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

Cheesy Salsa

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.


  1. LOL, sorry Kim but that is kinda weird. Though your burritos look great and not weird at all. :)

  2. Very nice...I'll bet that salsa/cheese combo would be great with chips too!

  3. I actually crave refried beans constantly! I love the texture, I love the flavor. I just love everything about them. My favorite way to eat them is in a burrito with sweet potato...I think you would LOVE it!

    These rice, bean, and cheese burritos sound awesome as well. Total craving food.

  4. Morning Kim! I love beans too and in fact I'm making burritos tonight! You're way better than me though, I bought canned refried beans, lol. I would like to try making them though, I know they would be so much better. This looks like an awesome, delicious meal and I LOVE the cheesy salsa on top. Thank you for submitting this great recipe to Cookbook Sundays and I hope you have a wonderful day!

  5. I don't think it's weird it all, to crave beans. Beans are very comforting food. I really like re-fried beans but, have never taken the time to figure out how they make them creamy, now I know.

    Your burritos rock.

  6. mmmm....delish! I crave beans, too...something so warm and comforting and satisfying about them. I'm gonna have to say...I would love this burrito w/ its cheesy salsa, it looks and sounds pretty flippin' awesome ;)

  7. I love cheese sauces and by extension, I know I'd love the cheesy salsa, yum!

  8. Digging around for the lime I know is in the fridge. All looks grand - but the salsa is coming together - now!

  9. Funny enough, I have been looking for a good refried beans recipe. I wanted to make a bunch of burritos and freeze them so they would be ready for snacking on during the day. They are really healthy and full of protein.
    HOpe you are having a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  10. What time did you say dinner was? I love everything about this post! We eat Mexican food all the time and nothing beats homemade beans and my kids wouldn't complain either if they got burritos every day! I'm going to have to give your beans a try :o)

  11. This is the kind of food I have cravings for. I am with you, the savory ones do it for me...but then, chocolate doesn't hurt sometimes!
    I love this recipe and will definitely keep it in my ever growing list. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I can honestly say I've never craved beans! I'm a chocolate girl.

    Cheesy salsa sounds awesome! And easy! I'd like to pour it over Mexican rice. And chips. And chicken. And, well, lots of things.

  13. Homemade refried beans are always the best and making them into cheesy burritos is even better. It looks delicious! ;-)

  14. Mmm, delicious meal! I haven't tried making refried beans yet - they are on the list!

  15. We're a "beany" family too. These look absolutely delicious!

  16. Wonderful recipe n great clicks !!

    - Smita
    (fun ideas to feed picky eaters)

  17. Dang - I'm coming to your house for dinner! I've never made refried beans before, but I am proud to say I've mastered cooking dry beans. Yay me, right?

  18. Mmm! These look perfect for 14 year old growing, hungry boys after school snack!

  19. Isn't that the truth? When you want beans, you want them! We so loved, loved the Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce yesterday!! It's up on my blog today, with credit to you and Julie. Thanks!!

  20. I have never tried making refried beans, but I need to give this a go - they look great and your burritos look wonderful.

  21. These look insanely delicious Kim! I love the salsa and cream cheese combo! It's like the icing on the cake.

  22. You are killing me!!!!This looks delicious with that cheese sauce!


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