Makes 8 rolls
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
• 1 bunch spinach (about 400 g), rinsed
• 1 small white onion, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 15 ml olive oil
• 1 tin beans (we used pinto), drained
• about 15 ml Mexican spices such as Old El Paso Seasoning Mix
• about 15 ml lemon juice
• 1 bunch coriander or parsley, chopped
• a pinch of dried mint
• 8 flour tortillas
• 125 ml medium-fat cream cheese
• 8 blocks mozzarella, about 6 x 1 cm each
• vegetable oil for shallow-frying
1 Trim the white veins off the spinach leaves. Finely chop the veins and mix with the onion and garlic. Blanch the green leaves by plunging them in boiling water until wilted; then refresh immediately in cold water. Drain, dry thoroughly and chop finely.
2 Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion mixture until glossy. Stir in the beans and season to taste with the spice mixture of your choice. Stir in the cooked spinach, lemon juice and herbs; remove from the heat once the mixture is to your liking.
3 Spread a spoonful of cream cheese over the surface of one tortilla. Spoon an eighth of the spinach filling into the middle of the tortilla and press a block of mozzarella into the middle of the filling. Fold the bottom corner of the tortilla over the filling, fold the sides over like an envelope and then roll from the folded edge up into a neat roll – tight enough so that there are no air pockets in the filling. Place the roll in a dish with the seam side down and repeat with all 8 tortillas.
4 Heat about a centimetre of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the chimichangas in batches over medium heat, seam side first, until the tortillas are golden-brown and the cheese inside has melted. Serve hot with avocado dressing and salsa.
Variations Chimichangas are a great way of turning leftover pulled pork or chicken nuggets combined with a cheese filling into a feast.
Instead of coarse guacamole, try a ‘green goddess’ dressing. It’s just as easy, but slightly runnier and perfect for dipping and drizzling.
Start by scooping the flesh of a large ripe avocado into a measuring jug. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Grate in a half teaspoon of fresh garlic. Now add a little chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and chives and about 125 ml Bulgarian yoghurt. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. Dilute with about 30 ml olive oil and a little boiling water until the texture is satisfactory. Taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.