Saturday, September 18, 2010
Bean & Rice Burritos with Cheesy Salsa
Do you have serious food cravings? Cravings that just won't go away until you do something about it? For some people it's chocolate. For others it might be salty, crunchy chips. For me, it's beans. Is that weird? It's not that I don't crave other things, but usually it centers around beans. Right now is one of those times. I'm on a roll. In fact, I've had them for almost every meal this week. They've found their way into my eggs, into my pasta and now into my burrito. And, I'm not done yet. I have another bean dish in the works for tomorrow.
Today I had to have a bean and rice burrito. I followed Mark Bittman's recipe for cooking beans, the quick soak way. The recipe takes 3-4 hours in total and yields one pound of cooked beans. I used 3 cups of my cooked pinto beans to make Bittman's Refried Beans. I've never made homemade refried beans from scratch before and they were delicious!
Twice-Cooked (Refried) Beans
Adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Serves 4 (easily serves 6)
1/4 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn (*I used 1/2 tablespoon oil*)
1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped jalapeno (optional)
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cumin, plus more if desired
3 cups cooked pinto or red beans
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, plus more if desired
**See note below** Also used 1-2 cups of liquid (stock, water, bean cooking liquid)
Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion (jalapeno & garlic if using) and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the beans and mash with a large fork or potato masher. Continue to cook and mash, stirring, until the beans are more or less broken up (some remaining chunks are fine).
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the cayenne and more cumin if you like. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
NOTE: To achieve a creamy consistency I used about 1-2 cups of chicken stock. You could also use veggie stock, beef stock, or even the leftover bean cooking liquid. The liquid allows the mixture to loosen up. It makes mashing the beans easier and also allows the beans to become very creamy.
To jazz up my burritos, I made a batch of long grain white rice and tossed in some chopped green onions. I had quite a few fresh tomatoes from my Mom's garden so I decided on Bittman's Fresh Tomato Salsa. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. It was vibrant, fresh and healthy....right up until I added an entire block of cream cheese to it and created a cheesy salsa topping for my bean burritos!
What is a bean burrito without cheese? I say POUR IT ON!! Give your burrito a bath:)
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Modified from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
2 large ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1 habanero or jalapeno chile (I used 2 jalapenos)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper
Combine all in a bowl, taste and adjust the seasoning. If possible, allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes prior to serving
1 - 1-1/2 cups salsa (depending on taste)
1 block (8ozs.) cream cheese
Place both salsa and cream cheese in pan and cook over low heat until cheese melt and mixture becomes hot. Use as a topping, dip or filling.
I am submitting these cheesy burritos to I Heart Cooking Clubs for our Say Cheese theme.
I am also submitting this to Cookbook Sundays over at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen.