Monday, April 19, 2010

Rice and bean burritos

I love the simplicity of burritos. I love how you can use leftovers and create a new, hand-held culinary delight. You can be as fancy or as plain as you like. You can let each family member choose their fillings. Or you can mix all the filling ingredients together and prepare a dozen at one time. Burritos can be frozen and reheated easily, so they're a great choice for a make-ahead meal.

Here's what I use for mine:

Lentil rice burrito filling
1/2 cup black beans
Sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
6-8 tortillas

As you can tell by the ingredient list, I tend to keep mine simple. I whip up a batch of lentil rice burrito filling in the rice cooker. It's delicious and filling, and you can adjust the seasonings to suit your family's heat preferences. Of course, you can always use leftover white or brown rice and forego the lentils altogether. But don't forget to season the rice with taco sauce or seasoning, or your burritos will be bland.

I take the tortillas and place them between two damp paper towels. Then I heat them in the microwave for about 15 seconds so they are pliable. I place a tortilla on a square of aluminum foil and start layering my fillings, starting with the lentil-rice mixture. The kids don't like tomatoes or sour cream, so they just get the lentils, beans and cheese. And they're perfectly okay with that.

Here's the thing, I don't measure how much I put in each burrito. I just eyeball it. However, I have learned to NOT overstuff the burrito or I'll never get it folded.

To fold a burrito, start by folding the two sides in.

Then fold the bottom half up over the filling.

Then roll the whole thing over to cover the remaining filling. Don't try to fold the top down over the middle! Rolling it over leaves the seam already down on the foil.

Reach up over the rolled burrito and pull the foil down over it. Roll it up tightly in the foil and tuck the ends of the foil in. Put in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so until the cheese has melted.


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