Words and images by Jodi.
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I decided to pull out a burrito recipe from my friend Linda and get down to business. Because of my weekly organics delivery, I was lucky enough to have a lot of ingredients on hand for her Beautiful Baked Black Bean Burritos (if you can’t say this 3 times fast, you know you’ve had too many Coronas). Linda is a pretty “free-spirited” lady, so she doesn’t include specific amounts in her recipe. I, however, can be slightly more uptight, as I demonstrated by pre-cutting all of my veggies hours before dinner. And with school pick-up, after-school playdates and a rowdy toddler on hand, it was a good thing that I did.
Naturally, before I could make the burrito innards, I had to make the tortillas to put them in. I was going to attempt to be healthier and get away from flour, but my attempt went slightly awry. I consulted one online recipe for corn tortillas that told me I could use fine cornmeal and water to create them. It was a sandy, soggy mess. Upon further consultation, I discovered that I should have bought Masa Harina, which is a corn flour that undergoes a certain slaked lime process and is completely different from the cornmeal I bought at the bulk food store. Another lesson learned. So I returned to my old standby flour tortilla, this time with a few twists.
Easy Flour Tortillas
Prepares 12 medium-sized tortillas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I ended up using about 1 ½ cups and threw in ½ cup of whole wheat flour and a handful of the fine cornmeal.)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup margarine or butter (mea culpa, I used margarine because I find the softer texture easier to work with.)
- ½ cup warm water
- Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, cut in the margarine, and then add the water.
- Mix into a dough and knead lightly.
- Divide into 12 equal parts
- Lightly grease hands with some margarine and roll each ball of dough with your hands to coat them with the fat.
- Cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a thin circle on a lightly floured surface (this takes me a VERY long time as I have a miniscule counter surface (and ugly one as you can tell by the pic at the right).
- Allow to rest by cooking the tortillas in the sequence they were rolled out in.
- Cook on a hot, un-greased griddle until brown speckles start to appear on the underside.
- Use spatula to squash down air pockets while cooking.
- Cook both sides.
- Finished tortillas can be stacked between the folds of a clean tea towel or paper towel.
Once my burritos are all ready to go, then it’s time to conquer the stuffing of my burrito. So, onwards to the:
Beautiful Baked Black Bean Burrito
Prepares 8 to 10 burritos
Linda suggests that you start by getting the brown rice on (2 cups of water, boil, add one cup of rice, bring to boil and reduce heat to low for 40 mins). Turn off heat and fluff up rice. Put a lid on it until ready to roll. However, I have a steamer, so I made my rice that way. Much less attention has to be paid and I can get down to the veggies.
Ingredients: (This is what I used, of course you’re welcome to get creative.)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 big glug of olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 whole “bunch” of broccoli, chopped
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- ½ red pepper, chopped
- 1 very large tomato, chopped
- a lot of cilantro, chopped
- 1 Hungarian hot pepper
- First wash one can of black beans in a colander. Very important as she finds it reduces the after-dinner gassiness. Set aside.
- Start frying onions and garlic in olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the slow cooking vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli (or cauliflower or whatever you have) until they start to get soft — about 10, 15 minutes.
- When ready, add the softer veg; zucchini, green/red pepper with a couple fresh tomatoes (or a few canned stewed tomatoes or flavourful salsa).
- Stew until boiling and then add the black beans and fresh cilantro and reduce heat to low. The key is to not cook the black beans into mush.
- Cook for 10 minutes. Hot peppers go in now if you want spice/heat.
- Now put it all together! Scoop one large spoonful of rice and 1-2 spoonfuls of black bean mixture in each tortilla, fold up and place on greased baking pan. You can also add lettuce or any leafy greens at this point.
- Keep them tight and cozy, lean the burritos beside each other, on their sides, kind of like they’re spooning.
- Top with Salsa and cheese and bake at 350°F for 10-15 mins until they smell yummy and the cheese has melted and the burrito corners have browned.
Serve with some freshly made guacamole (mash together: 1 avocado, 1 garlic clove, the juice of 1 lime, and some cilantro). Put it all together and it’s magic! With a scoop of plain yogurt and a large dollop of my favourite Green Mexican Sauce by La Costena, it’s good to go. Gorge yourself on the deliciousness and celebrate Cinco de Mayo all
month, h*ll, all year round!!