Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beef flautas, how to make the best

beef flautas

When I lived in Iowa City, a fellow homesick Texan was tired of the lack of good food, so he opened a Mexican restaurant called La Perlita. The name means little pearl in Spanish and this small restaurant was indeed a gem. The salsas were fiery and bright, the refried beans had depth and flavor, and the tortillas were patted out by hand. But I have to say my favorite dish on menu were the freshly fried flautas.

Not familiar with flautas? Perhaps you know them by another term: some refer to them as taquitos and in parts of Mexico they’re often called tacos dorados. But the basic premise is the same—it’s a rolled taco that’s been fried.

flautas

Flauta (which means flute in Spanish) is what I grew up calling them, so I was a bit flummoxed by the variation in names. When I asked my non-Texan friends, they insisted that it was a flauta if it was made with flour tortillas, a taquito if it was made with corn. I have to disagree as I’d never even had flour tortilla flautas (though I don’t doubt their existence). And the Mexican street-food vendors here all sell tacos dorados, but they look just like flautas to me.

No matter what you call them, however, the key to a good flauta is that it needs to be fresh. Often you’ll find pre-fried ones, where a dull tortilla surrounds a cold, lifeless filling. Would you eat a cold nacho? Would you eat a cold enchilada? Of course not! So I don’t understand why people insist on serving old food—you can’t doll it up no matter how much lettuce, cheese or salsa you pile on top of it.

But a fresh flauta? Now that’s a thing of wonder! The tortilla snaps, the filling is alive and no adornment is necessary—though a drizzle of hot sauce is certainly welcome.

beef flautas

Making these is not difficult—as long as you’re brave when confronted with a skillet that is hissing and popping with hot fat. (I wear long sleeves and oven mitts to keep myself safe.) But because of your fearlessness you will be rewarded with the best flautas you’ve ever had. Actually, that’s not exactly true—I still think that the best flautas were those served to me at La Perlita, by a fellow Texan who knew how to make those needing a respite from the cold feel welcome and warm.

I’m curious—what do you call these? And am I wrong—is there indeed a difference between flauta, taquito and tacos dorados? Please let us know!

Beef flautas
2 pounds of chuck roast, cut into four-inch chunks
1 tablespoon fat: lard, bacon grease or canola oil
1 medium Spanish onion, quartered
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-4 jalapenos, diced
1 pound tomatillos, quartered
1 cup cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons cumin
Salt and black pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
12 corn tortillas
About 1 cup of canola oil
Salsa, lettuce, chopped cilantro, diced onions and sour cream for garnishing

Method:
Brown the cubed beef in the fat on medium heat in a large Dutch oven or pot (may have to do in batches). Add the onions, garlic, tomatillos, jalapenos, cumin, 1/2 cup of the chopped cilantro, four cups of water (or beer if you prefer), salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for two hours until meat is tender. Remove beef from the pot, shred it and then toss it with the lime juice and some salt and black pepper. Can also add some of the pan juices if you like. Otherwise, you can reserve the pan juices for another use.

Wrap the tortillas in foil, and heat in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until soft. Take each warmed tortilla and place two tablespoons of the shredded beef into it and roll tightly.

Heat the canola oil in a large iron skillet and when oil is 350 degrees (or hot but not smoking), gently place three flautas into oil, seam side down, and cook on each side until crisp, 45 seconds per side.

Serve immediately with salsa, chopped cilantro, onion and sour cream.

Note: You certainly don’t have to use beef. You can make these with chicken, beans, fish or roasted vegetables. Just figure on having two cups of filling.

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112 comments:

AK said...

I grew up calling them taquitos. My mom made them when we lived in New Mexico when I was little and she could get fresh corn tortillas. Living in Texas I heard it both ways but just always stuck with taquitos. There's an interesting bit about them on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taquito

Josie said...

I didn't know you lived in Iowa City! I live in Cedar Rapids right now and there is a serious shortage of good Mexican restaurants. Is your friend's restaurant still around? I might have to make a trip to visit it if it is!

samantha said...

I think we called the taquitos. Doesn't matter what they are called...this is exactly what I am making this weekend. THANK YOU!

suburban housefrau said...

I tend to call them taquitos if they come from a fast-food establishment, a convenience store, or the frozen food section. Flauta if you are at a restaurant!

Esmeralda said...

We called them flautas, but a lot of my friends from northern states didn't know what I was talking about so I tell them its taquitos.

BTW I hate the popping of grease so I use a deep fryer to fry my flautas up.

I love making these fresh for people; they are always so impressed.

Instead of lettuce has anyone had them with shredded cabbage and a squeeze of lemon? My mom always served them with cabbage instead of lettuce. The squeeze of lemon or lime comes from Acuna.

racingyogagirl said...

As a fellow Texan, our FAVORITE kind of flautas (yes, we call them that!) is apple flautas. They have apple pie filling in them and they are wonderful!

Alonso Garcia said...

Great recipe! In northern Mexico we call them flautas. I believe taquitos is more of a southwest US term.

Anyway, they go great with a very creamy guacamole salsa and a simple salad made from diced and slightly cooked carrots, diced cucumbers and a little splash of white vinegar, you must try them like that!!

Oh, and La Perlita means 'the little pearl', little treasure would be 'el tesorito'.

Thanks for sharing your cooking experiences.

Joy said...

In Mexico City (where I live) they are primarily known as flautas, and there is a chain of restaurants called Las Flautas. There, they serve them either stuffed with chicken, beef or beans and then you top them with crema, shredded white cheese and salsa verde. It gets pretty messy.

However, flautas are not really that popular in Central Mexico, and when compared to tacos and tlacoyos, they really are not particularly flavorful. I never find myself craving them like I crave tacos (Mexican-style tacos, not Tex-mex tacos, which are blech) or guisados.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

AK--Interesting link, thanks!

Josie--Sadly, I heard it had closed quite a while ago. And you'd think Iowa being sort of close to Chicago would have better Mexican food.

Samantha--You're very welcome!

Suburban housefra--I like your logic!

Esmeralda--They are impressive, aren't they? And that cabbage-lime combination sounds divine!

Racingyogagirl--Oh, my! I'll definitely have to make some of those!

Alonso--A pearl is still a treasure! And what's funny is that some people are insisting that taquito is a Northern US term.

Joy--I had some when I visited recently, and they loaded them up so much you couldn't even see the flauta.

Cherry Blossom said...

pretty pics - i love flautas very much and haven't made them in a long time - thanks for your post as this will be very helpful!

Latter-Day Flapper said...

We always saw them called flautas, although I've seen the term "taquitos" but thought it was a gringo attempt to make them more approachable.

I went to college in Iowa and the lack of good Mexican (Cajun, etc.) food just about killed me. You know it's bad when Taco Bell is the good stuff.

Tessa said...

FLAUTAS!! By far my must-order item on the menu at restaurants. Tex-Mex restaurants have actually fallen out of my favor due to their lack of flautas. Can't wait to make my own!

smallgrapes said...

Yes, please!!!! We call them taquitos but they are delicious by any name. I might just have to make some with ground beef for dinner tonight.

Chris said...

I love flautas almost as much as their Filipino cousin, the lumpia.

Great recipe and photos. Can't wait to try these, it's been a while.

Solaera said...

I live in central CA in an agrarian community with a large Hispanic population and here if it has a fried flour tortilla it is a flauta and if it has a fried corn tortilla it is a taquito.

I make flautas and taquitos at home and my favorite are spicy carnitas flautas with avocado creama.

chriss said...

I'm from West Texas and have always called them flautas. Great little mom-and-pop place in town makes fantastic beef or chicken flautas. Fresh is definitely the way to go.

Donaji said...

long time reader, but this it's my first comment!
Here in mexico city taco dorado it's a fried taco made with a regular size tortilla and a flauta it's a fried taco with little filling made with a oval tortilla that's it's a longer than a normal one.

Lindsey said...

In all the Mexican restaurants around me (in NC) and the frozen food section at our grocery stores, I always see taquitos as beef inside fried corn tortillas and flautas as chicken inside friend flour tortillas. Might be unauthentic, but it does seem to be consistent. Whatever you call them, I love them! You're just right about the nice snap of a fresh one. Yum!

Laura said...

In the El Paso Independent School District, they were called rolled tacos, and they were delicious. Now living in DC, and I can't remember the last time I had a real flauta - I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

heather @ chiknpastry said...

Funny you ask - when I saw them I immediately thought to myself that they look just like taquitos! But I've also heard flautas too - maybe it just depends on where you're from. In the South, I heard taquitos, here in Chicago I hear flautas.... go figure.

either way i'll definitely hit these up because they look excellent. oh, and thanks for visiting my site - i am officially addicted to making marshmallows...

kelly @ EvilShenanigans said...

Those look fab! The best part of the flauta, to me anyway, is the ends. They are crunchy, and sometimes the meat gets a little crisp from the oil. Yum!

Marjorie said...

I can tell by the ingredients that these flautas are amazing. I'm off to get the chuck beef first thing in the morning. Thanks for sharing Lisa.

Abby said...

I live in N.C., which may sound odd talking about Hispanic food, but check out the federal stats of our Hispanic population in the last 10 years...

They're taquitos on the menus around here!

Mandy said...

Yes, in Texas these would certianly be FLAUTAS! And now I knwo what I'm going to do with the frozen chuck roast - it has a destiny!

Brenda said...

I'm from west Texas (Pecos) and call the Flautas. There was a great restaurant there that made them when I was growing up. You could get chicken or beef. I loved dippinig them in sour cream or guacamole. YUMMMM! Chuck roast was on sale at the grocery store yesterday and I bought 2. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing with the 2nd one! Thanks!

Tanya said...

I'm Mexican and grew up in Las Vegas and never heard of flautas until a friend made them. They were flour tortillas and I was told that was the distinction between a taquito and a flauta. Either way they're yummy!!!

Thank you so much for the recipes. My husband thanks you as well for his full tummy!!

Jojo said...

GIRLFRIEND, Texas misses you! Your recipes are right on! Thanks for sharing with those less fortunate souls (people who don't live in Texas). Me? I am here to stay & I can testify that you know your "dishes".

nicole said...

Yum - flautas! I always get my fix when I go back to Dallas; will definitely be making them this weekend. I don't think I've ever seen them made with flour tortillas - that just sounds wrong! There is only one place around here (Seattle) that I know of that calls them flautas & the owners are from Northern Mexico.

crogers said...

as a fellow homesick texan (living in new york state for the past 17+ years) who worked at chuy's and san miguel's, they will always be flautas to me.

deceiverofmen said...

i don't actually know if you're wrong, but i've always assumed flauta=flour tortilla and i've had plenty of flour tortilla flautas in texas. Normally places with al carbon items serve them. I've never had a restaurant flauta made out of corn and called a flauta. Or at least i don't remember it if i did.

Robyn said...

I grew up in Dallas -- they were always called flautas, and they were always made with corn tortillas, regardless of what was inside. The only time I saw the term taquito was in the frozen foods section.

plainsgal said...

In West Texas (Lubbock) we call them flautas, but my first really great flautas (chicken) were at Casa Jurado in El Paso 30 years ago or more. Fried flour tortillas bring chimichangas to mind (even though they have more stuffing than flautas). Speaking of regional variations for the same food, someone posted about the El Paso ISD, where we ate bean and cheese tapatias every Friday. Everywhere else I've ever seen them, they are called chalupas.

Scott said...

Flautas con guacamole y salsa verde is simply a small preview of heaven provided while we are still on earth. As always, Homesick Texas, thanks for your recipes!

janna said...

In San Antonio, those are flautas - and I love them! I live in Iowa City now (didn't know you once lived here!) and I'm pretty sure La Perlita isn't here anymore. There are lots of Mexican restaurants, but none of them, so far, have met my standards!

Greg said...

"Would you eat a cold nacho? Would you eat a cold enchilada?"

Well, I wouldn't eat them off the floor but otherwise....

I've seen these called flautas in Alaska, must be all the Texans up there.

Knittinchick said...

You make me wish that I was visiting my sister in DF and eating taco, flautas or going to Oaxaca to eat their wonderful culinary delights.

Alas, not so much right now... but this will allows me to focus on vegetables and weight loss before visiting again.

Anonymous said...

In San Diego we have taco shops on every corner and on every menu here they are called "rolled tacos". Flautas are not as common but they are always made with flour tortillas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comment, where I'm from in Texas, the flour ones are called flautas and the corn tortillia ones are called taquitos. The best taquitos I've ever had were in a little hole in the wall place in Cleburne, TX. I don't even remember the name of it, but they made taquitos with smoked chicken and they were TO DIE FOR!! I have to disagree on condiments though, I can't have mine without a little queso and/or guacamole. MMMM Thanks for your blog, its my new obsession!

Edelweiss Cowgirl said...

Love, love, love flautas! I grew up in Houston and usually saw them made with corn tortillas. When I was in Houston over the holidays, a Mexican friend of mine made them for dinner with guacamole and refried black beans - yum! A real Christmas treat for me. Unfortunately, in Austria corn tortillas are few and far between...

Steve said...

Lisa,
Since I'm from OK and TX, FLAUTAS of course. Hard to find good ones in here in the NE. :( These look great and I'm game to try them. Thanks. Steve
http://www.myfavoriteflavours.com

Flea said...

I call them flautas... And is anyone keeping count on which way the lingo is leaning?

I love shredded chicken flautas with a little sour cream for a swirl of cool, creamy dip-ness. Man. Now I'm craving!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh yum, I so think I need to make these ASAP.
I've lived my whole life in Dallas, and always called these flautas. Although if you buy them in the frozen food section, they're called taquitos. But taquitos, to me, are the breakfast burritos you buy at Whataburger (and subsequently, when we make similar things at home, we call them taquitos too. Not sure why.)

woodsman said...

I prefer this dish when made with corn instead of flour. I am still a little fuzzy on the whole Flauta/taquito debate. which is which?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Cherry Blossom--You need to make them again, soon!

Latter-Day Flapper--That's a good theory.

Tessa--I wonder why they don't appear on menus as often anymore?

Smallgrapes--They're great with ground beef.

Chris--I don't know the lumpia--will have to check that out!

Solaera--So perhaps the flour-tortilla flauta is a California thing.

Chriss--What in West Texas are you?

Donaji--Oh, now that's an interesting difference.

Lindsey--A chicken and beef split? I've never thought of that.

Laura--You're welcome--enjoy!

Heather--Marshmallow making is indeed addicting. My favorite part is licking the fluff off the beater. So wonderful!

Kelly--The ends are wonderful!

Marjorie--You're very welcome! Hope you like them.

Abby--I've actually heard a lot about NC taco trucks. Will have to visit soon!

Mandy--Yay! Destiny!

Brenda--I love dipping them in guacamole as well.

Tanya--Ah, so perhaps it's a Western distinction.

Jojo--And I miss Texas! Muchas gracias!

Nicole--They flour tortilla ones sound like mini chimichangas.

Crogers--I agree!

Deceiverofmen--Ah, I did not know that.

Robyn--Yes, I've seen them called taquito in the frozen-food section as well. Even Whole Foods calls theirs taquitos.

Plainsgal--I've eaten at Casa Jurado but I didn't get the flautas, I ordered the milanesa con chile con queso instead. So decadent and good! And I've never heard the term tapatias. Will have to investigate!

Scott--They are indeed a small previwe of heaven!

Janna--I had heard it was gone. And yeah, Iowa Mexican food in general left much to be desired.

Greg--Ha!

Knittinchick--If it makes you feel any better, I wish I was going to Oaxaca, too!

Anon--That seems to be the consensus.

Anon--Smoked chicken flautas sound divine!

Edelweiss Cowgirl--Do you have access to masa harina? You can order it from mexgrocer.co.uk. Corn tortillas are a cinch to make with that and a tortilla press.

Steve--They are hard to find in the NE.

Flea--Most call them flautas but some insist that they're only flautas if made with flour tortillas, taquitos if made with corn.

Woodsman--I agree, I'm not a fan of fried flour tortillas in any form.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Tasty Eats At Home--Yes! Taquitos are Whataburger's breakfast tacos, not a fried rolled taco.

Lynn W. said...

I'm with Robyn -- growing up in D, always flautas, always corn tortillas. Now that I'm in Mississippi, I finally tracked them down as taquitos. And, you know, they (both hispanic and gringo) don't say chile con queso here, but rather, queso dip or cheese dip. I don't like even to utter the phrase "cheese dip" -- it sounds so much better as "chile con queso." Is the term "chile con queso" a Texas thang?

I'm thinking flautas would be an excellent way to use leftover BBQ, whether beef brisket or pulled pork.

Pamela Tomlinson said...

Mmmm! I love chicken flautas. As for the flour versus corn tortillas, I've always seen the flour version called chimichanga.

Lisa, saw your great article in the winter issue of Edible Austin! A nice bit of serendipity.

Melissa said...

For me, I would call these flautas. They're nice and full! Taquitos don't have that much filling and are rolled up real skinny...California style. LOL

Dee Davis said...

I grew up eating both flour and corn tortillas as both flautas and taquitos. With no difference in the name and the type of tortilla --at least as long as I can remember. My favorite are made with corn, goat cheese, mexican cheese, chicken, and a chipotle sauce using flour tortillas and baked (to cut down on the fat) They're divine! And I can freeze them (before cooking) and have a second meal for another day.

Anna said...

Oh Thank You! I havent had a good flauta since we moved from El Paso.
My kids and I made some just a few weeks ago, but they were not quite right. Im definitely going to be trying this recipe this weekend!
My favorite were the beef, with white cheese and a dollop of sour cream. MMMMMMMMM

Duncan said...

When I lived near El Paso in the early '60s, I always got my share of flautas when I visited Juarez, as I recall they were longer than what you would imagine a rolled tortilla would be.

I sure do miss the tongue tortas from the street vendors.

Amy B. said...

Oh good grief -- my mouth is watering! I went home to Texas from Virginia for two & 1/2 weeks over the holidays and I ate my way across the state, mainly surviving on smoked brisket, Tex-Mex and Kolaches. I ordered my favorite chicken flautas with green sauce at a little place my parents' love. Heaven! I also binged on fajitas in the courtyard (from over two feet of snow in VA to 70 degrees in Fort Worth!) of Joe T. Garcia's in FW. Ahhh...back in VA now and making fajitas tonight. Here's to another homesick Texan!

Anonymous said...

I lived in San Diego for 16 years, which was my introduction to "real" mexican food (or at least the baja version of it). As I remember, if you ordered flautas, you got chicken and flour tortillas. If you ordered rolled tacos, you got beef and corn tortillas. I never saw anything called a taquito until the frozen ones in the grocery store popped up.

Of a similar nature, I remember going into a mexican place in South Padre, asking if they had carne asada, and being told they called it fajitas meat. Uh...sure, okay. A rose by any other name, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm from southern CA (San Diego) we call them rolled tacos. I never heard the term Flauta until I went to TX, they are all delicious. I love your recipes.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for reminding me of one of my favorite foods!! I lived in Texas the first 37 years of my life. My family goes back to the mid 1800's as Texas residents. I grew up eating and making these for many many years. I have always called them flautas and have always known them to be made with corn tortillas. My favorite are chicken flautas. I don't eat many fried foods any more, but these are worth the fat. I will be making chicken ones soon!!

D said...

As mentioned before, in San Antonio (and througout Texas and northern Mexico), we call them flautas -- but I've mainly associated flautas with chicken -- not beef. Beef was reserved for tacquitos -- which were served by themselves as an appetizer (no garnishings). Even here in NY, I see flautas on the menu.

And isn't a fried tortilla of any kind called a chimichanga? I know they're bigger than a flauta, but to me, a fried flour taco is too much like a chimichanga -- which is a California thing -- just like burritos (a gringo invention) is a New Mexico & California thing.

All this fried tortilla talk is making me hungry for a crispy dog! If you're from San Antonio, you know what that is -- a weiner wrapped in a corn tortilla and pan fried.

Nobody Puts Mama In A Corner! said...

I am a Texas Mama too! I now live in Colorado and I so miss Texas~!!! I MISS MEXICAN FOOD!!! I have to make it myself,,,,,nobody and I mean NOBODY here knows what to do with Mexican Food! So pitiful! I am going to love stopping by to view your posts! See Ya'll later! I'm fixin to come back real soon!

lisa said...

I'm with you. They're flautas. I love them small and crisp but homemade is the absolute best.

Anonymous said...

They are flautas to me! Whether made with beef, chicken or pork. With a side of sour cream, gauac, and pico. Your looks like a great way to get some soon! Thanks, bunches and heaps!!

pc

John said...

I grew up in Texas and we called them flautas. But now I live in CA (sigh)...in San Diego they are called rolled tacos and are very fresh and good and cheap...however here in SF they are almost always cold and not very good.

Cathy said...

I grew up calling these flautas. My Dad is from San Antoinio.Here in Colorado they call them taquitos. Whatever you call them I love them.

Cynthia said...

Again, I have learnt something from your awesome blog!

Manders said...

I'm from Houston and I call them taquitos--however, my parents are from the Midwest, so maybe that has something to do with it? *shrug*

texichan said...

I always called beef or pork ones taquitos, and chicken ones flautas. But that is just me!

Lo said...

Interesting -- and always educational! Never ceases to amaze me how many names & variations there are for a given food!

These look lovely and fresh. Perfect weekend fare!

Esmer said...

I always thought "taquitos" were frozen rolled up things you bought at the grocery store.
In Pecos, they were flautas! Corn tortillas filled with beef and served with guacamole and sour cream. I have also come to love them topped with sour cream and shredded cabbage (and some jalapenos, for good measure!)

Chelsea said...

Those look so good! I recently moved from Iowa City/Coralville and I never heard of Le Perlita! I lived there for 6 years; is it stil open?

Chelsea said...

Oops, just saw you answered my question already. I went to many of the Mexican restaurants in the IC area, but I doubt any of were really any good.

What's Cookin Stacey?? said...

These are so getting made today on Beaty's Creek!

Vickie said...

I left Midland, Texas in 2002 and MISS the food something fierce! These look delicious. I can't wait to make them for Mr. H!

Marjorie said...

Lisa, I made your flauta recipe last night. Simply put,fantastic!
My husband would have eaten a dozen of them if I let him :) but we ran out of corn tortillas. I served them with guacamole and frijoles.
I saved the liquid that I cooked the meat in for a green chili stew, todays dinner... along with more flautas.

Jennifer said...

I Love your blog! Love your recipes! Live in Houston..... I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

HI, my husband is from Mexico and I have spent quite a bit of time in the past 27 years cooking Mexican food for him since
restaurants never seem to have the real thing. Your recipe is very similar to the one we use for flautas (and that's what they are also called in Mexico city).
In Mexico City taquitos are just some
type of thin steak beef, chopped fine, not shredded, with onions and some type of salsa on a soft warm corn tortilla (not fried).
So I think that's the difference between the two.

Joyce said...

In Juarez, where I first knew flautas at the Mustang and El Tren, they were crispy flour tortillas with shredded beef. You could hold them and eat them like a hot dog. Most restaurants in San Antonio and Austin cover them with some kind of goop, making it timpossible, or very messy, to eat them like that. I've never made them, but will try your recipe very soon.

Andrea Meyers said...

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a big fan of fried foods, but heaven help me I could eat a plateful of these things. Addictive, they are.

Dena said...

I'm in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, and I call them flautas. I'll eat them, no matter what you call them!

justin said...

my wife is from sothern cali and I am a Texan, through and through. We've had the discussion, Flauta vs. Rolled Taco. I swear they are the same thing, she swears they are not. Can't wait to try the recipe to see if she likes them, and will leave me alone about the dang rolled tacos. :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa, have enjoyed reading your blog since Ninfa's green sauce. Yeah, like the others from Southern California, here the flautas are always flour tortillas - oftentimes using two tortillas to make them extra long like a flute whereas when corn is used, they are called rolled tacos. Chris

Laura said...

My husband would seriously love these -- thanks for the recipe. Love your blog!

cptexas said...

My mother is from Chihuahua City, Mexico. As a child her family moved to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico - our border sister city here in El Paso, Texas. She told us that back then flautas - rolled tacos were made from barbacoa. Imagine the fat factor! She said they were delicious.
Around these parts flautas are rolled, taquitos are small tacos - folded in half and are either fried golden, which is your tacos dorados or just a warmed tortilla.
Just yesterday I made tacos dorados, crispy crunchy filled with shredded flank steak. Mom said flautas were later filled with shredded flank steak instead of barbacoa.

Margie said...

Flautas for me. I haven't made them in a while. I tend to use chicken and when I fry them, I use toothpicks to hold them together, seam inside, to keep them from coming undone.

Might just make some this weekend.

Mark Scarbrough said...

I used to love the flautas at La Fiesta in Waco. Shoot, I wonder if they still have them. First place I ever tasted fish tacos, too. I may have to break out a bottle of oil and go to town. I'll never get the music right but I might get a little taste of La Fiesta back in my head.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Lynn--Cheese dip? Now that's just wrong! And yes, they'd be terrific with leftover BBQ.

Pamela--Now see, that's what I thought as well. And glad you saw the article!

Melissa--Ah, so it's a question of girth.

Dee--Oh, goat cheese is something I never thought of--that would be wonderful!

Anna--I'm a big fan of the sour cream as well.

Duncan--You know, you may be right as the ones in Mexico City were certainly longer than the ones you find here.

Amy--Sounds like the perfect trip home!

Anon--See, I suspected it was a California thing, calling the flour-tortilla fried tacos flautas.

Anon--Thank you! And they are all delicious.

Anon--You're very welcome. And they are indeed worth the fat.

D--Hmmm, beef means taquito--that coudl work. And I could go for a crispy dog myself right about now!

Nobody Puts Mama in a Corner--I hear you! Sad, isn't it? Though leaving Texas has probably made up better cooks.

Lisa--Homeamade is indeed the best.

PC--Oh, yes, guac is a must!

John--No comment!

Cathy--Agreed, a rose is a rose...

Cynthia--Hurrah!

Maners--Perhaps.

Texichan--You're not alone, I've discovered.

Lo--I know! It's amazing how creative we are with language.

Esmer--Shredded cabbage? Must try that!

Chelsea--I think it must have closed a while ago (I was there in the early 1990s).

What's Cookin Stacey--Yay! Hope y'all enjoy!

Vickie--Midland has some amazing food, I understand your longing.

Marjorie--Excellent news! I'm so happy you enjoyed them!

Jennifer--Welcome and I look forward to seeing you again?

Anon--Oh, how interesting, true DF taquitos aren't fried at all.

Joyce--I love the idea of holding them like a hot dog!

Andrea--They are indeed addictive!

Dena--I agree!

Justin--See, I think they're the same thing, too. It'll be curious to see your wife's verdict.

Chris--So it's indeed California that deemed flautas made with flour tortillas.

Laura--You're very welcome! And thank you!

cptexas--So tacos dorados aren't rolled in El Paso/ Juarez? I did not know that!

Margie--Toothpicks are a wise choice to keep them rolled.

Mark--Break out that bottle of oil! You only live once!

Renee said...

Here in Southern California rolled corn tortillas are called taquitos and rolled flour tortillas are called flautas.

I made these on Monday and they were wonderful. I used flour tortillas. They turned out sooo good. My Husband ate 5 of them.

crystal said...

I've always thought it was a regional thing. When I lived in Nevada, we called them taquitos. In Texas, we called them flautas (even when the box in the frozen food section said 'taquitos'). In restaurants here in TX, they are definitely called flautas. And, they're made with corn tortillas. I've seen them made with flour tortillas, but they're typically called banditos. Not sure where that comes from. :)

Louis said...

This was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

It's a shame to be throwing away the tomatillo mush that's left over after braising the meat. I strained it to keep the liquid for a later use (some kind of sauce?) and dumped the mush with some bacon into a pot of simmering beans to flavor them instead of using the typical mixture of tomatoes.

Nothing shall be left unused! The beans were very good!

Larry said...

Hi, Lisa,
Have not been around for a while but thought I would offer my two cents worth. I do not think there is any consistency in the nomenclature. I used to think that flautas were made with flour tortillas by definition until a Mexican friend gave me a recipe for flautas that called for corn tortillas. Our local Mexican restaurant here in central Florida uses corn and calls them flautas.
Diane Kennedy uses corn and calls them taquitos. Rick Bayless uses corn and calls them taquitos but says they are also known as flautas.
So, I think the use of flour or corn and the label of flautas or taquitos are all interchangeable.
But no matter what you call them, they are good.

Emerging Domesticity said...

This looks so yummy! Found your blog via Smitten Kitchen & love your style! I'm new to the food blogging world {and cooking/being domestic in general} and am looking forward to following you!
~Emerging Domesticity

marineswife said...

Loved reading all the comments on taquitos vs. flautas. I see another Southern California commenter feels the same as me. Corn are taquitos, flour are flautas. LOL

I tried your recipe but my own way as I was going to be gone all day and wanted to use the crockpot. I posted about it here:
http://marineswife.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/flautas/

My husband and I both loved the meat. Delicious! thanks for the inspiration to make these.

Anonymous said...

I love all your recipes. I am always gonna be in Texas, and just love the tex-mex here. I noticed that crogers posted that they used to work at Chuys and San Miguels. I wish they would post some of their recipes on here. I just love everything at Chuy's.

shweetpotato said...

Ive seen them called flautas, taquitos and rolled tacos but Ive never tried to make them myself, just added some ingredients to my shopping list YUMMERS< thanks so much

Debbie said...

Seriously miss San Diego's rolled tacos. My secondary term for them would be taquitos. A flauta was not something I saw often but usually made with chicken, always flour tortilla. You have a consensus there.

Was on a "flauta" mission in Dallas for a while but never had any that weren't just plain awful. Under-stuffed and way overcooked so they taste mainly of burnt tortilla. I make my own now when I need a fix from time to time. Your recipe looks really good but I think in San Diego there is a lot less stuff in the meat mixture. I cook up chuck roast with some spice, an onion and a few jalapenos until the whole thing shreds easily. I serve shredded beef taco bar that night and make the rolled tacos a day or two later.

For me the only way to serve them is on a bed of shredded lettuce and topped with shredded cheese and homemade hot sauce, preferably served out of a ketchup style squeeze bottle. Guacamole is usually on the side and makes them pretty darn messy but they're always served with it at the taco shops.

Sorry for writing a novel on your blog. This is a very serious subject. :)

Becky said...

My husband is from Queretaro, Mexico, and his mom calls these tacos dorados (or sometimes taquitos but I think that's mainly because I call them taquitos) She makes some wonderful tacos dorados filled with a potato and shredded carrot mixture that are heavenly! We then pile them high with shredded lettuce, a little bit of onion, sour cream and green salsa.

Dan said...

taquitos, tacos dorados, flautas, whatever! the truth is these marvelous beauties are profoundly satisfying. Great article and I will probably try out your recipe sometime!

shweetpotato said...

Can I do these with pork instead?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Shweetpotato--Of course you can make them with pork!

Kim said...

lisa, i can't believe that this question has stuck in my head since you posted this long ago - what is the difference between a flauta and a taquito, and here in new mexico, i was just as stumped. i just added mark miller's new cookbook "tacos" to my collection and as i was reading this jumped out:

flautas (flutes) are larger, about the diameter of a cigar, 4 to 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.

taquitos are smaller, more like a cigarillo, about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter.

it also states that flautas are more Tex-Mex, but have become a popular snack in Mexico.

muy interesting!!! :) kim

Tabitha said...

I found your recipe when searching for how to make taquitos. We made them for a group Tex-Mex themed cooking night. They were great! Thanks for posting this!

Two questions:

Q1: How do you get these to stay closed in a deep fryer? We wound up reverting to a pan.

Q2: Do you typically make a soup with the remaining broth?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Tabitha--I don't use a deep fryer, I use a skillet and find that they stay together fine though some people use toothpicks to hold them together. I like to use the broth with beans but any soup would be delicious.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm way late to this discussion, but when I saw the topic I had to jump in.

We've always called them flautas, ever since Uncle Oscar made them for us as kids. Uncle Oscar was grew up in El Paso. He learned to cook at a young age. When he was engaged to my Aunt Mary, one day at Grandmama's house he found out that we'd never had flautas. He announced that we'd have to have them. My aunt, sister, I, and he squished into his RX7 and zoomed to the store for fresh ingredients. Then he cooked up a storm in Grandmama's kitchen...it was delectable and, apparently, unforgettable.
Long live flautas! =)
- Alison B.

Lisa said...

The first time I had them was from a little takeout place in California, and they were called taquitos. They looked very much like the ones in your photo. Thus, I've always called them taquitos and was confused when I moved to central Illinois and started seeing the word flautas on menus.

Anyway, back in CA the taquitos were served with a thin avocado sauce and oh my, how I loved them! Thanks for this recipe; I can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Amarillo, Denton, Austin, and San Antonio and the vast majority of restaurants I've been to have called them "flautas" and make them with corn tortillas. I've had them with flour tortillas, but I think they're more like chimichangas. There is a restaurant in Austin, though I can't remember which one, that calls their flautas "flaquitos."

Anonymous said...

Hi. My name is Otho Jordan and I live in San Antonio, TX. My wife is making "flautas" right now which is why I was looking around for various recipes. We are a mixed family with me being from Oklahoma and my wife from Mexico D. F. In our family, taquitos have traditionally been tacos made with corn tortillas that have been softened but not crisped in hot oil. Flautas, on the other hand must be corn tortillas, tubular, and crisp without regard to their contents. How family favorites become traditions? My wife and I recently celebrated 53 years of marriage. Anything we do is a tradition after that long. May God bless you or Sea Usted bendito de Dios.

Anonymous said...

I love flautas - the first time i tried them i loved them way too much - the first place i tried them was at a restaurant in Greer & Woodroof, SC - never ate another thing because they were so good. The owner would always ask me i wanted the usual

I have been looking for a good recipe for them the ones i ate had a white cheese sauce poured over them also - yum- yum

Danielle - turnquist372008@hotmail.com

JoyceK said...

Just had these prepared by a woman from Honduras, and there were other Latinos there, including Mexicans. She referred to them as flautas, and others referred to them as taquitos. Everyone knew what it was with either term. Here, on the East Coast, i think they are more commonly called taquitos in the grocery stores that sell them frozen. In Mexican restaurants i have seen both terms. Either way, your recipe is great!! Glad to see this recipe is in your book, which i have purchased!! GREAT COOKBOOK-EVERY recipe is a winner!!

Anonymous said...

South Texas Native...it's indeed a flauta and I agree...never heard of a flour flauta

Julie in CA said...

I was raised in Southern California, and Flauta=flour tortilla, and made with corn tortillas, they were either rolled tacos or taquitos.

So...I'm wondering...if you're a person who calls the ones made with corn tortillas a Flauta, what do you call the ones made with flour tortillas? Is there no designation or distinction?

Anonymous said...

Hi!!! Just want to post something about flautas, I am from Monterrey, Nuevoo Leon, Mexico and we call them Flautas. Usually they are made of shredded beef, put on top of them some Mexican cream and salsa de aguacate (made of tomatillos, chile jalapeƱo o Serrano, cilantro, salt and of course avocado) with sheared lettuce and tomatoes. I love flautas, they are delicious, but I also like tacos which are totally different than flautas, and then we also make tacos dorados which are made of ground beef( fried corn tortilla filled with uncooked ground beef, do not rolled them just fried them like a taco) and you eat them with whatever you like them, I like to eat them them with salsa, Mexican cream, lettuce, tomatoes, onions. But like I said it before this is in Monterrey, Mexico. I have a friend who is from Michoacan, Mexico and they call flautas as a taquitos. Thanks any way for sharing your recepie, as long everybody like Mexican Food I am happy. Have you try some Chiles poblanos filled of picadillo and cheese, they are yummy.

Bethany said...

My husband and I were introduced to flautas while teaching English as a Second Language to Mexican immigrants in Wisconsin. They were called flautas and made with corn tortillas and rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. We loved them!

Patrick said...

Grew up in El Paso, TX and we called them either Taquitos or Flautas, and both were always made with corn tortillas. Only time I ever had something rolled and deep fried in a 'flour tortilla', it was called a Fried Burrito.. except in Arizona where they call them Chimichangas.

Petie S. said...

I make beef flautas a lot...I differentiate taquitos and flautas by the tortilla...with corn its taquito and with flour its flauta. My family loves both and cook them the same way...just watch the flour tortillas cause they burn easily. Love your blog!

Kim Gamble said...

I grew up in San Diego and the local shops (both across the border and in the county) called the fried rolled tacos taquitos=corn tortillas and flautas=flour tortillas. This is actually the first time I've seen a fried rolled taco with a corn tortilla referred to as a flauta.

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