the same manner.