Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To Wrap or To Layer, That is the Question...

I know I posted a picture of the eggs from our first Spring Treat share two weeks ago, but I had to post these.  Look at that adorable little blue egg!  The farm has Araucana chickens, and their eggs are a grayish blue color--so pretty.

Though it's rainy and cold here today, spring is shaping up nicely.  I have two kinds of kale, escarole, raddichio, endive, mustard greens, and one pathetic lonely lovely spinach plant out in the garden under row covers.  The chard that was under a row cover all winter (and feet of snow) is coming back beautifully, so we'll be eating that next week.  The first daffodil bloomed this past Monday, and the lilac buds are noticeably bigger each day.  Down the street, one of the magnolia trees is in full blossom; the dogs know that on our walks, we stop under the tree so Mama can just breathe.  It's funny that no matter how amazing perfumes are, they can never get those flower smells quite right...they're just too ethereal, I guess.

Believe it or not, I have been cooking lately.  There just haven't been that many things that seemed interesting enough to post.  This one wins, though, because a.  I actually kept track of what went into it, and b. it fits the quick, easy, and adaptable bill.  Here's the little torpedo burrito packed up for lunch.

Last Sunday, I cooked up some dried black beans that we had left over from last summer's CSA.  I used the traditional method of an overnight (or in this case all day) soak, and then bring-to-a-boil-drop-to-a-simmer until they're tender method.  How long you have to simmer them depends on how tender you like your beans, and how old the dried beans are.  (I hate to admit that I didn't actually keep track of how long I simmered them.  My apologies.)  I only added some peppercorns.  I prefer to season my black beans as I use them, whether I'm cooking them from dried or from the can.

We had some tomatillo salsa and corn in the freezer, also from last summer, and dried chorizo in the fridge.  (Am I the only one who adores that stuff?  If I could figure out how to put it in dessert, I might.  Heck, if bacon can go in chocolate, there has to be room for chorizo somewhere!)  Along with a few other ingredients, this recipe was born.  If it looks similar to the Mexican Lasagna recipe, that's because I was originally going to make another Mexican Lasagna.  I decided to mix it up with the smothered burritos, though.  I'll include possible variations in the recipe.

Black Bean, Corn, and Chorizo* Burritos
by Me

2 tsp. canola or other mild flavored oil  (might want to add a little more if not using chorizo)
1/2-3/4 cup of chopped onion
1 large garlic clove,  minced
2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeno
1/3-2/3 cup dried chorizo (optional)  I was probably somewhere in the middle of the two measurements.
1/2 tsp chili powder (up this to 1 to 1 1/2 tsp if not using chorizo)
1/2 tsp cumin (up this to 1 to 1 1/2 tsp if not using chorizo; also, add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
2 cups black beans  (if using your own cooked from dry, include the liquid, up to 1/2 cup; if using canned,
                                rinse and drain and add up to 1/2 cup water or veggie or chicken broth)
1-2 cups corn kernels (don't need to defrost if frozen; I used two cups, because I love corn)
6 six or eight ounce whole wheat flour tortillas (or really, whatever you have)
salt to taste (I used 1/4 tsp, but if you don't use the chorizo, I'd up that, maybe to 1 tsp?)
6-8 oz. shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar, but Monterrey Jack, Queso Fresco, or Pepper Jack
            would be great here)
1/2 c salsa (I used tomatillo)
chopped pickled jalapeno, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1.  In a dutch oven over medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and chorizo in the oil until the onions start to soften.  Stir in the spices and cook about one minute.

2.  Stir in the black beans with their liquid, corn, and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes or until there is barely any liquid in the pan. Turn off the heat.  Oil an 8x8 baking dish.

3.  Warm tortillas, either wrapped in a kitchen towel in the microwave (20-25 seconds) or wrapped in foil and put in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp cheese down the center of each tortilla, and spoon in about 1/2 cup of the bean mixture.  Wrap and roll, tucking in the sides to enclose all of the filling (if you're using a small tortilla like I did, the ends might not stay shut; just make sure you grease the baking dish so the filling doesn't stick).  Place seam-side down in baking dish.  Repeat with rest of tortillas; you may have some filling left over.*  Spoon the salsa over top of the burritos, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 

4.  Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Top with remaining chopped pickled jalapenos, if desired.

You could just as easily layer this: a little salsa on the bottom, a layer of tortillas, a layer of bean mix and cheese, a layer of tortillas, etc.  End with a layer of tortillas and spread a thin film of salsa, sprinkle with cheese.  Bake about 20-30 minutes, or until cheese at all layers is melted.

*This would be a great filling for an omelet!

No comments: