Sunday, July 8, 2012

An accidental border crossing

Dude, ma, I'm trying to watch Jimmy Neutron!

I owe peteybird as many kisses as I can fit on his grimacing little face. After the success of the Cuban bean stew, my oldest says to me in the same wistful tone he uses when he's trying to weasel his way into some Playstation 2 time, "I wish we had some over so we could have bean burritos. I love bean burritos."

Lucky for him, not only am I a nice mom, but the stars seemingly aligned for this kid in a big way. For starters, I had half of the ingredients sitting in my kitchen without a dinner plan to call their own. I can't recall exactly why I bought pinto beans three weeks ago. There are at least three varieties of dried beans I like better. I'm also not sure what I was planning to do with the can of tomato paste that was up there either. It didn't hurt that there was a pound of stew meat in the freezer as well as tomatoes, a lone tomatillo, a wandering jalepeno in the crisper drawer and a grocery run in the near future.

When I was threw, I layered up that burrito and wouldn't you know it, there was a Taco Bell grilled stuffed burrito IN MAH MOUTH!!!!

Run for the border, indeed. And yes, I realize that Taco Bell tastes nothing like real Mexican food but that's their slogan and I'm sticking to it.

I'm willing to consider that perhaps I'm simply high and deluded myself into this conclusion but I swear to you, it tasted straight up like a Taco Bell grilled stuffed burrito. Oh nom nom nom!

Wanna know how I did it?

Taco Bell-ish beef and bean burritos

First, you'll need a crock pot and about a lb or so of stew beef.  You could easily use pork instead of the beef. Because pork makes everything better, duh. Anyway, drop that hunk of whatever in there and add the following items:

2 tbsp of chili powder
1 tbsp of ground cumin
2 tbsp of lime juice
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tbsp paprika.
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 c water

Try to remember to turn it on before you leave for the farmer's market/grocery store so you don't feel like an epic dumbass when you return to a house that still smells like febreeze and irritation instead of yummy mock mexican goodness. This epic dumbass was forced to cook it at high for 4-5 hours but if you aren't a hot mess like me, you could probably go for 6-8 hours on low.

While that's cooking, you can move onto the pinto beans. I can't take full credit for the following as I incorporated some of the ingredients and techniques from petey's inspirational item, the black bean stew.

Vaguely Taco Bell Pinto Beans

half green pepper, finely chopped
half a yellow onion, chopped
four cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1 lb of pinto beans, soaked according to pkg directions and rinsed
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 bay leaves

Heat about 1 tbsp or so of oil or butter in a fat pot. Add green pepper, onion, and a sprinkling of salt. Stir on high until sweated down and yummy. Toss in the garlic and oregano. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the spices. Pour in the beans, chicken broth, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for about an hour and a half or so or until beans are tender. Pull out about two cups of beans and either mash with a fork or pulse in the food processer/blender before stirring back into the beans. This will make them thicker. Otherwise, you're going to end up with burrito soup.

Seasoned Rice

Next, it's onto the rice. You'll need two packages of Goya Sazon seasoning. Add to a heavy sauce pan along with two cups of rice and four cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low until  cooked through.


In a food processor, pulse two tomatoes, half an onion, one tomatillo, jalepeno, a couple splashes of lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. You could also add cilantro but I didn't have any and it wasn't on sale this week so there you go. For mild salsa, you'll want to use half a seeded and deveined jalepeno. If you like more of a kick, go with a whole jalepeno, seeds and all. If you're a brave soul with a teflon tongue, skip the jalepeno and toss in a habenero.

To top is all off, you'll need sour cream, shredded lettuce, and crumbled queso fresca from the "ethnic" section of the cold stuff. The only think I wish I added was a healthy smearing of avocado.

"Because this is what you do
when something is really awesome," she says.

Pinky was thrilled with dinner as evidenced by her exuberant use of devil's horns. Do not ask me where she got that. As far as I know, she's not been watching VH1 Classic behind my back. I could blame it on her father. He was in a heavy metal band in his younger, follicular awesome days. Or perhaps she was temporarily inhabited by the ghost of Ronnie James Dio. You think he had a thing for Taco Bell?

No comments:

Post a Comment