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My Mom's Bean Burritos

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Category: The US and Canada
Forum Name: Texas and the Southwest
Forum Discription: Vaquero Cuisine
URL: http://foodsoftheworld.ActiveBoards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=1314
Printed Date: 25 February 2020 at 11:29


Topic: My Mom's Bean Burritos
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: My Mom's Bean Burritos
Date Posted: 18 October 2013 at 14:52

This one has been in our family since I was a kid and never fails to be a good one. My mother is originally from southwestern Colorado, so i am assuming that she brought this recipe to our family from her childhood. It's one that I remember her making when I was young, and for some reason it was always a special time when we had them, even though there's nothing complicated or elaborate about the recipe.

Here's what you need for 10 to 12 burritos:
  • 1 package of 10 or 12 "regular-sized" (maybe 10"?) flour tortillas
  • 1 "large" can of refried beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 "large" can of Old El Paso enchilada sauce
  • Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Oil for frying

A note on ingredients: I personally prefer to use Old El Paso enchilada sauce when making these burritos; this may seem weird to some, but it's what I like. Keep in mind that if you want, you can use any sauce, or make your own; this is simply the sauce I grew up with for home-made tacos and burritos - I didn't even know there were "other" taco sauces out there to use until I was in my teens!Shocked Besides, I like the flavour profile that it has, and it works very nicely with the refried beans and onion, so it is recommended. I guess thinking about it, you can make your own tortillas, too - and refried beans and so on - but this is weeknight food, where some convenience is understandable or desired. Besides, this is how my mom made them, so this is how it's getting made! LOL

Here's the goods, as they say: 
 
 
You've probably noticed that there is some extra stuff here. We bought enough for what was essentially a double batch this time, since we were feeding a crowd. The store didn't have a large can of sauce, so I got three small ones. We ended up making 17 burritos total (don't ask me how that number came to be the result, because I don't know), but had leftover beans and a little over 1 can of extra sauce, so it's safe to assume that 1 large can of refried beans will make 10 to 12 burritos, depending on how you divide it up - more on that, later. Also, as you can see, we added some sliced olives to the party, since The beautiful Mrs. Tas likes black olives on anything remotely Mexican.
 
But something's missing! What could it be?
 
Oh yeah, the cheese.... Well, since I'm cutting up the onions, here's the cheese, too:
 
 
When I was growing up, we used a cheese called "longhorn," a variety of cheddar that I really like; however, longhorn seems to be rather scarce these days - at least around here - so I usually go with the sharpest cheddar I can find. If you prefer a white cheese, then I recommend one that has a similar flavour profile and "meltability."
 
In any case, dice your onion finely, and then let's get going with the tortillas. My mom insists that you need to give the tortillas a little bath in some hot oil, just for a few seconds on each side, so that's what we're going to do here. This keeps the tortillas from drying out while they are in the oven, and I believe that it also helps with colour and flavour, as well; a "raw" tortilla just doesn't taste as good, and tends to break while folding or eating anyway, so let's listen to Mom on this one, ok?
 
Heat up some oil, shortening or whatever in a pan - enough to just barely cover the tortillas. We used canola oil in this case, but I distinctly remember Mom using Crisco when I was a kid, because I liked to watch it melt. Any frying pan will work, but I love my cast-iron, so I used my cast iron.
 
Once the oil is heated up over medium to medium-high heat, drop a tortilla in it just for a few seconds, until it starts to puff up:
 
 
Here, my youngest son Roger is learning the art of flipping a tortilla over without flinging hot oil around:
 
 
Heat the "other side" of the tortilla just just a few seconds - probably the same amount of time as the first side:
 
 
Keep in mind that you don't want to actually cook the tortilla, like you might do with a soft-shell taco or other Tex-Mex dish; you simply want to heat it up a bit so that it is pliable and get a little oil into it so that it will not dry out in the oven.
 
After a few seconds, remove the tortilla from the pan, stacking them all between layers of paper towels:
 
 
Yes, that looks incredibly "oily," but the paper towels soak up the majority, and when I was assembling the burritos, I didn't find them to be excessively oily or greasy.
 
Speaking of assembling the burritos, once all of the tortillas have gotten their hot bath, you will be ready to go! But first, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
 
This is pretty easy and needs very little explanation, but here's how Mom does it: toss down a tortilla, then run out a line of refried beans:
 
 
As far as the amount of beans - well, that's up to you.  I am not sure of the exact amount, but then again, Mom never got out the kitchen scale when she made these, so I am guessing that no one's going to be giving a quiz on it later. Wink If you want, you can open up the beans and divide them into 10 or 12 portions, depending on the number of tortillas you have. I simply use somewhere between a spoonful and a spoonful-and-a-half. The spoon I refer to is the larger of the two spoons that comes with any common silverware set. Keep in mind that the beans tend to expand or something in the oven; it always seems like I don't have enough beans while I am assembling them, but that suspicion is laid to rest by the time they are finished.
 
Once the beans are down, add some of the diced onion:
 
 
A scant or generous sprinkling, according to taste, should be good.
 
Next, add some sauce:
 
 
Where the amount of sauce is concerned, use a spoon the same size as the one you used for the beans - and also your judgement. I put on 3 spoonfuls, but I think that 4 would have been just a little better; no need to be skimpy with it!
 
After that, some cheese, according to taste:
 
 
And some olives, if you like them:
 
 
Now, simply roll the tortilla up - one side over the other - and secure it with a toothpick:
 
 
You can roll them in a way that makes them closed at the ends if you'd like, but Mom never did, so I rarely do. It seems that when I do them closed-ended, I invariably get a blow-out or three, so the way I see it, you might as well leave them open-ended; besides, they look better that way, to me, when they come out of the oven. If the tortilla "unwraps" a little, that's ok, as long as the burrito is secured with a toothpick. I remember them doing this as a kid, and it never hurt anything; in fact, when this happens, you end up with crispy-browned edges on the tortilla that really taste good after baking in the oven.
 
Here's one pan of burritos, ready to go:
 
 
You did pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, right? If not, do so now.
 
Here are all the assembled burritos, ready to hit the oven:
 
 
Put the burritos on the middle rack of the oven, and then bake them at 350 degrees for a t least a half-hour; if necessary bake them a little longer - up to 45 minutes.
 
Here's what they should look like coming out of the oven:
 
 
Pretty nice wouldn't you say?
 
What else can we do, but plate them up?
 
 
As I said before, I really like these burritos to me, all the flavours work just right. The oven-baked tortilla, the refried beans, the earthy sauce, the melty, tangy cheese and the roasted onions are all working as hard as they can here, just to give you some great flavours!
 
I prefer my burritos unadorned, the same as I had been eating them all my life:
 

 
The Beautiful Mrs. Tas, however, likes to have some sour cream and salsa available for dipping:
 
 
Either way, it's all good!
 
And with that, I will leave you, Dear Reader, to reflect and hopefully be inspired to try this recipe. They really are easy, and quite delicious; comforting, hot, wholesome eating any night of the week.
 
As always, if you have any questions or comments, just let me know! Thanks for looking, and thanks Mom for the burritos!
 
Ron


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Replies:
Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 18 October 2013 at 15:04
That looks delicious Ron!

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Mike
http://lifeinpitrow.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow - Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 18 October 2013 at 15:34
Delicious is exactly what they are, Mike, and super easy to make as well!

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Posted By: africanmeat
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 02:13
now i got a problem .Vegas or Chinook  Vegas or Chinook ?

Man they look scrumptious .




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Ahron


Posted By: MarkR
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 06:44
Looks great Ron, quick and easy!
A little thing a Mexican girl taught me....nooo not that. When you fry the tortillas, if you can find avocado oil it makes a big difference.Wink


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Mark R


Posted By: Rod Franklin
Date Posted: 19 October 2013 at 08:38
I like burritos and these look good, cheap and quick. All are qualities I can get behind.

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Hungry


Posted By: AK1
Date Posted: 20 October 2013 at 06:26
Yup! I could eat 1 or 3 of those. Nice job Ron.


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 22 October 2013 at 11:50
Thank you very much everyone - it's just a simple, worknight dish, but one that I enjoy ~
 
Ahron - you are welcome to visit any time!
 
Mark, I've heard of avacado oil, but don't recall seeing it. If I come across some, I will try it ~
 
Rod - please do give these a try - they don't have quite the cultural impact as some old family dishes do, but they are indeed very, very good. and as you said cheap and quick, as well, which have virtues of their own ~
 
Darko - give 'em a shot!


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Posted By: AK1
Date Posted: 22 October 2013 at 14:00
I did Ron! Last night for dinner. Damn! They was good!!!! I think the kicker is that quick fry of the tortillas. It makes a huge difference in flavour.


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 22 October 2013 at 14:21
hey! i am honoured that you tried them and glad - very glad - that you enjoyed them!
 
i agree about the quick fry of the tortillas; also, i think that the (possibly) unusual use of enchilada sauce, rather than some more traditional sauce, really makes the dish. there's a great tang there that bakes in with the earthiness of the sauce and interacts well with every single other component of the dish ~ love 'em!


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Posted By: AK1
Date Posted: 22 October 2013 at 15:37
We normally have burritos, fajitas... at least once every few weeks. After trying these, I'll be doing the quick fry always. May not always bake, but the quick fry is a definite.


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 22 October 2013 at 15:50
we usually do the quick fry when we make home-made tacos, also - another one that i learned from my mom. i'll do a separate thread/pictorial on my mom's home-made tacos  in the future, but basically you fry a tortilla, same as above except for a few seconds longer on each side to get a little more browning. layer between paper towels, of course. then simply lay a tortilla flat on a plate, spread out some crumbled and cooked ground beef, and then the rest of your favourite taco toppings from a selection that was laid out, which for some reason ALWAYS included a can pork and beans heated on the stovetop (don't judge me! lol).

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Posted By: Rod Franklin
Date Posted: 22 October 2013 at 17:33
Tas, have you ever made your own refried beans? I used to buy cans of refried beans, but some un-remembered source clued me to home made and I never went back. Simple too. Fry about a 1/4 of a small onion in some fat (lard, bacon grease, vegetable oil, butter(I like lard or butter)) till just beginning to brown on the edges. Add half a clove or less of minced garlic (optional.) Immediately add the entire contents of a can of pinto beans. That's everything that's in the can with the onions and let everything boil for just a minute. Mash the beans while they are still in the pan (be careful) using the bottom of a bottle or a glass or something till they're good and mashed up and stir it around to mix everything well. Don't add spices of any kind. That's it! Easy as falling off a log. Only takes a few minutes and they really are good.

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Hungry


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 October 2013 at 09:17
Rod - it's definitely a goal of mine; i've always known they were easy to make but have just never given it a shot.
 
In your recipe above, what size is the can of pinto beans? I'm assuming the "normal" size that is roughly equivalent of a soup can (actually a bit bigger, but you know what I mean), but if it is one of the larger cans, let me know.


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Posted By: Rod Franklin
Date Posted: 23 October 2013 at 19:11
I just looked at a can and it says it's 15oz., that's a normal vegetable can size. I have a plastic potato masher that I use to mash the beans. That's safer in a non-stick pan. And make sure you use everything that's in the can. The beans, the liquid and that thick sludge too.


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Hungry


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 27 October 2013 at 11:42
got it - that's what i was thinking.... thanks!

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Posted By: Rod Franklin
Date Posted: 27 October 2013 at 16:08
I think I have all the stuff to make these. Wednesday or Thursday probably.

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Hungry


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 27 October 2013 at 18:34
Looking forward to it ~ Thumbs Up

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Posted By: AK1
Date Posted: 28 October 2013 at 16:57
I think my local supermarket has avocado oil. I'll have to try it.


Posted By: AK1
Date Posted: 30 October 2013 at 13:00
Yep! got some today.  Making burrito's later with rib meat.


Posted By: Rod Franklin
Date Posted: 30 October 2013 at 16:28
These got made tonight. Easy to make and real good. I liked mine with a little sour cream. I've never eaten anything with fried then baked flour tortillas. It was different and good. Home made re-fried beans, canned store brand enchilada sauce and chicken fat used for frying. Baking didn't take as long because the beans were already hot.

Another keeper. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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Hungry


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 05 November 2013 at 17:11
sounds like it went really well, rod ~ i'm glad that you liked them!

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Posted By: drinks
Date Posted: 12 March 2015 at 14:43
Sorta flour tortilla enchiladas with the sauce on the inside rather than over the outside.
Interesting.
I have made my own frijoles refritos most of my life, comes with having a favorite aunt who was 1/2 Tamaliquin and 1/2 Cajun and who made the best tamales I have ever tasted.
I have asked a number of Spanish speakers why beans that are only fried once are called "refrito", meaning refried.
Anyone have an explanation?
Anyway, tonight is going to be enchilidas but in tortillas de maiz not de harina.


Posted By: gracoman
Date Posted: 12 March 2015 at 16:36
Originally posted by drinks drinks wrote:


I have asked a number of Spanish speakers why beans that are only fried once are called "refrito", meaning refried.
Anyone have an explanation?

The term frijoles refritos is a mistranslation that means well fried beans, not fried again.


Posted By: drinks
Date Posted: 13 March 2015 at 10:59
Ron, I was thinking about the "Longhorn" cheese.
I looked it up,as I suspected it is a shape not a flavor of cheese.
It is available here, still the 1/2 moon shape with the red wax coating over cheese cloth and it is still a mild cheddar/colby type cheese.
I use sharp cheddar or the 4 cheese Mexican blend, make real nachos about once a month and usually use the 4 type blend.
Real nachos are tostados,( fried corn tortilla triangles) sliced pickled peppers and grated cheese, cooked in the oven until the cheese melts over it all.
The crop of "designer" nachos, with everything but dead cats on them is a far cry from what " Nacho" Garcia started makng in Rio Grande City about 1946.
I ate them at the restaurant where "Nacho" was cooking in the '50s and '60s.
It was on the way to Falcon Lake to go fishing, great catfish there.:<)



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