As I’ve mentioned quite a few times, I grew up in New Hampshire, which is *not* known for it’s authentic Mexican food. Like, at all. We had Taco Bell and we had a chain called Shorty’s. Shorty’s was my family’s restaurant of choice when we’d leave our small little town (home to a McDonald’s, a Chinese restaurant, and one or two pizza places) and venture to the relatively enormous cities of Concord or Manchester. My absolute favorite thing to order there were Chicken Chingalingas. I know, you’re shaking your head and saying “That’s not a real thing!” (unless you’re from NH too), but I swear they are. In fact, 15+ years later, they’re still on their menu:
Chingalingas: Flour tortillas filled with your choice of shredded meat or grilled veggies. Served with our homemade guacamole dressing. $8.99
I googled “chingalinga” and then laughed out loud… the top hit was from another restaurant in NH that also serves them! Perhaps they’re a NH-only thing, because as soon as I left for California, I never saw them again. Well, except when I’d visit my family and we’d go to Shorty’s.
They were basically miniature chimichangas, rolled up and fried. There’s probably an actual name for them, but to me they’ll always be Chingalingas.
And now, I give you my version, the Vegan Seitan Chingalinga!
- 1 loaf homemade chicken-style seitan
- 1 bell pepper (or half red and green), diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/3 cup of your favorite salsa
- 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup prepared rice (I used a Mexi-style rice, but you could also just use brown- although I'd season it first!)
- S&P to taste
- 10-12 small fajita-sized flour tortillas
- Salsa, guacamole or sour cream for dipping!
- Dice your seitan and fry it with a bit of non-stick spray for 3-4 minutes until it gets a little crispy. Set aside.
- Water saute the veggies with the cumin 5-6 minutes. You still want them to have a bit of "bite", and not be too soft. Add the seitan back into the pan, along with the salsa, cheese and rice.
- Continue to heat over low until everything is warmed through. Lay out your tortillas and fill each with ~1/4 cup of the filling, and roll.
- Spritz with non-stick spray and bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, until they start to brown. Flip, spritz and put under the broiler to brown the other side, just for a minute or so. Best served warm!
- Serve 2-3 per person with a side of rice and a nice salad, and you have dinner!