Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Making Frozen Burritos

Justin really loves burritos. He and his brother Jason spent their childhoods lusting over tortilla-wrapped goodness. Although burritos are generally a speedy thing to make, in our whirlwind work of school and stress, Justin particularly appreciates the quickness and efficiency of a frozen burrito. Out of the freezer, into the microwave, and into the belly in five minutes flat. But the Amy's burritos we usually buy, although delicious, are also pretty pricey.

So, for a while now, I've had it in my head that I would try my hand at my own frozen burritos to give to Justin as a gift. I scouted the internet for ideas on how to do this, but finding little of use, I ventured out on my own into the world of burrito making. Here's what I found: It's pretty easy to do. Just gather your ingredients (whatever makes your tummy happy), wrap them up in some tortillas, place the wrapped burritos on a cookie sheet so that they're not touching each other (otherwise, they stick together, like Jeff Daniels's tongue to that pole in Dumb and Dumber), and put in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Once they're good and frozen, you can take them off the space-hogging cookie sheets and put them in a ziploc bag, all piled together. After that, at your leisure, you can just remove a burrito, put it on a plate, microwave for 2ish minutes, and have yourself a great snack! Justin has found that because of some mysterious alchemy during the freezing process, the tortillas hold together really well after re-heating (even better than fresh!), even though I didn't do such a great job of wrapping them in the first place.

So, without further ado, photographs of my burrito-making process (although I'm sort of embarassed by the mediocrity of my food photographs, especially as compared to Heidi Swanson's of my favorite cooking/food photography blog, 101cookbooks):

My first burrito in the process of composition: refried beans thinned with soy milk, frozen corn, black beans, and mashed sweet potatoes creamed with a little sour cream.
Scrambled eggs and fried pieces of Gimme Lean, ready to go into my breakfast burritos (I made lunch and breakfast versions, on both white flour and whole wheat tortillas):

In most of the lunch burritos, I put this mashed sweet potato mixture, which also had some black beans, soy milk, cumin, coriander, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt mixed into it. In the colander you can see the wealth of fresh cilantro I used in just about every burrito:

Here are the refried beans and sauteed onions and garlic that I used in most of the burritos, along with my two piles of tortillas (both wheat and white versions from Trader Joe's--which are among the only tortillas I've found that don't have partially hydrogenated vegetable oils):

And finally, the homemade salsa that was in all the burritos (and, I think, the real key to their yumminess). The salsa contains Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes, fresh diced onion, lots of fresh cilantro, a few chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper:

A photo of the whole work station:

I just realized I don't actually have photos of the finished product. Sorry. But, happily, Justin loved his surprise frozen burritos and has been enjoying them for the past few weeks!

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