Post #448 Another Mexican Favorite – Burritos

January 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Several years ago, just after I came out and had started dating again, I invited a friend over to my condo for lunch.  I made bean and beef burritos and we ate them on my balcony.  He thought they were very tasty but the thing that amazed him most were how expertly they were wrapped.

“Did you buy these somewhere?”

“Nope, I just know how to do it.”

“Can you show me?”  He was really interested.

So after we were done eating, we trooped into the kitchen and I showed him how to fold a flour tortilla around some filling so it became a well-wrapped burrito.

I grew up on the Mexican border in Arizona so this was something I took for granted.  Everyone I knew could do this with their eyes closed.  It wasn’t until I moved to Virginia that I realized Mexican food could be a mystery.  I have one friend who calls all Mexican foods burritos regardless of what she’s eating.

After I showed my friend how to fold the burrito, he called me a week later to crow about the fact that he’d done it himself to take some for lunch and impressed his coworkers.  I told him he could use the same technique to make sandwich wraps, etc.

Burritos are different from tacos in that they are soft flour tortillas wrapped around various fillings to create a closed tube.  The traditional fillings are beans and cheese, but over time many other ingredients have become standard.  Seasoned beef, chicken, shrimp, fish, or pork can be added to the beans, or be by themselves with no beans at all.  Plain or flavored rice can be added to the filling.  Fresh salsa or salsa sauces are common.  Sour cream is a must for some people, as is guacamole.  Lettuce, tomato, cilantro, chilis, jicama, and other veggies show up with regularity.

Then there’s the sub-category of breakfast burritos.  My first introduction to these tasty morsels came when I was working at a factory in my home town.  I was called in to work one Saturday and about mid-morning, they surprised us by bringing in a bunch of burritos.  They had scrambled eggs, chopped bacon, fried potatoes, cheese, and green chilis, and tasted phenomenal.  Of course, my first bite was into a chili and I spent the next five minutes trying to breathe again.

My favorite burrito is a beef, bean, and cheese burrito.

But here’s how to fold a burrito: (my apologies to anyone who owns these photos.  I took them off the net and they aren’t mine.  Let me know if you want me to remove them.)

burritofold

You take a large flour tortilla at room temperature so it folds easily.  Place the filling in the lower third part of the tortilla.  Fold the sides into the center, and fold the bottom over the filling.  This creates a pocket.  Tuck the tortilla you’ve just folded over the filling under the filling as well as you’re able to, then roll the burrito tightly up over the rest of the tortilla.  The final result should look like this:

Burrito

Easy peasy, right?  The inward fold creates a leak-proof edge, so just pick up the burrito and start eating from either end.  If you haven’t rolled the burrito tightly, it will get messy, but it will still taste great.

Another variation is called the wet burrito.  Basically, it’s an ordinary burrito that has cheese melted on top, or sauce poured on top, or both.  It’s also called an enchilada-style burrito since many times the sauce used is an enchilada sauce.  This is relatively new.  We didn’t have this when I was growing up.

burrito wet

But more cheese and a savory sauce can only be a good thing, right?  When I ordered one of these, it’s usually a chicken burrito because enchilada sauce and chicken are perfect combo partners.

Another variation that’s been around for a long time is the fried burrito, called a chimichanga.  These things are huge.  You make a gigantic burrito and roll it as tight as possible.  Then you deep fry it so the tortilla is brown, flaky, and crunchy.  Then you top it with melted cheese and fresh lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and guacamole.  The only word to describe it is YUM!

burrito chimichanga

It’s fried.  How can it be bad?

When a certain Mexican styled fast food restaurant first opened up a few years ago, my coworkers and I used to go once a week.  I was addicted to their soft tacos, but one guy would always get what he called their footballs.  They make a burrito that’s so stuffed with filling, it is almost the size of a football.  I never ordered it because I knew I would never ever finish it.  It was so big the tortilla would only wrap once with the ends of the tortilla just barely touching.  They used the aluminum foil wrapping to hold it together.  This coworker would pop that open and start eating.  He’d finish an hour later, burping slightly, stomach distended, and claiming he’d have another one tomorrow.

I made myself a bunch of burritos yesterday to take for lunches at work.  I spread a quarter cup of refried beans on the tortilla, sprinkled it with cheese, added some cut up steak I’d just grilled on the stove, and dotted with chunky salsa.  I folded them up, wrapped them in foil, and put them in the fridge.  It’s like a present waiting for me.

So I made a cake, too.

Enjoy

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1 Comment

  1. Yum. You can’t go wrong with a combo like that.


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