Sweet Potato and Bacon Flautas – A Delicious Mexican Recipe!
Bacon isn’t something you’ll find on many Mexican restaurant menus, but I think it’s something that I’ve found can work well in certain dishes, like these sweet potato and hickory smoked bacon flautas – and really, how far wrong can you go with good bacon?
The filling for this dish consists of only a couple of primary ingredients, and like anytime you’re showcasing something, you want to make sure you’ve got something that can live up to the spotlight! What I’m getting at here, is that it’s worth your while to search out a real good bacon for this dish. Supermarket, wet cured liquid smoke injected bacon may do fine when fried crisp in a sandwich, but as the starring ingredient in a dish…you want a bacon with some character. Something cut thick and toothsome and with a good natural smoky bite.
At best, you make your own bacon (which is not at all hard to do) but if charcuterie isn’t your thing, then I’d encourage you to find a local artisan bacon maker and then taste the difference – but be forewarned, after you do you’ll be hard pressed to back to the plain Jane supermarket stuff ever again.
Bacon and Sweet Potato Flautas (Enough for one person – multiply the recipe as needed)
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1 medium to medium large sweet potato (you want about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato for your filling, so choose your tuber accordingly
- About 3 ounces of thick cut smoky bacon (if you’re using wet cured ‘regular’ bacon, you’d better up that to 4 ounces, due to the extra shrinkage)
- A couple of drops of honey
- Salt, to taste
- A little oil for frying
- A spicy salsa (for the top)
- A little sour cream (for the top)
- A squeeze of lime, some fresh cilantro and some shaved onion (for the top)
- Cook the sweet potato until it’s done. I usually just boil it in salted water like a regular potato, but it actually tastes better, I think, if you roast them in a 400 degree oven until softened throughout – about 45 minutes. Alternatively (preferably?) you can just use leftover sweet potatoes from last night’s dinner!
- Cook the bacon until done.
- Mash the sweet potato, add in a drop or two of honey and add salt to taste. While you might normally add a little butter or cream to these - resist that impulse (!) as once you add in the bacon and fry this in oil…it will be plenty rich enough already
- Preheat about ½ an inch of vegetable oil in a small frying pan
- Smear the mashed sweet potato in a line down the center each of 4 tortillas, using about ¼ cup of mashed sweet potato for each one - and then divide the bacon up between the tortillas, placing it on top of the mashed sweet potato.
- Although some recipes call for toothpicks and the like to hold these together while you fry them, I find that by holding them together with a pair of kitchen tongs for a few seconds in the oil, they harden into shape quickly and you don’t need anything else to hold them in place.
- To fry, roll a tortilla around the filling making a tight tube. Hold this shut by grasping the tortilla at the seam with kitchen tongs, and then use the tongs to transfer the tube into the preheated oil (to know if it’s hot enough, dip an end of the tube into the oil…it should start bubbling immediately). Hold the tube shut in the oil for about 20 seconds, and then you can let it go – by this point it should have hardened into place. Fry it on all sides, flipping as necessary until it’s browned slightly and crisped all over, about 1 minute or so in total frying time.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas – once you get the hang of this technique, you can do a few at once.
- To serve, top the flautas with a little sour cream, some spicy salsa, a splash of fresh lime juice and some finely shaved onion slices and fresh cilantro.
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