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08/30/2012

~ "White Out" White Chicken 'n Corn Chili Burritos ~

IMG_0262Well my foodie friends, Fall is in the air and I for one just love this time of year.  Joe's vegetable garden is slowing down to a manageable pace, the Labor Day weekend is upon us, the college football/tailgate season is about to kickoff, and, kids everywhere are heading back to school. For whatever reasons, every year at this time, these events inspire me to cook up a big pot of chili, and, it was my plan to do just that until:  I noticed I still had two containers in my freezer from last years chili extravaganza, which are presently thawing on my kitchen counter.  So, I changed the gameplan.  I'm using it to make one of my family's favorite Fall football-watching meals:  

Burritos!!!

ImagesA bit about burritos:  A burrito is a type of sandwich found in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.  It consists of a large flour tortilla that has been wrapped or folded around a filling, then lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more piable.  In Mexico, refried beans, Mexican-style rice and meat (or a meat mixture) are typically the only fillings used.  In Spanish, the word "burrito" means "little donkey", coming from the word "burro", which means "donkey".  As the story goes, during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921), in the El Paso area, a street-food vendor named Juan Mendez sold tacos at his street stand.  Because of the war, for safety sake, it became necessary for him to continually pack up and move his stand/street-cart from place to place.  He began using his donkey as transport for himself and his food.  In order to keep the food warm as it traveled, Juan had the idea of wrapping it in large flour tortillas.  His food invention became so popular that consumers began traveling to him from other places around the Mexican border in search of:

The "burrito", or: "the food from the little donkey"!

IMG_0250Almost 40 years ago, a great and good friend of mine, a beautiful Mexican woman named Toni (Antoinette), who hailed from San Antonio, Texas, taught me how to make burritos the way her Mexican grandmother taught her how to make them.  In her recipe, the burritios are filled, folded and rolled, then placed in a casserole (her grandmother used a clay pot with a lid).  A wonderful, kind of spicy cumin gravy, made using some of the liquid the meat filling has been cooked in, is spooned over the top and the casserole is baked, just long enough to heat the burritios through.  Her recipe is the "knife and fork" version of burritos that my children grew up eating, enjoying and loving.  Lucky, lucky kids indeed.

6a0120a8551282970b0133f563b1e5970b-800wiOne Fall evening back in the mid 1980's my family was eating my ~ White Chicken 'n Corn Chili ~ for dinner. (The recipe can be found in Categories 2, 3, 13, 17, 19 or 22.) During the course of dinner, our middle son, Eliot, mentioned, "mom, I think your white chicken chili would taste great in those burritos you make". The very next evening, using some of my leftover chili and Toni's method for making burritos, the white chicken chili burrito was born and my family never looked back.

IMG_0140For the burrito filling and rice:

6  cups of my  recipe for ~ "White Out" White Chicken 'n Corn Chili ~, found in Categories 2, 3, 13, 17, 19 or 22 

1  8-ounce package Vigo Mexican Rice with Corn, prepared as package directs (Note:  If you cannot find Mexican rice, any type of Spanish rice mix is a fine substitute.)

IMG_0155For the cumin gravy:

2  10-ounce cans enchilada sauce, hot or mild

2  14 1/2-ounce cans stewed tomatoes, undrained

1/2  cup of liquid from above chili

3  tablespoons Wondra Quick-Mixing Flour for Sauce and Gravy

4  tablespoons ground cumin

1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes

IMG_0166

 

 

IMG_0158Place all ingredients for sauce in a 4-quart saucepan. Stir together until smooth.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and continue to cook until nicely thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside while assembling the burritos as per the following directions:

IMG_0170For the assembly:

12  10"-round flour tortillas

1 1/2-2 16-ounce cans refried beans

1  8-ounce bag, grated white cheddar cheese (2 cups)

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing pans

red pepper flakes, for garnish

IMG_0184 IMG_0174Step 1. Spread a generous 2 tablespoons of refried beans to within 1"  of the edge of each tortilla.

~ Step 2.  On top of the beans, distribute a generous 1/3 cup of the rice.

~ Step 3.  Place a generous 1/3 cup of the white chicken chili, in a lengthwise strip, over the rice, across the center of the tortilla.

IMG_0188 IMG_0186~ Step 4. Fold the side of the tortilla closest to you up and over the filling.

~ Step 5. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla over the first flap and towards the center.

IMG_0196~ Step 6. Roll the tortilla over, so that it is seam side down.

IMG_0207~ Step 7.  Place six burritos, seam side down in each of two 13" x 9" x 2" casserole dishes that have been sprayed with no-stick spray.

IMG_0200~ Step 8.  If you have any leftover rice or chili, stir up to 1/2 cup of each into the cumin gravy.

IMG_0216~ Step 9.  Ladle about 3-4 cups of gravy over the centers of the burritos in each dish, allowing it to drizzle down between the burritos to form a shallow puddle in the bottom of both dishes.

~ Step 10.  Evenly distribute 1 cup of grated white cheddar cheese over the gravy in each dish (1 cup total per dish).

IMG_0220~  Step 11.  Bake, uncovered, on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven 20-25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted but not browned. Remove from oven and cover each casserole with aluminum foil for about 5-10 minutes, to allow the tortillas to steam through.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, plate, and serve immediately: 

IMG_0226"White Out" White Chicken 'n Corn Chili Burritos:  Recipe yields 12 hearty servings.

Special Equipment List:  4-quart saucepan w/lid; 2, 13" x 9" x 2" casserole dishes; soup ladle; aluminum foil; spatula

6a0120a8551282970b015435f6f6ae970c-800wiCook's Note:  For another one of my family's favorite, Fall meals, my recipe for ~ Stuffed Peppers? Make Mine Poblanos Please ~ can be found in Categories 3, 13, or 19!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

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