Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Veganmofo: Spotlight on Burritos

Burritos are gods food. Seriously, you take some hearty soulful full bodied fully flavoured foods and stick them together in a wrap that you toast to perfection?

More please.

Recently in our little city a place open and stayed open late called Burrito Jax. Tasty tasty stuff which has become a fan favourite. They offer a pretty fab spread and have inspired a few burrito party's in my kitchen.

So here's a laydown to the simple fixings to assemble a burrito of your own

  • Wraps
  • Salsa/sauce
  • veggies
  • beans
  • rice
  • flare: like sweet potato, pickled jalapenos, lime, crispy onions, cranberry anything that adds texture/flavour and makes this burrito different from the last
So here a few easy examples from the list.

Step 1: Rice

Now a rice cooker makes this part easy but any rice you enjoy can work as a filling. Plain fluffy rice is nice, adds texture, grasps flavour and helps make each wrap fullfilling. But they key to a good burrito goes beyond the fluffy nutty texture of simple brown rice, zest it up with flavour.

Roast garlic rice or zest a lime into the cooker with the rice, finish with a fresh squeeze maybe some cilantro. Or add some mexican pilaf punched up with flavour.

Step2: Bean/Protein or Both!

Seitan is a great filler, fried tofu, cooked black bean/pintos, refried beans. Any combo as long as she's got flavour. Cook your beans  with garlic and spices, toasted cumin and if you go with non-bean protein fry them in spice. Use a flavour marinade or seitan then crust in with toasted cumin. You really want the flavour to pop.

Black beans or chili beans, with onions and spice. Mashed with onion, garlic and cumin or from a can. Refried beans are a burrito classic but home cooked black beans provide some killer texture and are a nice addition.

Step 3: Veggies
Fried/roasted onions. All onions all the time. Crips lettuce, green onions, chilis, peppers anything crisp, chrunch and wet. Helps cut the heat and add texture, give your mouth a break.

I like raw veggies in my burrito, but slow sauteed peppers curl around your tastebuds in pleasing ways. Lettuce is great in wraps, but for true authenticity try thinly sliced cabbage with lime or lemon juice. Allow it to wilt a bit, and you get the best slaw. Crisp and refreshing surrounded in warm spicy beans and sweet potato

 Sweet potato is a burrito favourite, roasted cubes with lime and cumin. Or mashed with cilantro and a pat of butter. It provides a great warm accompaniment to any wrap.

4. Sauces.Salsa
Cranberry, tomatillo, canned, fresh, homemade. There are many schools of thought, mole works wonders. A fresh pico de gallo is nice crisp tomato and onion with herb and citrus. Or the smoke chipotle sauces or sweet sting of vinegar based hot sauce or canned burrito sauce. Smooth or Chunky, I find a mixture of sauces gives you the best.

5. Flare

Cranberry salsa, dried fruit, previously mentioned sweet potato or carmilized onions. Hot peppers. This is where you make the burrito yours. Smoked peppers or grilled pineapple, slices of mango? Go drastic, and really break up the flavours.

What are your favourite combos? Best burrito memories?

Do you all build up a stack of different home cooked fillings and set up family style where everyone chooses there own?

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