Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Make-Ahead Bean Burritos

Last week, Lisa B. at Easy Frugal Living asked her readers how they keep breakfast quick and easy. In my comment, I told her that I make breakfast burritos ahead of time, but also that I think a bean burrito can be just as good for breakfast as an egg burrito. She responded by asking me to do a post on how I make my bean burritos for the freezer.

This is another of those "non-recipe" recipes. I just throw some stuff together, roll it up and freeze it.

For the filling, I usually cook my own pinto beans using 1 pound pintos, 1 Tablespoon salt and a Tablespoon or so of bacon drippings. I cook them until tender, drain off most of the soup, then mash them up a little with a potato masher so they are still a bit chunky instead of completely smooth. In the pictures below I used black beans instead of pintos. I mixed in about 2 Tablespoons salsa and just sprinkled on a little cheddar cheese. Sometimes I mix the cheese right into the beans before spreading them on the tortillas. Sometimes I add leftover cooked rice, ground beef or chicken to the mixture. Really, it's just whatever I have on hand that determines what goes into the burritos.

As for the tortillas, I like to make my own, but I usually don't. Making them is time consuming and I find it very difficult to get them rolled out large enough. I can get them large enough to roll enchilada-style, but not large enough to fold both ends in. Usually I buy a package of two dozen at Sam's Club. Sometimes I splurge a little and buy tortillas made from scratch at a Mexican grocery store just up the street.

To assemble the burritos, I heat one tortilla at a time in the microwave for 7-10 seconds, then lay it on a piece of foil on my countertop.

I spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup bean filling across the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle it with cheese.

I then fold both sides in to the center.

I fold the edge closest to me up toward the top. Actually, I do fold to the top, but then I slide it back toward me until it's just a little above the center point.  Why?  No real reason other than that's how I was taught to do it when I worked at Taco Bell back in my early 20s.  I do think it makes a tighter burrito, however.

At this point, I quit folding and start rolling, rolling the burrito away from me toward the opposite edge.

Then I center the rolled burrito on the foil and wrap the foil the same way I wrapped the tortilla:  sides in, bottom up, then roll away from me.

Once all the filling is rolled into burritos, I place them all in a plastic bag (often the bag the tortillas came in) and put it all in the freezer.

To heat the burritos later, I just unwrap them from the foil and microwave them for 1 to 2 minutes.  They can also be heated in the foil in the oven, but I don't ever do that, so I'm not sure how long it would take.  Another way would be to unwrap them and either pan or deep fry them chimichanga-style.

That's it.  Easy peasy! 

I make my breakfast burritos basically the same way.  I scramble eggs, using one large egg for each tortilla I have, plus one or two more eggs (for example, if I had 10 tortillas to fill, I'd cook 12 eggs).  After the eggs are cooked, I stir in shredded cheese, maybe some sauteed green pepper and onion, and cooked ham, sausage or bacon.  Sometimes I leave the cheese out and spread a little mild queso sauce on the tortilla instead.  I don't usually include salsa as we all like our burritos with different amounts of salsa and heat.  I roll them, freeze them and reheat them the same as the bean burritos. 

Either of these burritos makes a quick and easy breakfast or lunch.

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McVal said...

Brilliant idea! I'm going to have to try that! It will sure make mornings quicker.

slugmama said...

I wonder if my kids would eat breakfast burritos? Not that they wouldn't like them but they just don't seem to want to eat anything in the morning. Maybe I'll try some out soon....if they won't eat them maybe Hubs will grab one on his way out the door in the a.m.

Jill said...

Yum, Thanks for sharing, great idea!

Lisa B. said...

Annie thanks for posting your how to. I just have two questions. When you microwave your shells do you just microwave them on a plate? What size tortilla do you use for your burritos?

I cant wait to make these! Once again thanks.

Annie Jones said...

McVal and Sluggy: These are good for lunches, too, especially if there's access to a microwave. Shane doesn't usually, so he warms the bean burritos before he leaves and eats them at room temp at lunchtime.

Jill: I hope you like them.

LisaB: I use "burrito size" which I think is 10" size. Sometimes it says on the package, other times not. I just throw them right on the turntable in my microwave, but you could put them on a plate or paper towel if you like.

Sheila said...

I do make breakfast burritos once in a while but there are never enough to freeze. Maybe I should make a batch just for freezing. I don't know why I've never made bean burritos--my 2 girls love them. I like the idea of bean burritos for breakfast too as we aren't too fond of most breakfast foods in the mornings--we would rather have leftovers!! Thanks for sharing these.

SonyaAnn said...

Would it be wrong to blame you for my fat @$$? UGH, I'm always hungry here!!!
Great time and money saver!