Ugh. I burned the everloving shit out of my arm while making banana bread on Friday. Beware, serious NSFW shit below:
In all seriousness though, the top layer of skin is now falling off of my arm and it hurts. Fuck banana bread. You will never, EVER get a blog post on this amazing banana bread now, because we are in a feud. Tender, delicious banana bread… where did we go wrong?
This post is about burritos instead.
BLACK BEAN BURRITOS FOR WINNERS
Adapted from AllRecipes and some shit that I actually made up myself for once.
- 1/2 lb black beans (preferably soaked ahead of time and not from a can – see my notes below) or 2-3 cans
- 2 tbs cooking oil (olive or vegetable)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2-3 jalapeños or 1-2 poblanos, seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (if you like spice)
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Preferred variety of rice, two cups uncooked for days and days of rice.
- 3-4 cups chicken/vegetable broth or water
- 2 Limes, juiced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Large tortillas (whatever kind you prefer – get the LARGEST kind, burrito-sized)
TOPPINGS (apply as desired):
- Cooked, shredded chicken/pork/beef (optional)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 package cherry tomatoes, chopped
- Shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar that I grate myself)
- Arugula or other lettuce
- Red cabbage
- Plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- Soaking dry beans ahead of time gives them way better flavored than canned. If soaking ahead of time:
- In a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups room temperature water and 1/2 lb beans.
- Let sit overnight at room temperature.
- Heat beans over high heat until simmering, and then reduce heat to keep at a simmer. Cook for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until beans are tender. Add additional water as necessary.
- Drain off any excess liquid.
- If using canned beans: drain and rinse. Two or three cans should work, depending on how many burritos you plan to make, but you are going to cook them with lots of veggies so don’t skimp!
- Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
- Put onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add beans to skillet, cook 3 minutes stirring. If pan gets dry, add a bit of water or broth to loosen things up.
- While beans are cooking, add chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. The amounts will very depending on how much you like the spices and how many beans you have, but a good starting point is 1 tsp chili, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp cayenne. I found that I needed more than this with 1/2 lb beans, so I added more of each until I was happy with the flavor.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the rice according to the package directions, usually calling for 1.5-2 cups liquid per cup of rice. I like to cook it in broth because I think it tastes better, but water is fine.
- When the rice is fully cooked, add the cilantro and lime juice and stir.
Toppings and assembly:
- Stir in beans with the rice if you like, or store separately.
- Prepare all desired toppings: diced red onion, grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, sliced red cabbage or lettuce, and chicken or pork if you have it. Put everything in separate tupperware containers for storage.
- To assemble: lay out the tortilla on a flat surface (if you’re eating it right away, put a damp paper towel on top of the tortilla and microwave for 10 seconds to make it soft and warm). Layer in vertical lines: rice, beans, meat if using, all the veggies, sriracha and greek yogurt or sour cream. Roll a long end of the tortilla snugly, tucking it under the filling. Fold in the short ends and complete the roll. If making for later, package in tin foil. Take and eat whenever! Or, don’t package and eat right away.
1. Assemble ingredients.
A lot of this will depend on what sort of toppings you like or have on hand: I used red cabbage rather than lettuce for a better crunch; some people might not like red onion and would prefer sliced green onion; greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to sour cream, etc. Use whatever you want, but just know that all the things I picked for this recipe are the best and if you don’t use them as such YOU ARE OBJECTIVELY WRONG.
2. Prepare the beans.
You know that old rhyme? “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart! The more you eat, the more you fart!” Etc? Well, here’s a fun fact, ripped straight from the headlines: CANNED BEANS MAKE YOU FART MORE THAN DRIED ONES DO. Oh yeah. Blew that story WIDE open, FART JOKE INTENDED.
But seriously, they do. It has to do with oligosaccharides and complex carbs and blah blah blah, read the link above if you want details. Plus, canned beans are WAY more expensive than buying dried beans. Overall? Dried beans taste better, are cheaper, and make you fart less. Why the fuck are you still buying canned beans? Don’t do that shit! Don’t!
One downside is that to best prepare dried beans, you need to think about cooking them a day ahead. All you have to do is pour them in with some water (3 c per 1/2 lb beans) and leave them out overnight, but it still needs doing. Then you just need to cover and simmer them for 1-2 hours like some tough-ass rice. It’s really not that hard, so please just do it.
BEANS! Look how beautiful they are. Then just drain and rise them, and use them as regular beans! Yay! One note: I found that while my bean package said they only needed to simmer for 1 hour, it took more like 2. It’s pretty passive work, so just prep everything else and stir occasionally. Listen to some samba music. I don’t care what you do.
3. Prepare the rice.
While the beans are simmering, prep the rice of your choosing. I like brown rice because it’s healthier blah blah blah. Nishiki is a good brand because look how much they don’t want you to fuck up cooking their rice!
I don’t really know what else to tell you. Combine the rice and water and/or broth and cook according to package directions. I just throw in any broth hanging around in my fridge because I don’t hold with loitering, but water is totally fine to use.
Once the rice is COMPLETELY cooked and removed from the heat, add in the cilantro and lime juice. You don’t want to do this too early, because the heat will cook the cilantro and it won’t taste as good.
4. Prep the vegges for the beans.
There’s lots of beautiful veggies in this business. LET’S TAKE A LOOKSEE.
That’s for the whole recipe. For the beans alone, you need to dice both pepper types (bell and jalapeño/poblano), the yellow onion, and the garlic. I was going to use jalapeños for this recipe, but the fucking store only sold them in bulk packages of 20, and who the FUCK needs that many jalapeños? When has that ever been helpful to anyone? STOP SELLING THEM LIKE THAT. So anyway, I bought two poblanos instead. They are a generally a much less spicy pepper, so two large ones is ok. I should note: although they might not be too spicy, I assure you that poblano oils still burn like hell if they get in your eyes. DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES AFTER SEEDING THE PEPPERS, IDIOT! Second note: I did this. Don’t do this.
5. Prep the other toppings.
I’m going to take a wild guess that at this point, your beans are still simmering away. Take this time to prep the other toppings for your burritos.
This is mostly just going to be a lot of slicing and dicing and shredding. First, dice the red onion. It is important to note here that a dice is a smaller/finer cut than chopping something: red onion has a lot of flavor and will be too strong as a big chopped chunk, so dicing is a better way to not overwhelm the burrito but still get some onion flavor up in there. But how to dice? ATTEND:
Side project: Dicing an onion (disclaimer: this is just how I do it. It’s probably not the only way, or even the best way).
A) Slice the onion in half from top to root (NOT along the “equator” of the onion, so to speak). Yes, do this BEFORE you peel the onion, this will make peeling easier.
B) Peel the onion and cut off the root and the top, as well as any brown parts (if applicable). Some people leave on the root end, I just don’t. When I refer to the “root end”, I’m talking about where the root is. The little brown part with thingies coming out. Yep. That was clear and concise.
C) Take a single half, and slice it 3-4 times along the length of the onion, creating equidistant “strata” from top to bottom. Don’t slice all the way through the root end, or the slices will come apart and the thing will become a big mess.
D) On that same half, make slices accross the onion, from right to left. You can slice all the way through the onion from top to bottom, but again, don’t slice all the way through the root end of the onion.
You have now essentially made the onion into a sliced grid held together loosely at the root end.
E) Now slice along the last axis, from the front to the root end.
If you have done all the other steps and make these final slices close together, the dice should be fine and even.
F) Once you reach the end of the onion (the point where the cuts you made earlier all stop), take the little bit of onion left and just sort of slice it long ways and then across, dicing it as well. This technique works here because you’re only working with a small bit of onion. It would be utter chaos to do this for the entire onion, do you hear me? UTTER. CHAOS.
G) Repeat with the other half of the onion, if using both halves.
H) YOU ARE WELCOME.
Anyway, back to the other burrito fixins.
Chop the cherry tomatoes. I prefer cherry to regular tomatoes because cherry ones are much better year round, while big ones get all mealy when it’s not summertime. Chopping tomatoes can be a pain in the ass though, so here’s a cool technique:
Take two tupperware lids, and put the tomatoes in between.
Take a serrated knife and gently saw between the lids. It will half all the tomatoes in a single go. Like magic!
If you want to get really advanced, carefully roll the tomatoes a half turn so that the slide is on the side, and do the trick again. Now the tomatoes are quartered!
Core and dice the cabbage, if using. I love cabbage. It’s super good for you, too.
Chop the cabbage similarly to the onion for small pieces:
Grate the cheese! Drain and rinse the beans when they’re done! Put everything in tupperware! Agghhhhh!! The beans are in tupperware in this photo because I cooked the beans and then finished them later. If you simmer them and then plan to immediately cook them, skip this step. It’s useful to put all the toppings straight into tupperware if you’re planning to make burritos for lunch all week, because then they’re good to go straight into the fridge.
6. Finish the beans.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the peppers, yellow onion, and garlic from step 4.
Cook until beginning to soften, several minutes.
Add the beans. At this point, I like to add in chili powder, cumin, and cayenne for some extra spice.
As I mentioned in the recipe proper, start with 1 tsp chili, and 1/2 each of cumin and cayenne. That will probably not be enough, so add more a bit at a time until you’re happy with the taste. THEN add salt and pepper – I wouldn’t add the salt first, just because the spices can sort of change the flavors up. Continue to cook the beans for about 3-5 more minutes, until the veggies are fully cooked and the spices are well incorporated. If the skillet dries out, add a bit of water or broth.
Remove from heat and put into a big ole tupperware once it’s cool enough.
7. ASSEMBLE THAT BREET LIKE YOU WORK AT CHIPOTLE.
A critical component here is the tortillas. Get the biggest ones you can find; if you want to fit in enough beans to keep you full, the burrito needs to be fairly large. For me, that meant getting the weirdly packaged, potentially illegal tortillas from my local international grocery.
If I’m eating the burrito right away, I like to warm up the tortilla. You can do this by wrapping it in foil and putting it in the oven, but you can also just put a damp paper towel on top and nuke it for 10 seconds. It will be nice and soft and warm.
Layer on all the goodies. If they’re being reheated from leftovers, I usually microwave them individually and then put them in the burrito once hot. If the burrito was made ahead of time, wrap the little bugger in foil and stick it in the oven or toaster oven. You’ll notice this particular burrito is meat-free, but that’s more out of laziness than anything else. Feel free to add the cooked meat of your choosing.
Roll one side along the filling to “tuck” it underneath. This will create a tight roll, which, as we all know, is critical. Fold in those ends (the short edges), and finish the roll. If you’re having trouble conceptualizing that, here is a person who literally works at Chipotle showing you how to some funky jazz music.
Wrap it in foil if you’re saving it for later, or eat it right away!
Taking a photo of a burrito is apparently fucking difficult.
Eating a burrito is not difficult.
Until next time.