Ready in 45 minutes
The traditional flautas in Mexico are wonderful, but unfortunately fried and full of cheese. This recipe bring you a much lighter version, getting the nice crisp from lightly spraying them with nonstick spray and then baking in the oven. The traditional cheese is also replaced with fresh salsa and reduced fat cream cheese. The result gives you the same flavors and textures, but less of the calories.
Prepare the Ranch-Style Tomato Salsa:
Preheat a grill or broiler to high.
Place the tomatoes, chile peppers, onions and garlic on a grill tray or broiler pan. Grill or broil 4" from the heat. The tomatoes and chile peppers will take 2 minutes per side, or until the skins are blistered and charred. The onions will take 3 minutes per side, or until browned. The garlic will take 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until softened.
In a food processor, combine the chile peppers, onions and garlic. Puree to a coarse paste. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and 3 tablespoons of the lime juice. Season with salt and black pepper. Process briefly to combine. (To make this salsa in a blender, add all of the ingredients at once and puree.) Transfer to a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until richly flavored. The salsa should be highly seasoned; add more salt or lime juice, if desired.
Prepare the Flautas:
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
Lightly spray the tops of the warmed tortillas with nonstick spray. Roll each tortilla, coated side out, into a slender tube that measures 1" in diameter. Tie with a piece of kitchen string to hold closed. If the tortilla breaks, it may not be warmed up enough. Try again with a fresh one. This recipe calls for 12 corn tortillas, so that you have 4 extra in case of breakage. Place rolled tortillas on a large baking sheet. Bake the tortillas for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Transfer to a rack to cool. Remove the string.
Just before serving, heat the chicken, cayenne pepper, cumin, stock and 1/4 cup of the Ranch-Style Tomato Salsa in a small skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed. Once stock is absorbed, add the cream cheese and stir until melted throughout. Using a teaspoon, stuff each tortilla tube with chicken mixture. Arrange the tubes on a platter or plates. Spoon the refried beans on top of the flautas and sprinkle with the lettuce. Spoon a little salsa over each flauta and garnish each with a dollop of sour cream.