Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Black Bean Burritos

(serves two adults and two children)

The first few times I made this recipe, the burritos came out pretty misshapen. Eventually, I got the hang of rolling,them—but not like they do at my favorite taqueria on Mission in San Francisco.

4 large (ten-inch) flour tortillas
1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
2 15.5-oz cans black beans
1 pint grape (or cherry) tomatoes
1 lime
1 bunch cilantro
kosher salt
sharp cheddar cheese
baby spinach
sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in the oven.

2. Puree the chipotles in adobo sauce. Reserving about 1 tablespoon, freeze the remainder for future use.

3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Add the cumin and the reserved chipotle puree. Saute briefly. Add the beans and bring to a simmer. then reduce the heat to low.

4. Halve the grape tomatoes and place them in a small bowl. (If using cherry tomatoes, quarter them.) Squeeze one-half of the lime over the tomatoes. Pick the leaves from the cilantro stems and coarsely chop them. Add half of the cilantro to the tomatoes along with a pinch of salt. Toss to combine.

5. Grate about 1 cup of the cheese. Squeeze the remaining lime half over the beans. Add the grated cheese and remaining cilantro. Stir until all of the cheese melts.

6. Remove the tortillas from the oven. Working with one at a time, spoon some beans onto the bottom third of the tortillas, leaving a margin at the bottom. Top the beans with some tomatoes, baby spinach, and a few dabs of sour cream. Fold the bottom edge of the tortilla over the filling. Fold over both side edges. Finally, roll up the burrito.

• Chipotles, which are smoked jalapeƱo peppers, go well with almost any Latin bean dish. Because a full can nearly always contains much more than I need, and because I probably won't be needing more for a little while, I puree and freeze the extra. That way, I can easily chip off a tablespoon or so as I need it.

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