The Second Post I Ever Wrote!
Uncle Shifty’s Antojito Recipe

The second post I ever posted on The Art of Doing Stuff was Uncle Shifty’s Antojitos.  A replica (exact replica) of a very famous restaurant chain’s antojitos.

The recipe comes from the fella’s brother who is known around these parts as Uncle Shifty.   For reasons to be revealed in the following post.

Uncle Shifty’s Antojitos is probably one of the best recipes I have posted on this website.  I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love it after making it.  And the best part about these antojitos is you can FREEZE them!

Just make a whole bunch up, wrap them in plastic wrap (uncooked) and stick them in the freezer.  When you want one, just pull it out to thaw and pop it in the oven.


Originally posted
March 3rd, 2010

There’s a certain fella in my extended family. We’ll call him … Uncle Shifty. Not for any reason in particular. It just suits him. Well, Uncle Shifty used to work at a certain chain restaurant and thus knew their exact recipe for antojitos. They are good antojitos. Really good antojitos. Don’t know what an antojito is? Don’t worry about it. If you like tasty, delicious appetizer treats you’ll like em.

At the time of his employment at the restaurant we didn’t see Uncle Shifty on a regular basis, but when we did he’d sometimes show up with an antojito or two. Once for Christmas he showed up with 30 of the snacks. Sadly I didn’t have room in my freezer for them. So I gave away 5 steaks. Yes. They’re that good.

Every time I got one of those crispy tubes of creamy spiced Mexican perfection I’d scarf it down, slam my hands on the kitchen table and scream “done!”, Survivor-style. The drawback to this (aside from looking like a lunatic) was I never took the time to actually look inside one to see what made it taste so good. So after years … and I mean years of asking Uncle Shifty what was in these chain restaurant antijitos I got the entire recipe. Or more specifically earned the entire recipe. It was a struggle on many levels.

When Uncle Shifty would call the house I’d ask about the antojitos. One phone call with him I might get the first 3 ingredients and then a story about his new car. The second phone call I might get the oven temperature and a recap of his latest sexual escapade. This went on and on. I heard a lot of things I didn’t need to know in order to get this recipe and now I’d like to share it with you. The recipe that is, not the accompanying stories. On one condition; you scarf it … the first one anyway.

Famous Chain Restaurant … we’ll call it … Fontanas …. Antojitos

Package of large flour tortillas (white tastes best but whole wheat if you lean that way)

1 package cream cheese (either spreadable, or regular left out to soften a bit)

Jar of pickled jalapeno peppers (dice about 15 slices very, very small)

2 jalapeno peppers (diced very, very small)

1 red pepper (diced very, very small)

1 red onion (diced very, very small)

1 bunch of green onions (sliced very thin)

Bowl of shredded Cheddar cheese

Bunch of parsley leaves (chopped fine)

Hot sauce (Melinda’s is the actual brand used in the chain, if you can’t find it use Tabasco, or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)

Note: It’s important to dice all the ingredients very small and evenly so they cook through. If they’re too big they’ll be uncooked and crunchy. You may have some leftover ingredients (red onions and peppers) and may need to dice up some more (pickled jalapenos).

1. Spread tortilla with a layer of cream cheese. Not too little, not too much.

2. Dot with hot sauce. Using a small icing spatula or knife, spread the hot sauce out over the whole tortilla so it’s even.

Cream Cheese & Hot sauce

Green Onions

Red Peppers

3. Systematically top with remaining ingredients. Because you have so many ingredients, you don’t need to load them on. Just a nice amount (as seen in the pictures). Go easy on the jalapenos if you don’t like too much heat.

red onions

Cheddar cheese & Parsley


4. Roll the tortilla up like a cigar. A big fat cream cheese filled cigar.

Roll ‘er up.




5. Lay seam side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


Once the antojito is cooked and has cooled slightly, slice on the diagonal into 6 or 7 pieces. Serve with sour cream

There are things I know about Uncle Shifty that I can never unknow so please, do me a favour and share this recipe with everyone you know. It will ease my mind to know that what I have endured will have helped at least one person to have a tasty snack.


  1. Pilar says:

    I’ve included your Antojitos (the name sounds so yummi!) in my birthday menu. Oh-my-gosh! that was one of the best gifts that day! Thanks for sharing!

  2. elsje says:

    I’ve been wanting to make these since I first saw them on your blog… Then the perfect opportunity came for my friend’s “bring a plate of noms to my party” Birthday party… They are freshly out of the oven now, and as I am ill, I am sending them over… Never felt so selfish in my life! Wanna keep them!!!! Don’t think they’l notice if I only send half… or 2/3rds right???? Think I’ll be heading to bed with the missing pieces 😉 The anticipation of my taste buds are just too much! – Thank you Karen, they smell divine, I’m sure they’ll taste it too!

  3. magali says:

    I have been making these since the first time around and I love them so much! as does my boyfriend! I realized one important thing as I reread this post: I DO NOT PUT ENOUGH CREAM CHEESE IN MY ANTOJITOS!!!

  4. KristaS says:

    I found your blog by googling antijito receipes a month ago and this was definitely the most interesting and in the top few! happy to read the stories of how you started out 2 years ago.
    Krista in NB

  5. MJ says:

    This sounds great! Plus, it’s fun to read the old posts which I swear I’ll get around to doing but never do; thanks for that. The only thing I’ll say is…I make and sell hot sauce, so my thoughts on this are…strong. I love Melinda’s hot sauces, but to substitute Tabasco or Frank’s for Melinda’s will totally change the taste. I grew up with Tabasco and now feel like I’m adding vinegar with hot stuff in it to my food if I use it. So if you can’t find Melinda’s, try to find something else with a similar ingredients list! That’s why Al Gore made the internet.

    • Karen says:

      MJ – You’re right it does change the taste slightly, but because you don’t use a ton of the sauce it isn’t enormous. Tabasco and Frank’s are just the easiest to find hot sauces for people who don’t have access to other things. They both work well and taste good. I wouldn’t recommend them in the recipe otherwise. ~ karen!

  6. mia pratt says:

    Hi Karen, No, I’m not Mexican, I just ended up here after I ran away to join the circus three years ago (because I was turning into my mother), and ended up living in a thatched hut in a Nahua Indian fishing village on the coast of Michoacan. Some folks passed through (not many do!) and I got an invite to visit Ajijic, fell in love with it, and there you have it.

    At fifty-Scmechtity-something I’m going for the 4th love of my life, cooking (and girl you know what I mean!). I did art, I did dance, I wrote books. I still do those things but now cooking takes its turn at the front of the line.

    And you might as well know (since you’re complicit), when I was tossing that coin heads-or-tails to decide whether to actually open the restaurant, I happened to look at your blog post for that day and thought (as I eyed you holding that giant fish and read about building a chicken coop), what the hell…I always did love a PROJECT!

    Stop by if you want to see what I’m a-doin when I’m not cooking. Buen dia, senorita, Mia<:}

  7. Liz says:

    Karen thank you! The closest that I ever came to a recipe for these was when our server went back into the kitchen and brought a list of ingredients on a piece of paper and slipped it to me on the Q.T. Too bad I’m reading post this AFTER my company has left for the evening but I’m going to make it for our Labour Day BBQ this weekend. Thank you, Thank you,Thank you!!!

  8. mia pratt says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I have something similar on the menu for my new restaurant in Ajijic, Mexico, which is opening supposedly on Sept. 20th but this is, well, Mexico, so it’s looking moew like the 30th, if the guy making the stove hood’s baby isn’t born before he’s finished, and if the plumber’s truck doesn’t break down when he’s retrieving my sink from Guadalajara…but I digress. The variation I make on mine is: remove the chopped jalapeno and hot sauce, and replace with smoked chipotle peppers (comes in tiny little cans in Mexican food section). Chop up a tablespoon of the pepper and paste (it’s a paste with whole peppers) and then spread onto the cream cheese and mix it up a bit so the surface isn’t too slickery. The chipotle pepper is not as hot as jalapeno, and imparts a rich, smoky flavor. Also, mine uses cilantro instead of parsley. Now you have MY secret recipe…call me Aunt Shifty? Thanks for all you do for us, as always, Mia Pratt @

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mia! Are you Mexican, or do you just have an affinity for Mexico and Mexican food? I always have a can of chipotle peppers on hand so I’ll give it a shot on my next few antijitos. Cilantro makes more sense too, lol. – karen!

  9. Jodie says:

    Oh, can’t wait to try these! Thanks for re-posting!

  10. Mindy says:

    Holy mother. How have I never heard of these?! It’s official. They will be making an appearance at The Duck’s season opener game on Saturday. I shall report back.

  11. Yum Karen,I can’t wait to give these a go my mouth is watering!!

  12. Langela says:

    I have made these and they are fantastic! I made them with your recipe, Karen. Thanks for showing me a food recipe that is completely a waste of calories. An absolutely delicious waste.

  13. Angie S says:

    Yummo! These look like they will make wonderful snackies for the upcoming football season! Thanks for posting! Pinned!

  14. Julie says:

    This is where a food processor would really, really come in handy. Throw all the veggies in, process until you get the right size and done. Easy peasy. Can’t wait to try these, I love antojitos!

  15. Debbie says:

    Sounds delicious! I too make similar, varying the ingredients and everyone loves them.
    Thanks for sharing, will try your Uncle Shifty’s recipe!
    Debbie 🙂

  16. Martha says:

    This is also good, and so quick that you can make them for the obnoxious office parties that you’d rather not waste your time preparing food for yet you are totally obligated to do: spread cream cheese on a flour tortilla, and top with well-drained chopped green chiles (they can be purchased in small cans, common brands in the southwestern U.S. are Hatch Chile and Old El Paso brand), roll, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight, then in the morning, slice and plate, cover with foil or plastic wrap and take to work. Easy, delicious, and less than five minutes to make, which is all most of your co-workers deserve.

  17. Cheryl says:

    I am so happy to learn these appetizers have a name! I have had ones with similar ingredients. Now I can stop calling them “Those rolled tortilla things with the cheese”. Thanks.

  18. Jasmine says:

    This reminds me of my cream cheese and salsa recipe. Nothings else. Hot, medium, or mild; Full fat, fat free or neufchâtel; your choice. Mix it up and dip in some chips. I’m sure you could use that as a substitute for all that chopping and probably burning the eyes with the jalapenos. 😉

  19. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    This one is for my is probably too hot for me..I will print it out for him..Thanks!!

  20. Laura Bee says:

    I worked at a certain restaurant until it sucked the life out of me. Now I work for a Canadian tire selling store & I am much happier. Sharing the goodness!

  21. Gayla T says:

    Ok, for a rerun this was a pretty good one but that opens up conversation on reruns being catagorized as good under any circumstances. Personally, I’m just not sure until I’ve made these. By that time, you will have had your little fling and have come back to the land of the living and gone BACK TO WORK! This thing of a vacation a month is for the birds and I think they have to work more regularly than that. Enough is enough!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Art of Doing Stuff