1 medium onion
2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup salsa
2 cans kidney beans, drained of water
1 1/2 cups grated four Mexican cheeses
10 large flour tortillas
PREPARATION OF THE BURRITO’S INNARDS
Mince the onion. Mix it and the cumin into the ground meat by hand. Cook the meat until browned. Note, browned turkey meat is whiter than browned beef.
(You can substitute other meat for turkey. You can even use ground up vegetarian chicken. I don’t recall what went into this meat substitute, but it did taste vaguely like chicken and turned out well in this recipe.)
Add the mayonnaise and mix. (Why are there two “n”s in “mayonnaise?”) Stir in the salsa. It is essential to taste now. If your taste buds tell you it needs more spice, add more cumin or salsa. If you want your creation to be smoother, add more mayonnaise. If your mixture isn’t thick enough, you can lose liquid to evaporation by letting the mix simmer longer. Or as I prefer, use any liquidy mix as a sauce or a fantastic soup.
Remember to constantly stir, especially after adding the cheese. It takes forever to scrub off burnt cheese from the bottom of the pan.
Add kidney beans and cheese. Cook at medium heat until all the beans are hot enough and the cheese melted.
ASSEMBLING THE BURRITO
The tortilla should be big. A big tortilla is much more likely to hang together during rolling than a small one, especially given most people’s tendency to put too much meat mix onto the burrito. Size matters.
The tortilla must be pliable or easy to fold. Tortillas that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a while get brittle. Microwave them in the microwave for about ten seconds or so, until they become soft.
Never, but never, make burritos with corn tortillas. They will break apart. The burrito’s innards will ooze out the sides. You’ll panic and try to keep everything together with toothpicks. Maybe these burritos will hold together until served. (However, they will surely fall apart when the millionaire parents of your fiancé pick them up. A bad first impression of you? You bet. So, use flour tortillas, okay?)
Anyway, scoop about two tablespoons burrito mix onto the center bottom of the burrito. Fold the bottom over the mix. Fold the sides in until they almost touch. Roll the bottom of the tortilla over and over until your burrito is formed.
It takes some practice to do this right. It is easier than it might seem to burst the tortilla with too much mix or have the mix escape out the sides. But you will get it right after one or two tries.
Your family will smile beatifically at you. Your kids, who have been grunting monosyllabic words at you for months, will favor you with, “Awesome food” and “Parental figure, may I enjoy an additional helping?.” Cooking doesn’t get much better than this.
1) “Burrito” is Spanish for “little burro.” Why Spanish-speaking people think a burrito looks like a little donkey is beyond me.
2) Not many people believe Marco Polo brought back burritos from China in the 1200s.
3) Probably because it is not true.
4) Many do believe, however, the burrito was first made by Juan Mendez during the Mexican Revolution.
5) So, revolutions have their upsides.
6) Bad for the part of my family that lost its ranch in the Mexican revolution.
7) But Mexico also gave us the crispy corn taco with shredded beef. How can I not forgive and forget?
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.