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 … MOFontanas …. 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.
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.
4. Roll the tortilla up like a cigar. A big fat cream cheese filled cigar.
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
Now, 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.