Friday, July 15, 2011

Fast and Easy Burritos

I decided to make burritos tonight using the tortillas and cheese I had bought at Dollar Tree (it's actually a cheese substitute, but for a buck, I can handle using it for cooking). I just haven't felt up to cooking these days, although I have cooked more this last week than I have in a while. Whether it's the heat or something else, I don't know.

Anyway, I was sure I had refried beans in the pantry, so I thawed the ground beef and went to get the ingredients out. Uh oh! The meat is browning, but there are no refried beans to be found. So, I took the two cans of pinto beans I also had and used them, mashing the beans with the potato masher I also use to break up the ground beef in the pan. I then poured a cup of salsa in and about a cup of Mexican cheese shreds. I use mild salsa, but you can up the ante with medium or hot if you prefer. You can also add leftover rice (Spanish rice would work well) if your family enjoys rice. I stick to the tried and true when I'm feeding my daughter. It's just easier that way.

I put the tortillas in the microwave and heated them for about 45 seconds, but it's probably best to put them on a flat griddle to heat. As soon as they start to puff, they're ready. Don't let them get crispy. You just want them soft.

Now, I didn't prepare anything else to go with this. My daughter likes shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes, but we didn't have lettuce and I don't like tomatoes, so she can dice her own tomato. I like them just as they are - hot, cheesy beans and meat slathered on a soft flour tortilla and rolled. It's a wonderful and filling dish.

You can also use this mix as a hot dip if you want - keep it in a small slow cooker to stay warm and soft. Adjust the ingredients to make it more "dippy", to your taste. In fact, that's how I discovered this burrito filling. I was at a party where it was served as a dip. I found out what was in it and tried my hand at home. It was a success with my kids and their friends (whenever I had it, I also had Court and Tara on hand, too.)

As I was saying, though, this is a very flexible recipe. Some add corn or rice or diced green chilis. Some have more meat than beans. Some use beans only. Others keep the beans separate from the meat. I might try corn one day since that's a family favorite, but I prefer the one pan concept, so I'll stick with the mixture rather than separate the ingredients.

A dip that looks very much like my burrito filling - found at Recipe Girl.

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