Friday, September 19, 2008

"my little burrito! you are talking!"

Burritos are near the top of my favorite foods list. Perhaps this love of rice, beans, meat, and salsa wrapped in a warm tortilla came from spending my adolescent years in Arizona. My favorite burrito joint there was Adrian's (mentioned in thrift stores). I still have their business card. "Adrian's #2," it reads, "The Real Mexican Food. Especialidad de la Casa Milanesa, Mole Poblano, Barbacoa, Carnitas y toda clase de Mariscos." I don't know what any of those especials are. The menu was in Spanish, too. So I always just got the burrito. And it was great. (1011 W. Main St., Mesa, Arizona, if you're interested and if they're still in business.)

But I would peg my Mexican affinity to earlier years. In 5th grade, my class performed a holiday play, "The Talking Burro". Oh - you haven't heard of it? Well, it is about a talking burro, or donkey. I led as Carla, a little Mexican girl who discovers that her beloved burro talks. I don't remember any of my lines (contrast to when I played the ghost of Christmas present in "A Christmas Carol" the year before: "I am the ghost of present. Look at me! Have you never seen the likes of me before? I have many brothers - more than 1800."). But I do remember having to regularly shake my braids and exclaim with childish delight "My little burrito!" several times throughout the dramatization.

Over the past few months I have been developing my burrito making skills. I am near perfection. And I chose to reveal my secrets here.

Ingredients to the perfect burrito:
- Big tortillas, warmed in the microwave
- Rice with taco seasoning of some kind added
- Black beans, partly drained of juice and then added to rice
- Beef of chicken strips - thin and long, marinated in soy sauce and lime, then pan-cooked on the stove, don't overcook, it should only take a few minutes
- Fresh salsa - cut up tomatoes, onion (don't use a food processor - it makes the onion sour), cilantro (must be fresh!), and garlic (also fresh); mix with salt and lime juice
- sour cream
- avocado (optional, but only barely)

- Lay out a piece of tin foil, about 4 inches bigger than the tortilla
- Lay a warmed tortilla on the tin foil
- Using a spatula, spread sour cream on the whole face of the tortilla. Don't be shy. The sour cream sticks everything together and gives the final burrito a nice texture.
- Slop a big scoop (about 2 cups) of rice and bean mixture on the tortilla, and spread it to make an oval-like lump in the center of the tortilla.
- Spread the cooked meat, salsa, and avocado on top of the rice and beans.

- You will now think the stuff on top of the tortilla is too big to fit inside the tortilla. It's not. Here's how you fold it. All of your stuff should be in the centered on the tortilla, but in an elongated shape. See Figure 1.

Fig. 1

- Fold the short sides in. See Figure 2.

Fig. 2

- Fold one of the long sides over the top of the stuff. Grasp the short side fold and the long fold you just made, packing the stuff tightly, and then rolling the whole thing toward the remaining long side. This figure is too difficult to draw. Think of tightly rolling a sleeping bag. Just squeeze the stuff inside; it'll fit.

- Once your burrito is folded, wrap it in tin foil to keep the shape. Serve immediately or warm up more in the oven.


Sarah said...

I think you should make an instructional video and post it. (Be sure to speak to the burrito when you make the video.)

Even I remember your lines as the Ghost of Christmas present...and your costume.

Megan said...

I will have to make them with you sometime. Chris is obsessed with burritos. In fact, he is so obsessed that he goes to Moe's burritos 2 times a week.
That is cool that you were in a talking burrito play!

Dawn said...

Ohh...looks GOOD! But I'm seriously hoping mine doesn't talk back to me while I make it! :)

Janssen said...

Avocados are never optional.

Dave and Margaret said...

so yummy sounding that I went and made some immediately (even though I confess I had no avocado). Yum!