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Sunset Mexican Cookbook (1969) – Flautas

June 1, 2012

Sunset Mexican Cookbook

Front cover of Sunset Mexican Cookbook (1969), edited by David E. Clark

Clark, David E., ed. Sunset Mexican Cookbook,. Menlo Park, Calif.: Lane, 1969. P.33. [Folio TX716 .M4 S86 1969].

By Jessica Do, an undergraduate nutrition student at UTSA


  • 12 corn tortillas
  • About 1 1/2 cups meat filling (Ground Beef, page 24; Simple Chorizo, page 23; or Pork or Chicken, page 24)
  • Salad oil, shortening, or lard for frying

For each Flauta, soften and heat 2 tortillas by turning them about 30 seconds each on an ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Lay the tortillas flat and overlapping.

Spoon a band of 3 to 4 tablespoons warm meat filling across the greatest length of the overlapping cakes, then roll tortillas around filling. Hold shut with tongs (of fasten with small wooden skewers), and fry over medium heat in about 1/2 inch of oil heated to 350* until the Flauta is slightly crisp. Drain on paper towels, then eat with your fingers.

(If you prefer, roll and fry the tortillas, then use a spoon to add the filling.) Makes 6 flautas. 


According to Sunset Mexican Cookbook, the term “flautas” comes from flauta, the Spanish word for flute because the tubular shape of a flauta resembles a flutes. In some circumstances, flautas could show up on a menu with names like Flauta con Pollo, indicating that the flauta is manufactured with chicken, or Flautas de Guadalajara, where they are in the fashion of Guadalajara. These more descriptive names can present clues as to how the flauta might taste.

The base of a flauta is a tortilla, which can be modest or burrito sized, depending on the cook. Fresh tortillas are preferable, considering that they are much more flexible and flavorful. Some individuals try to distinguish between flautas and taquitos, a similar dish. They claim that flautas are created from flour tortillas and taquitos are made from corn tortillas. Even so, the terms are typically used interchangeably. Some people think that taquito may be a phrase coined in California, rather than a Mexican-Spanish term.

For this assignment I chose precooked reduced sodium chicken and as a substitute for salad oil I fried it with olive oil. The first thing I did in the kitchen was heat up the chicken in the microwave then shred it into medium slices. Next I heated up the corn tortillas for about a minute because it makes it easier to wrap the chicken without breaking the tortilla.

Sunset Mexican Cookbook - ingredients for flautas

Once both the tortillas and chicken were heated up, I started wrapping the chicken inside the tortilla spooning 3-4 tablespoons of warm chicken across the edge of the tortilla. Then I started rolling the tortilla around the filling and used sewing string to keep the tortilla from unwrapping.

Sunset Mexican Cookbook - roll

Finally I fried 4 tortillas at a time in about an inch of olive oil, under medium heat. Once they were crispy, I drained them on paper towels.

Sunset Mexican Cookbook - fry flautas

Now they’re ready to eat.  For dip I used Chile con Queso and guacamole, with Mexican rice and refried beans on the side.

Sunset Mexican Cookbook - Flautas

Over all, the experience was really fun and the final result was very delicious. I chose to use low sodium precooked chicken and olive oil because I believed it would be healthier. However, I felt like I should have added more oil into the pot to keep it from popping at me, but a couple minor oil burns toward the end wasn’t so bad. It was easy to do and something you can remember without looking up the instructions again. I would recommend this recipe to anyone who loves Mexican food.

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