It doesn’t take much to inspire me when it comes to food. A simply stroll through the grocery store can get my mind swirling with possibilities. Every meal as an opportunity for culinary exploration.

So you can imagine what goes through my foodie head while I’m in Mexico, when the cook at a beachfront restaurants lights the charcoal that will cook fresh fish all day long. Or when the woman at the tortilla counter sets out stack after stack of fresh corn delights to cool before wrapping them in thick brown paper for take away. Or when the butcher drops heaping handfuls of pork skin into a bubbling vat of oil to crisp up for crunchy chicharrón.

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It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love Mexican cuisine. We might all start out adoring chips and salsa, but eventually we start branching out. It also helps if your brother marries a Mexican.

Enter Miriam. For over 20 years she’s graced us with her kind smile, easy laugh and funny way of pronouncing words that start with v, not to mention two sweet nephews, Bodhi and Mavrik. She’s also taught me a thing or two about Mexican cuisine.

One of the first things she taught me to make was a version of the taquitos I’ve featured here. At first I was surprised to learn that mashed potatoes could make it into Mexican food. But comfort food is comfort food, no matter what language you speak. I’ve added ground beef to the mashed potatoes for this recipe, upping the comfort factor even more. After all, mashed potatoes and ground beef are the hallmarks of a good Shepherd’s Pie, perhaps the ultimate comfort food.

A Story about PTL
I’ve called this recipe PTL Chipotle Taquitos. They’re named after Miriam’s hometown, just outside of Puerto Vallarta. For a long time, we assumed PTL was some sort of abbreviation for the name of her town. But it wasn’t. This silly gringa soon came to learn that Miriam was from Pitillal. Go ahead. Say it out loud. See what I mean?

Make a Dozen; Make Two Dozen
These taquitos make great appetizers. They also make a great dinner when paired with Spanish rice and a salad. And they make great snacks. So make a lot and drop them in the freezer. Simply reheat at 350F for 15 minutes.

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This recipe is part of a Canadian project called Rethink Beef Global Recipe Swap. Ten food writers from across the country were asked to create a recipe using ground beef in a new and exciting way. We then swapped recipes with another writer. If you think my taquito recipe is good, wait until you see the Mumbia street food creation by Edmonton’s Michelle Peters of The Tiffin Box!

For even more inspiration for ground beef creations that go beyond burgers and spaghetti sauce, please visit ThinkBeef and look for the hashtag #RethinkBeef across all social media platforms.

PTL Chipotle Taquitos

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 lb ground beef, lean
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin

3 cups mashed potatoes
1 canned chipotle, from chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
½ cup mozzarella, shredded

24 corn tortillas, 4-5 inches wide
24 toothpicks

1 cup canola oil, for frying

Optional:
Sour cream
Chopped avocado
Salsa verde
Cilantro

Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil over medium high heat. Add onion and fry for three minutes. Add ground beef and fry until all traces of pink are gone, about eight minutes. Add salt, chili powder and cumin. Mix well. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, chipotle, cheese and ground beef mixture. Mix well.

In a wide frypan, heat 1 cup of canola oil to 375 degrees F.

Place one tortilla on a flat surface and add 1 Tbsp of ground beef and potato mixture in the centre. Roll tightly and secure with toothpick. Set aside. Continue to make five more taquitos. Fry six at a time, for two minutes on one side and two minutes on the other. Repeat until all 24 are done.

Garnish with pico de gallo, chopped avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

Disclaimer – This post is sponsored and I was compensated monetarily and with groceries by www.thinkbeef.ca