Deep-fried New Year’s indulgence

Like many people, I used to make New Year’s resolutions every year

Like many people, I used to make New Year’s resolutions every year.

I would have a grand image of my ideal self that I would try to will into existence by force. Starting every New Year’s Day, I would have some imposing new workout plan and a harsh diet to ensure a model figure by summer, a new philosophy for organizing my time and schedule so I could be more productive or advance to a more sophisticated career, and a new skill to master by the year’s end — just to be impressive.

Every year would start out strong and for the first couple weeks, maybe a month, during which I could retain the motivation, I was a boss indeed.

But inevitably my momentum would falter, and it wouldn’t take much to do it. It always started with something small: I would skip a day in the gym, or I would sleep through my alarm, or forget an appointment. I would run into a snag of some sort or another and just like that — my stride was broken, and I was off the rails.

So it happened year after year, and it became a self-fulfilling prophesy of ruined confidence and shameful guilt. Why could I never achieve my goals?

Then one year, after a particularly difficult holiday season, I realized I could not face another year of failure, so I decided to forgo the lofty resolutions altogether and give myself a pass.

I determined that I wasn’t the ideal version of myself, I might never be, but for just this year, I would be OK with that and let myself exist as I was. I would exercise when I felt the desire for movement. I would eat according to the wishes of my body, and I would rest and enjoy what idle time I had without guilt.

This non-resolution turned out to be more positive and by far more successful than any of my previous, more militant strategies for self-improvement. That year saw meaningful emotional growth and gained personal insight that led to a much happier version of myself. I never turned back to formal resolutions.

I chose a bit of an indulgence for our dinner on New Year’s Day this year. I rarely make deep-fried meals at home, but some tortillas and the remaining scraps of a rotisserie chicken in my fridge begged me to be rolled and fried into floutas and drenched in hot sauce and sour cream.

Adobo Chicken Floutas


2 cups shredded chicken

8 tortillas — fajita size

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

Queso fresco — measure with your heart

1 tablespoon adobo seasoning

Oil for frying


Mild diced green chilies


Diced red onion

Fresh tomatoes

Fresh cilantro

Sour cream

Extra cheese


Season the shredded chicken with the adobo seasoning.

Prepare the filling ingredients and have them lined up on your counter.

Fill each tortilla with a thin line of chicken, cabbage and cheese close to the edge of one side of the tortilla. Leave a gap of at least half an inch at the top and bottom. Do not overfill.

Roll tightly from the filled side. Do not tuck the ends in like you would with a burrito.

Repeat until the fillings are gone.

Prepare a large, flat frying vessel. I used a turkey roasting pan which worked quite well. Fill with enough oil to reach halfway up the floutas.

When the oil is hot, place the floutas carefully down into the oil, seam side down to seal them. The tortillas puff a little in the early stage of cooking, so you may need hold them down for just a moment to keep them from unrolling.

Fry until the bottoms have browned, then roll to fry the other side. You may need to flip them several times to get an even fry.

They are done when they are brown and crispy all over.

Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels and let cool a few minutes before serving.