December 16, 2010

Quick Fix Dinners: Building the Burrito

If you're in college, you probably eat a fair number of burritos. Maybe you pick one up at the local taco shop, maybe your dining hall has Tortilla Tuesdays (Wesleyan calls it "Burrito Night," but I prefer Tortilla Tuesdays), maybe you get them frozen and pop them in the microwave.

Burritos are a fantastic food. What's better than a warm packet of spicy, flavorful ingredients in a tortilla? As you probably know, they're one of the easiest, fastest, and tastiest things to make at home.  And the best thing is, they couldn't be easier to get creative with. If you're still stuck with rice, beans, salsa and jack cheese, you need to move on. Not that those don't make for a good burrito - but the world has so much more to often. Add some fresh, crunchy vegetables, a kick of chili mayo, and some simmered beans and with just a few new ingredients you're taking your burrito to a whole new level.

For my most recent burrito adventures, I made a spicy cucumber salsa served over chili mayo, white rice, simmered black beans, and topped with some Asian stir-fry vegetable from the farmers market (not really sure what they were... the woman at the market just kept telling me they were high in nutrients and that they would be my next favorite vegetable... They're good, but not my new favorite vegetable). Here's my recipe, but remember, you can add any combination of ingredients to these, so have fun!

Recipe after the jump.

Burritos with Chili Mayo, Rice and Beans, Spicy Cucumber Salsa and Greens

-4-6 large flour tortillas
-1/2 cup mayo
-1/2 t. chili (hot) sauce
-2 c. cooked white or brown rice
-2 T. vegetable oil
-1/2 onion, chopped
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-1 can black beans
-1 large cucumber
-1/2 t. chili flakes or chili powder
-1 t. lemon juice
-1 T. cilantro or parsley, chopped
-1 c. fresh greens (lettuce)
-lime wedges (optional)

To prepare chili mayo, mix mayo and chili sauce in a small bowl (difficult, I know).

To prepare black beans, heat 1 T. vegetable oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add beans (with or without liquid depending on your preference) and allow to simmer for 15-30 minutes. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.

To prepare cucumber salsa, dice cucumber into 1/2 inch cubes. Mix with 1 T. vegetable oil, chili flakes, lemon juice and cilantro or parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the flavor.

To prepare burritos, heat the tortillas in a saute pan over medium high heat. Spread a shmear of chili mayo on, top with some rice, beans, cucumber salsa and greens. Serve at once with lime wedges on the side.

Serves 4-6.