Mexicanesqueness

A couple of months ago I had a visit from a friend who suggested rather strongly that I make bean burritos for dinner. I am not a massive fan of Mexican-sort-of-thingie, or Tex-Mex I suppose it is more like, so I hummed and hawed, but my husband backed my friend up, so I fell into line. (Wasn’t a massive fan formerly, I should say.)

ANYWAY so this is how I did it.

I diced two medium onions and set them sauteeing in (YES YOU GUESSSED RIGHT!) my flame-orange Le Creuset casserole. Oh – the sauteeing medium? Olive oil. A good slurp.

While they were setting off on their merry journey to cookedness, I finely diced a large carrot, and added that too. I also finely diced three shortish celery sticks with their leaves, and added them too, stirring and sauteeing to make a nicely-browned mirepoix, to which I also added one finely-diced red capsicum.

I left that to its own devices for a little bit while I mixed up the spices. Into my spice ex-coffee grinder I put – a heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds and another of coriander seeds, a quarter teaspoon of fennel seeds, two bay leaves, a pinch of cinnamon, a level teaspoon of chilli flakes, a level teaspoon of dried savory, a teaspoon of paprika and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika. I should probably confess that all these measurements are approximations (though pretty close approximations) as I NEVER measure spices, I just tip them in until it looks right. I cook by eye more than almost anything else. (For savory you could substitute oregano or thyme or a little bit of both.)

I ground it to a powder and then added that to the mirepoix, and stirred it around for a bit until everything was well-coated.

I opened and RINSED a 400 ml tin of red kidney beans and another of cannelini beans ( I prefer the texture of cannelini). (I always rinse tinned beans. I don’t like the slime) and added that to the saucepan, stirring it around.

I also added a splash of white wine, a tin of diced tomatoes AND salt and pepper. And a few shakes of Tabasco.

After it cooked down for a while, (I mashed some of the beans against the side of the pot with the wooden spoon) I tasted it and it definitely needed something.

SO on Husband’s and Friend’s  respective advice I added a sachet of tomato paste, and a few splashes of balsamic.

When it had cooked for another half-hour, getting thicker and more delicious, I tried it again and it was FANTASTIC.

We ate it like this – After I heated the tortillas (flour ones) we put a scoop of hot rice, then a bigger scoop of beans, then some fresh salsa, some olives, some yoghourt raita, some shredded lettuce, some taco sauce and some extra pickled jalapenos. Then we folded over the bottom edge and rolled the sides in.
(Yes – they were easily the biggest flour tortillas I have ever seen. Mission brand, if anyone was wondering.)
(However the really big Mission brand tortillas are noticeably more expensive per 100gms than the smaller ones, so bear that in mind.)
(My favourite brand of tortilla as maybe you could tell.)

I make the salsa with finely diced tomato, cucumber and pickled jalapenos with lots of finely-chopped fresh coriander.

It was delicious! First time I have made meat-free burritos and I was hooked! I have made it a couple more times since, and I have decided that if you don’t have taco sauce it really doesn’t matter. It is also good with a little chilli mince ( I had some left over from an event – a friend made it with loads of things like chipotle which he soaked and shredded, and various other kinds of spices and chillies…very good) as well – I am still yet to make shredded slow-cooked beef chilli, but I will eventually, no doubt.

Enjoy!

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