Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bean and Cheese Burritos

When I was younger my Grandma would always have an afternoon snack of some sort ready for me once I got out of school.  One of my favorites was bean burritos.  It was pure goodness with creamy beans and gobs of cheese.  It's been quite some time since I prepared one of those bean burritos for myself but they still hold a special place in my heart.  When I came across this recipe for bean burritos on Josie's blog all those memories of that wonderful afternoon snack rushed back.  Her description of her bean burritos sounded exactly like the one's my Grandma had made me countless times.  It didn't take long at all to determine that I needed HAD to make these very soon!  Once I discovered them I actually put the on the menu for the next week.

All I can say is WOW!  These burritos hit the spot and were so good.  The beans are cooked down; creating a thick yet creamy base.  The jalapenos and their juices added a lot of flavor and a nice amount of heat to the dish.  The cumin added a smoky undertone and melded well with the rest of the spices and flavors.  Once all the ingredients are cooked they are then stirred together and tons of cheesy goodness is added to create an even creamier filling for these burritos.  Once assembled they are topped with more cheese then placed in the oven to heat everything through and to create a cheesy layer over the top of the these creamy burritos.
This meal is delicious and simple to throw together making it perfect for the weeknight.  It's also a vegetarian meal which is perfect for us, since I am constantly trying to incorporate more meatless meals into our menu.  It's completely satisifying and fulfilling and the perfect comfort food.  I promise you can't go wrong with these.  Who doesn't like bean and cheese burritos, topped with more cheese?  To make this meal somewhat "healthy" I topped the burritos with fresh, chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro.  Not only adding a few vegetables but also a splash of color!

Bean and Cheese Burritos

2 Tsp vegetable or olive oil
1 Medium onion, finely diced
1-2 Tbsp pickled jalapenos, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tsp cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15oz) cans pinto beans, undrained
1-2 Tbsp jalapeno pickling liquid (depending on heat tolerance)
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles, drained
1/2 Cup salsa
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Cup shredded pepperjack cheese
12 (6inch) flour tortillas

To serve:
1 Cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
2-3 Scallions, minced
Sour cream


Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Place both cheeses in a bowl and toss to combine.  Set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and allow oil to get hot.  Add onion to the heated oil, allow to cook stirring frequently.  Once onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes, add the jalapenos, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Add the undrained beans, along with the diced chiles to the onion mixture and bring to a boil.  Once mixture has come to a boil reduce to a simmer and add pickling liquid and salsa and allow to cook until thickened.  Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and use a potato masher (or the back of a wide spoon) to mash the beans until desired consistency is achieved.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Add the cilantro and stir to combine.  Add half of the cheese mixture to the beans and stir until melted.

Place a scant 1/3 cup of the bean mixture into each tortilla and roll up.  Place the filled burrito in the prepared baking dish.  Repeat the process with remaining ingredients.  Once all burritos are filled, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle desired toppings over the burritos and serve.

Recipe source: Pink-Parsley 

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