These black bean and corn taquitos are as much fun to make as they are to eat

Ann Maloney

THE WASHINGTON POST – I challenged myself this week to make a truly fast, easy, cheap dinner from what I had in my pantry and refrigerator, and I found myself falling back on an old standby from my post-college days: Taquitos.

These little corn tortillas filled and rolled into crispy treats bring back great memories of when dinner was often some sort of easy-to-make, snack food enjoyed with a group of friends. I find taquitos fun to assemble.

The tortillas are rolled around a filling – in this case canned black beans and corn, grated cheese, salsa and dry seasoning – baked until crisp and then served with whatever sides you have on hand: salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, diced onions and tomatoes.

You can get fancier by making a more complicated filling with seasoned meats or seafood, and fresh seasonings and spices, such as scallions or peppers.

OVEN-BAKED BLACK BEAN AND CORN TAQUITOS WITH MANGO SALSA

Oven-baked black bean and corn taquitos with mango salsa. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

Make Ahead: The filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for about a week. The salsa is best if eaten just after chilling, but can be made up three days ahead.

Storage Notes: The filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Both can be frozen, separately, for six weeks and three weeks, respectively.

INGREDIENTS

For The Taquitos

Two cups mashed cooked black beans

Half teaspoon chili powder

Half teaspoon cumin

Half teaspoon paprika

Quarter teaspoon salt

Quarter teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Quarter teaspoon onion powder

Quarter teaspoon garlic powder

Quarter teaspoon dried oregano

One-eighth teaspoon cayenne pepper

One cup fresh or canned whole kernel corn

Quarter cup medium salsa

One-and-a-half cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco

24 corn tortillas

Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray

For The Mango Salsa

Quarter cup minced white onion

One jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced (can substitute quarter teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)

Three tablespoons fresh lime juice

Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Quarter teaspoon ground cumin

Quarter teaspoon salt

Quarter teaspoon ground white pepper

One-and-a-half cups mango, chopped

STEPS

For the taquitos: Position the rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and cayenne pepper.

Add the corn, salsa and cheese to the bowl and gently mix to combine.

Lay the tortillas on a large, rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven for about one minute, to soften.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place a clean kitchen towel over the tortillas to keep them warm.

Set a tortilla on your work surface and lay one heaping tablespoon of the black bean mixture in a line across the centre-top. Roll the tortilla tightly around the beans so it is snug in the centre. Lay it seam side down on the baking sheet.

Continue with the remaining tortillas and beans, lining the taquitos up right next to each other to keep them from unfurling.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the surface of the taquitos with the oil or lightly coat them with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy.

For the salsa: While the taquitos are baking, make the salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, jalapeño (or crushed red pepper flakes), lime juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper until mixed together.

Gently fold in the mangos. Cover and chill before serving.

Serve the taquitos with the mango salsa on the side.