Mexican food scares the hell out of white Baby Boomers and I’m not sure why. The Father and The In-Laws would rather eat a bowlful of glass than a taco and for no good reason. Popularly, Mexican food is characterized as being hot, thanks to the mystery chile peppers that Speedy Gonzalez would slip to his threat du jour.
I also think that Taco Bell had something to do with it. I haven’t run for the border in a long time, but my memories of what’s inside the wax paper wrapper is not pretty. It is usually a sloppy mess of meat, salsa and sour cream with the smell of warm garbage. I don’t know why this was so appealing to me in high school, but I ate it like a champ.
One of my favorite preparations of pork is al pastor. It’s a Mexican-style of delivering pork related to Middle Eastern shawarma (Wikipedia explains it well). Lupe and the crew at Boom Boom Mex Mex make a life-changing pastor, with a base of pineapple, annatto, and chile peppers. It’s very mild, very flavorful and I find myself wanting to eat it directly from the line.
Take beans, as a for instance. Beans and rice are such a basic foodstuff, but there we go with the bowl of glass again. It’s funny, because The Father talks about eating tripe, head, tongue and other animal pieces, but offer the guy a taco and he locks up like prison.
WHAT WORKED: Black bean soup is necessary here because you need the liquid to cook the beans, and the broth here is certainly better than just adding water.
WHAT DIDN’T: I’m terrible at folding burritos.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: I don’t exactly remember, so I’ll say that she approved?
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: I think that’s likely.
Black Bean Burritos
By Jared Paventi
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 14 to 15 oz. can black bean soup
- one packet Goya Sazon (I used the variety with annatto and culantro)
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated
- Two large “burrito-sized” tortillas
- Salsa, sour cream, guacamole for serving side
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over high until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the black bean soup. Bring to a boil, add the Sazon, and reduce heat to medium-low while you cook your rice or prepare other items. Cook at least 5 to 10 minutes.
Lay a tortilla on a lined baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, make a line of beans the width of the tortilla near the edge of the tortilla. Add a row of rice next to it, moving away from the edge. Top with a handful of cheese. Pinch the side edges of the tortilla inward and fold the edge of the burrito closest to you over the stuffing. Continue rolling and tucking in the sides until your tortilla is completely rolled. Lay it on the sheet with the tortilla flap underneath, top with grated cheese and repeat with the second burrito. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Serve with the aforementioned condiments and tortilla chips.