WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Cookie Sheet/Jelly Roll Pan
As you very well know, we love us some quesadillas. But for large finger food parties, they just don’t make sense. When cut into triangles, the result is a bit messy, and for catered cocktail parties, we tend to want something neater. But when we were throwing around ideas for Sarah’s 25th birthday, we felt like we needed something cheesy, crispy, and delicious–like a quesadilla, but not. Something vaguely, if not authentically Mexican. Something like these flautas.
Flautas are traditionally deep fried, but I thought we could get away with baking these mini versions in the oven to achieve a sufficiently crispy result. When I asked my friend Rodrigo if I could still call these little puppies “flautas,” he assured me that if they resembled little flutes, I was good to go.
These corn & leek flautas were a huge hit at the party, but I definitely encourage you to try out any variety of fillings, so long as the end result still looks like a flute.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
16 large tortillas
1/2 lb smoked cheddar cheese (or sharp white cheddar), shredded
1/2 lb Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup leek confit (recipe follows)
1 15oz can corn, rinsed (If in season, use 5 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Cilantro-Lime Crema for dipping
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Using a 3-inch round, cut each tortilla into 5 smaller rounds.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, leek mixture, corn, cumin, salt, and cayenne and toss to combine. On a clean work surface, brush each round with a little bit water. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each round, and roll together so the edges overlap (they should look like mini tacos, and the water will help the edges bind). Place the flautas seamside-down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, about 20 per sheet.
Bake the flautas in the oven for 10 minutes, until the tortilla is nicely browned, and the cheese is bubbling. Allow the flautas to rest on the cookie sheets until cool enough to touch. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately with some sour cream or cilantro-lime crema for dipping.
NOTE: you can bake the flautas in advance, and then reheat them in a 400 degree oven until they recrisp.
Makes 1 cup
2 large leeks, white part and light green part only, cut in half and finely sliced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup of water or stock
½ tsp salt
On the stove, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium-low heat in a lidded sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add the water or stock, turn the flame down to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally, until the leeks are completely soft and beginning to turn to mush. Take the lid off and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 more minutes.