I thought it was fitting to talk about my lack of cooking and love of burritos since I’m going out with some friends to El Cortijo Taqueria Y Cantina for dinner tonight.
Despite the amount of food in my fridge, I’ve been avoiding cooking. (This is about to change. I picked up my new CSA share today, reorganized my fridge, and made a list of its items. I’ll be cooking all weekend.)
But for the past few weeks, I’ve been on a TOTAL burrito kick. I made up a bunch of these chicken and black bean burritos a few weeks ago, which I froze for quick meals. I’ve also been to Bolocco twice this week. I like “The Summer” with the black beans and mango.
These burritos have a lot of cilantro in them, which I used to detest. In fact, I remember shortly after college, someone putting cilantro on my eggs for breakfast. I had to choke them down. Something about the smell and bite of cilantro repulsed me, then magically my taste buds changed and I crave it.
I made homemade black beans – Homesick Texan’s Austen-style basic black beans – for the first time. No messing around with this recipe. I soaked the beans overnight, then cooked them with a host of other ingredients: garlic, carrot, adobo chipotles, 1/2 cup of cilantro, tomato paste, and lime juice.
I used kombu instead of epazote (which I could not find) when cooking the beans, which supposedly aids in digestion.
They took forever – soaking them overnight and then cooking them for hours – yet tasted about a million times better than the canned version. I kept thinking, “Did cowboys actually MAKE these back in the day? They take all day!”
I have no idea. My only real reference is from reading Lonesome Dove. Gus and Captain Call traveled with an actual cook. So maybe they did eat them on the range. (Side note: They ate a lot of biscuits in that book. I was always craving biscuits while reading it.)
To assemble, I layered some of the Austen-style black beans on a flour tortilla. Topped that with with a mixture of sautéed chicken, onions, and pepper seasoned with cumin. Then added in a bit of Monterrey Jack cheese.
I like to roll them up, slather salsa on the top, and blanket with a layer of cheese. I’ll flash freeze and individual wrap them for easy reheating.