5:59 AM

The Anatomy of a Burrito Part 1

Posted by Heather |


I was born and raised in Texas, and like any good Texan, I can't go more than a couple of days without a Mexican food fix.  It has been all to easy to go to Taco Bell or even worse, buy frozen burritos to satisfy my cravings!  Yikes!  I'm sure we can do better than that!

So this is part one in a series called "The Anatomy of a Burrito."

What makes up a really, really great burrito?  Well first would be some great refried beans.  So here is a recipe for great refried beans, that I made the traditional food challenge way!  

I have a fond attachment to my pressure cooker (although I don't think it is recommended in the book, Nourishing Traditions, shhh! don't tell Nicole!).  It just makes cooking beans and lentils so much faster!  I'll include directions for both using a pressure cooker or a crock pot, of course, you can cook them on the stovetop too, just simmer pre-soaked beans for a couple of hours until tender.

Mexican Refried Beans

Ingredients:
1 cup dry pinto beans
1 red onion, divided in half, chopped
1-2 fresh green chili, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cayanne pepper or 3 tsp chili powder (if not using green chilies)
1 tsp dried organo
smoked paprika, to taste

Directions:
1. Sort and wash 1 cup of dry beans. Soak in plenty of filtered water overnight.  Rinse and use fresh water for cooking. **Allow plenty of room for expansion the beans - I did not do this - so learn from my mistake - beans expand.  A lot.

Tip: They say if you add  one of the following to the soaking water- 1 tbsp fresh chopped green chilies or 1 tsp fennel seeds - it will help to reduce gas. Who knew?


Stove top or Pressure cooker: add pinto beans, 1/2 chopped onion, chopped green chili, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, salt to taste. Cover with water.  Cook until beans are tender.

Crock pot:  Place above ingredients in crockpot and cook on low overnight, or for about 9 hrs, until very tender.

Once beans are cooked, drain most of liquid off beans (reserve the cooking liquid), and add cooked beans to a food processor (adding cooking liquid back in as needed).  Pulse until you reach the desired consistency. 

 Saute in oil/ butter:
  • the other half of the onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • chopped fresh chilies, to taste (optional)

Add to beans:
  • Sauteed garlic & onion (& chillies if using)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or 3 tsp chili powder (if not using fresh chilies)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • smoked paprika, to taste

So there we have it, an easy way to make nutritious refried beans at home.  Stay tuned to find out how to make the next ingredient in the Anatomy of a Burrito: Mexican Rice.

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