Black bean burritos. They’re like normal burritos, except (in my opinion) even tastier. Black beans are an excellent alternative to meat in this recipe.
1 1/2 cup dry black beans and 1 tsp baking soda, or 1 can black beans
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
2 medium cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp coriander leaf (cilantro)
4 tortilla wraps
Chili pepper (fresh peppers or chili powder) to taste
First, prepare your black beans. Soak them in plenty of water with the baking soda overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
When that’s done, drain them and put them in a pot with some new water. Cook them until they are tender, 15-25 minutes. Don’t forget to keep the cooking liquid for future recipes; it’s incredibly nutritious and flavourful. It can be used as a replacement for meat stock or drunk on its own. To drink it on its own, just boil it for ten minutes with some onions, and add a little salt. It’s delicious.
Anyway – now wrap the tortillas in aluminium foil and bake them in an oven preheated to 350F (180C) for 15 minutes or until heated throughout.
Chop the bell pepper in squares and onion in thin half circles. Crush the garlic or chop it finely. Chop the coriander leaf well.
Put the bell pepper, onion and garlic in a pan. Fry briefly at medium heat, for 2 minutes or so. Add your cooked beans and salt, and fry for another five minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir cilantro into the mixture.
Spoon into the centre of your tortilla wraps, and roll them up. Eat!
As an alternative to this recipe, you can use mixed beans which will give an interesting touch of visual variety. Or you can optionally serve with lime for squeezing, adding some zest to the picture.
The mixture can be served on corn tortillas as well, either flat and crunchy ones or ones which you roll up in the same way as corn. You can make corn tortillas easily at home by mixing corn flour (not corn starch) with water and a little salt to make a dough. Form into balls, and then squash into rounds on a dry pan. They should be about the thickness of three coins.
Cook for five minutes on either side, or until toasted.
To make flexible corn tortillas, however, you need to buy precooked corn flour, available in Latino shops. Look for the words “harina de maiz precocida“. Prepare in the same way, but only cook for about 1 minute on each side. Because the maize is precooked, they will still be digestible like this, and they will be flexible enough to wrap around your black bean mixture to make black bean burritos.
Enjoy black bean burritos with friends, Mexican beer and a bad movie. Alternatively pack them in boxes and take them to the park for a hip, alternative picnic.
Before you eat them, if you are so inclined you can salute each other with the Spanish equivalent of “bon apetit” – “que aproveche!” That means, roughly, “may it do you good”.