Is it a plane?
No! It’s a Flying Burrito! 😉
We love, love, LOVE our TexMex at our house. But I guess that’s no surprise to you, eh?
Last night, we had a hankering for Burritos. As Wikipedia tells us:
A burrito…or taco de harina, is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In Mexico, refried beans or meat are sometimes the only fillings. In the United States, however, fillings generally include a combination of ingredients such as Mexican-style rice or plain rice, refried beans or beans, lettuce, salsa, meat, avocado, cheese, and sour cream, and the size varies, with some burritos considerably larger than their Mexican counterparts.
Hand-held take-out foods like the burrito have a long history. Before the Spanish colonization of the Americas, indigenous peoples were eating hand-held snack foods like corn on the cob, popcorn and pemmican. In Mexico, the Spanish observed Aztecs selling take-out foods like tamales, tortillas, and sauces in open marketplaces. The Pueblo people of the desert Southwest also made tortillas with beans and meat sauce fillings prepared much like the modern burrito we know today.
When we have burritos at home, I fill them simply, with bean and/or meat, a bit of cheese, some diced onion, sliced black olive, and a bit of diced tomato, bake them, and dress each serving as desired with lettuce, diced tomato, sliced green olives, sour cream (I use reduced fat) or yogurt (fat-free Greek yogurt is creamy enough to sub for sour cream), shredded cheese (reduced-fat — and I prefer to shred my own), guacamole or sliced/diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, salsa…whatever makes you happy 🙂
Burritos are one of our favorites. They’re fun to make and eat. If I take advantage of commercially-prepared tortillas (‘though I have made my own flour tortillas — I’ll discuss that in another post some time), along with pre-made guacamole and salsa, it comes together pretty quickly and easily. It’s easy for everyone to eat how much or how little they like. Leftovers are great for lunches, snacks — even an unconventional breakfast! To freeze them, double-wrap each burrito securely in cling wrap and then seal up in a freezer bag.
I “healthy up” this dish by using lean meats (93/7 or greater) and reduced-fat cheese and reduced-fat sour cream. Sometimes I’ll make half of them meat and the other half bean; other times, like last night, I’ll make them all meat and bean. And as always, one of the joys and pleasures of making it at home is that you can fill it with exactly what you want!
Note to Vegetarians: Use Soyrizo or your favorite vegetarian meat substitute for the seasoned ground meat in this recipe. Or double-up on the beans and have yummy bean burritos. 🙂
It smells — and tastes — so yummy, you’ll be singing and dancing along with the Flying Burrito Brothers! (Go on, take a scant 3 minutes out of your day and enjoy country rock of The Flying Burrito Brothers — you know you want to, and it will put a smile on your face, I guarantee!)
Burritos (Makes 6 to 8 burritos)
- One pound lean (at least 93/7) ground meat (beef or turkey)
- Favorite taco seasoning (or season meat to taste with a splash of vinegar, splash of Worcestershire, splash of Tobasco (if desired), and chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano)
- Salsa to taste
- Package of burrito-sized flour tortillas
- Can of refried beans (OR, alternatively, you can stir a can of pinto, kidney, or black beans, rinsed and drained, into the meat mixture — if making with turkey, use either black or white beans, such as Navy)
- Shredded cheese to taste (cheddar, Monterrey Jack, habanero cheddar, whatever you like)
- Sliced black olives to taste (optional)
- Diced tomato to taste (optional)
- Sliced green onion or diced onion to taste (optional)
- Favorite condiments to taste: lettuce, diced tomato, sliced green olives, sour cream (I use reduced fat) or yogurt (fat-free Greek yogurt is creamy enough to sub for sour cream), shredded cheese (reduced-fat — and I prefer to shred my own), guacamole or sliced/diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, salsa…whatever makes you happy 🙂
- Brown ground meat. Season according to taco packet directions (if seasoning to taste with your own spices, add in some water or beer after seasoning and allow it to cook down, as one would with a packet of taco seasoning). (BTW, beer can be tasty in place of water when seasoning with taco seasoning, as well, and it will help tenderize the meat — something to consider when using leaner meats.) Stir in desired amount of salsa to taste (suggest 1/2 cup or so) and cook to desired consistency (not too dry, not too soupy).
- Heat refried beans. (Or, alternatively, stir in a can of beans, rinsed and drained, into the meat mixture.)
- Heat tortillas. (I like to place the tortilla(s) between damp paper towels and “steam” them in the microwave).
- To assemble burritos: If using refried beans, first spread desired amount of beans onto tortilla or, if making bean burritos. Add in meat, if using, followed by, if using, shredded cheese, diced onion, sliced olives, and diced tomato. Fold in edges on either end, then roll. (See instruction video below.)
- Place in lightly sprayed or oiled 13″X9″ pan. Cover with foil. Bake at 350F until heated through, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- TO MAKE ENCHIRITOS: Spread about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a lightly sprayed or oiled 13″X9″ pan. Place burritos into pan and top with remaining enchilada sauce. Bake as above.
- Dress each serving as desired: lettuce, diced tomato, sliced green olives, sour cream (I use reduced fat) or yogurt (fat-free Greek yogurt is creamy enough to sub for sour cream), shredded cheese (reduced-fat — and I prefer to shred my own), guacamole or sliced/diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, salsa…whatever makes you happy 🙂
- Refrigerate leftovers.
Unskilled in burrito folding? Watch the video below!