As I mentioned, it’s finally fall and with the changing leaves and cozy clothes (already busted out THE black fleece – oh yeah!) comes NFL games on what feels like every day that ends with a -y. That is to say, I feel like football is taking over my life. Ya’ feel me?!
I shouldn’t complain too much. Ben has always been great about sharing the remote so I can shamelessly watch my Housewives, and we’ll compromise when nothing is on by watching Ink Master or Naked and Afraid together (RIP, N&A) but on Sunday and Monday nights when he’s got his fantasy lineup all ready to go, how can I say no?
BTW does anyone else find it weird that in fantasy football you sometimes, nay oftentimes, find yourself rooting against your otherwise favorite team? I’ll never understand.
Anyway, the answer is I can’t, so I go by the motto, what is it, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? For me, football is much more tolerable when I get to scarf Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce at kickoff.
Corn tortillas are rolled around crock pot pulled pork and shredded cheese, baked until crisp, and then dunked into smoky Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce before devouring. These taquitos are perfect game-day food. Toss a bunch onto a platter then let the gang dive right in!
Even better? This recipe is not only gluten-free but freezer friendly too, so you can make a batch ahead of time then pop ’em into the oven right before game time. Even betterer (more better?!) since these taquitos are baked rather than fried, you can feel free to enjoy a few!
I am pretty much obsessed with the smokey Chipotle-Ranch dipping sauce for the taquitos which takes literally 30 seconds to make, but a nice thwack of guacamole on top of a hot stack of crunchy taquitos is heavenly too. I modified my Lazy Girl’s Guacamole recipe to make it even lazier by simply mashing a ripe avocado with garlic salt and pepper. It was to die for. Think I’ll skip the squeeze of lime juice from here on out!
Ok! Start the taquitos by slow cooking the pulled pork. Pick up a 3-3.5lb boneless pork butt roast then trim off as much fat as you can. Don’t make yourself crazy over it, but if there’s a big thick layer anywhere on the roast – get rid of it!
Cut the roast into 8 big hunks then toss ’em into the bottom of a 5.5 or 6 quart crock pot. Here’s a similar crock pot to the one I have >>
Next add a few seasonings and spices like 1 chopped onion, 6 peeled garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons each cumin and chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 14oz (1 can) chicken broth. Pop a lid on the crock pot then cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 10-11 hours, until the roast is easily shredded with two forks. Like buttah! (Get it? BUTTah?! Moving on…)
Place the shredded pork into a bowl then combine with 1/2 cup cooking liquid and discard the rest.
Meanwhile, shred 8oz queso fresco cheese, which I found by the refrigerated tortillas in the grocery store. I am so in love with this cheese – it’s right up there with smoked gruyere, I tell ya’! Queso fresco is light and mild-tasting, kind of like a harder mozzarella, and pairs fantastically with the garlicky pulled pork.
If for some reason you can’t find queso fresco, I’d use shredded mozzarella or monterey jack cheese.
Next, warm 18 corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are notorious for cracking when rolled or bent unless they’re super fresh, which most grocery store tortillas aren’t. An easy way to get them nice and pliable is to wrap 6 at a time in a damp paper towel then microwave for 40 seconds.
To the center of a heated corn tortilla, place 3 Tablespoons pulled pork and top with 1 Tablespoon shredded queso fresco then roll and place seam side down on a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet.
Spray the tops with nonstick spray then bake for 13-15 minutes at 425 degrees, or until golden brown and crispy. Alternatively, freeze the taquitos un-baked then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake straight from the freezer at the same time and temp!
While the taquitos are baking make the dipping sauce by combining 1/2 cup Light Ranch Dressing with 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, plus 2 teaspoons of the sauce in a food processor then processing until smooth. Alternatively you could chop the peppers up real fine then stir into the dressing.
You can find Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce in the Mexican-foods aisle of the grocery store. Chipotle peppers are just smoked jalapenos and they add a fantastic, smokey flavor to the dipping sauce. Mmm, mmm, mmm. So yummy. Freeze the leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a plastic baggie then pop out 1 or 2 when you need them again!
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Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce
Gluten-free Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce made in the crock pot are seriously killer - freezer-friendly, too!
- 3 - 3.5lb boneless pork butt
- 14oz can chicken broth
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8oz shredded queso fresco (could use Monterey Jack or Mozzarella)
- 18 corn tortillas
- Guacamole and salsa, for serving
- For the Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup light Ranch dressing
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 2 teaspoons sauce
- Trim fat from pork then cut into 8 hunks and place into the bottom of a 5.5 or 6 quart crock pot. Add chicken broth, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt then stir to combine. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 10-11 hours, or until very tender. Remove pork then shred and place into a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard remaining liquid.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and spray well with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Wrap 6 tortillas at a time in a damp paper towel then microwave for 40 seconds. Place 3 Tablespoons shredded pork into the center of each warm tortilla then top with 1 Tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll then place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients then spray tops of the tortillas with nonstick spray and bake for 13-15 minutes or until tops are brown and crunchy.
- For the Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce: Combine ranch dressing, chipotle peppers, and sauce in a food processor then process until smooth. Alternatively, finely chop peppers then stir ingredients together to combine.
- To freeze: Freeze taquitos on a baking sheet then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake the same way frozen as fresh (ie do not thaw.)
Adapted from BHG.com.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Crunchy, cheesey, and mouthwatering, you and your friends and family will devour these taquitos. Enjoy!