I have a friend named Mely Martinez. I met her on Instagram @MexicoInMyKitchen a few years ago and we started following each other. What I noticed right away about Mely from watching her stories is that she is the queen of practicality and knows everything about freezing food and making a delicious meal out of a few key ingredients. She’s also a serious badass in the kitchen and knows the history of Mexican food like the back of her hand (she was born and raised in Tampico, Mexico). I love watching her prepare her breakfast meals and wish I could be invited one day to take a seat at her kitchen table, but she lives in Texas and I live in Los Angeles… so WAH!
Fast forward to the present day and the release of her first cookbook! It’s called The Mexican Home Kitchen and I just got my copy in the mail as a gift from her! I spent the last couple of days reading through all the recipes and am just in awe of all the tips she shares. I learned some things I didn’t know before and am so grateful to her abundance of knowledge.
What I especially love about her cookbook is that it’s super straight forward. She isn’t trying to impress you with some twist on classic dishes instead she is teaching the traditional way of making something and giving you insight to things you may have missed learning from your elders. Sharing all the key tips that make a world of difference when it comes to Mexican cooking. It’s no wonder it is already being hailed as one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2020 by many reputable booklists (Eater, Epicurious, Chowhound), and is the #1 best seller on Amazon!!! Felicidades Mely, I’m super happy for you! You’re killing it and I love your book!
Below I am sharing Mely’s Flautas De Papa recipe and her tips.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients for Flautas De Papa:
- 1 1/4 pound potatoes, unpeeled and left whole
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage or lettuce
- 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 white onion thinly sliced
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup crema or sour cream
- Spicy salsa (optional)
- Place the whole potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Do not peel or cut them: this prevents the potatoes from absorbing too much water, as any excess moisture will be released in the form of bubbles during the frying process, causing the oil to splatter. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring water to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove them from the pan and place them in a large bowl. Wait until they’re cool enough to handle, then peel and discard skin.
- Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, then mash them until you have a smooth paste. Set to the side.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While waiting for the oil to heat up, slightly warm the tortillas one by one on a hot comal or skillet; this will make them more pliable and easier to roll.
- To assemble the flautas, place about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mashed potatoes on a tortilla, close to one edge. Roll the tortilla tightly, but not so tight that the filling comes out. You can use a toothpick to secure the closing for frying. Repeat the process with remaining tortillas and filling.
- Add the rolled flautas to the pan and cook them for about 2 minutes per side, until golden and crisp. Fry them in batches to not over crowd the pan. Remove the flautas and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Allow the flautas to cool a bit before serving, because the filling will be very hot when they come out of the oil.
- To serve garnish with shredded cabbage or lettuce, queso fresco, tomato, onion, avocado, crema, and salsa!