Tasty (not) Tuesday – Cinco de Mayo Edition
I haven’t been so great at posting in the last month or so, and that stinks. Between the coming baby, language studies picking back up, and the whirlwind of meetings/events/everything else under the sun continuing through the next couple of months, I’ve been lacking on time and motivation to sit down and write. Not to mention it being the hot HOT season in Thailand, which leaves me with little desire to cook anything to write about either. Blech.
But, this week, I just had to. I mean, it’s Cinco de Mayo, people. I may not be Mexican, and I may not have any real ties to the holiday whatsoever… but we do celebrate the holiday all throughout the States, and I am an American. Thus, we are having burritos for supper.
If you’re from Indiana, it’s likely you may have heard of (or been to many times!) a Mexican restaurant chain called Hacienda. They’ve got fantastic food, an unlimited supply of chips and salsa, and they are the ones who make Brook’s favorite burrito in the whole wide world (and, considering where we live, I mean that literally) – the Wet Burrito. Lucky for him, he just so happens to have a wife that enjoys the challenge of recreating the things we miss from home, and has actually gotten pretty good at it.
So, tonight we’re having Wet Burritos – the Thailand edition.
Hacienda offers a choice of shredded beef, pork, or chicken, ground beef, black beans, or red potatoes – Brook always orders the chicken. So, that’s how I make them, too. I will tell you now, that my version may not be exactly like Hacienda’s (as I am basically going on a memory from the States here), but I’m getting closer with each time I make them and they still taste pretty dang good.
For me, it all comes down to tender chicken and a good mole.
I start out by poaching the chicken (skin on) in plain water (2 breasts makes about 4-6 regular size burritos, depending on how much you fill them, to give you a reference) until it’s nice and tender, reserving the fresh broth for sauce making.
This is the easiest recipe for me to make, as different kinds of chiles (outside of Thai varieties) are impossible for me to find. It’s a good base to work from, as it isn’t spicy at all and doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor. It would be easy for you to customize by adding some heat, chopped green chiles, or whatever other flavors you happen to like. Of course, if you’ve already got another recipe you like, or a jarred variety you enjoy, then go ahead and use that! The recipe, as is, makes 3 cups of sauce – I tend to cut the recipe by 1/3 since there’s only 2 of us in this house.
Once you’ve added the broth to the mole, let it simmer for just a minute or two, then add your chicken (cooked and shredded or broken up by hand) and let it reduce until it’s however thick or saucy you’d like it to be. I had just added my meat in the photo above, and let it cook for about 10 minutes from there. After your filling has reached your desired consistency, let it sit a few minutes to cool down and stiffen up a bit – this will keep your tortillas from tearing when filling and rolling them for the oven.
Once ready, lay out all of your ingredients, and get ready to roll – refried beans, meat filling, shredded lettuce, finely diced tomatoes (seeds removed!), and of course, warm flour tortillas.
Begin by spreading a thin layer of beans across the tortilla, adding a thicker strip down the middle if you so desire – I like beans, so I always add more to mine! Next come the tomatoes and a sprinkling of lettuce down the center of your tortilla. Finish it off by piling your chicken on top of the lettuce, being sure not to add so much that you can’t roll it up and tuck in the ends.
Once everything is in place, fold one end of the tortilla over to cover your filling. Next, tuck in the ends on both sides. Then, finish rolling the burrito (holding the ends in securely!) until sealed. Make sure you place burritos seam down, and close together, into whatever baking dish or casserole you are going to use. From here, you can cover them in your favorite taco or enchilada sauce, top with cheese and/or salsa, or whatever else you happen enjoy on your burritos. (We tend to just cover them with cheese, then add sour cream and salsa after they come out of the oven.) Go ahead and pop them in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted and bubbly and burritos are heated through. (I’m not sure what temp to tell you, as my oven does not have a temperature control on it… I just turn it up as high as the gas will go, and during our current season – my oven is outside – I know that will put me somewhere between 375-425F most evenings. 🙂
Last step – eat!