Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Black bean & Brown rice burrito w. fresh guacamole

A simple, but delicious food: burritos. You can make them in any combination you like and never go wrong. In Providence, we like to eat burritos from La Lupita's, an "authentic" and affordable cafeteria-style restaurant in Olneyville. Yet, these delights are so easy to make that making them at home is a no-fuss undertaking. Here is my favorite combination, which is filling and can be served both: as a vegetarian (if you add cheese) or as a vegan entrée (without cheese). 

I start by making the brown rice. Brown rice takes longer to make than white rice, and like all foods in their natural state (unbleached, unprocessed), it is much better for your digestive system and your overall health. I prepare the brown rice, just like I would white rice, by adding salt, olive oil to the water, letting it boil then adding the rice. Brown rice requires more water, so if you make 2 cups of rice, add 4 to 5 cups of water. It will look  watery, but I promise that the rice will absorb all of the water. After I add the rice to the boiling water, I cover it and cook it on low-medium heat (covered for about 45 minutes). If the brown rice still feels "hard" after this, I add a tablespoon of water, cover it, and will set it to low for about 10 more minutes. But keep in mind, that brown rice will not get mushy, in the same way that white rice does. It's supposed to have a grainy, slightly hard consistency. (**Also, do not turn the rice while it is cooking, simply let it cook and turn it at the very end).

While the rice is cooking, I start the black beans. I make a black bean stew. I begin by adding olive oil in a pot, adding a tablespoon of fresh sofrito, add fresh peppers (either red or green, or whichever you have at hand), I add fresh, crushed garlic (about 5 cloves), one cubed tomato, and sliced mushrooms (bellas are best). I then add salt and pepper and about 1 teaspoon of vinegar (the more beans you use, the more vinegar you should add to "break up" the flavor density). I let these ingredients come together for a few minutes then I add the black beans and cover to cook for about 20 minutes on low-heat (on 4 on the stove's dial). 

While the black beans are cooking, I begin on the guacamole. This guacamole is simple to make. I begin by cutting the avocados in half, taking the pit out and with a spoon remove the "meat" and place it in a bowl. Cut up fresh cilantro and add it to the avocados. Crush fresh garlic and add it, squeeze some lime juice from a fresh lime into the mix, then add hot sauce or chili sauce, and salt to taste. Using a fork smash and mix everything together until you get a paste, it is fine if its a little lumpy. 

Heat your large tortillas and begin piling your ingredients. I start with the brown rice, then I add the black beans, the guacamole, salsa, and finally cheese if you so desire. 

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