Bean Burritos

Refried beans and burritos in one fast recipe.
TIME About 30 minutes
MAKES 4 to 8 servings
8 small or 4 large flour tortillas (8- or 12-inch diameter)
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups drained cooked or canned pinto beans
1 cup grated cheddar, Jack, or other cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup roughly chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 cup salsa

1 Heat the oven to 300°F. Stack the tortillas on a sheet of foil and roll them up with the foil into a log. Warm them in the oven while you make the filling.

2 Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it softens and begins to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin, cayenne, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and stir until the spices become fragrant, no more than 1 minute. Add the beans and mash them with a large fork or potato masher until they’re mostly broken up but not completely smooth.

3 Cook, mashing and stirring, until the onion is quite soft and the beans are hot and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes; add water, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture looks dry.Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more spices if you like.

4 Remove the tortillas from the oven. Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and put about ¼ cup of the beans (or ½ cup for large tortillas) on the third closest to you. Sprinkle with about an eighth of the cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa (or a quarter for large tortillas).

5 For small tortillas, fold the 2 sides of the tortilla in to cover the fillings partway, then roll up the tortilla to fully enclose them; put the burrito seam side down on a plate. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings. For large tortillas, first fold the tortilla over the fillings to enclose them, then fold in the sides and roll. (You will have some leftover beans.) Serve right away.

  • 10 Mix-and-Match Fillings. Instead of or in addition to the other ingredients; stick to about ½ cup total for each burrito

1 Grated or crumbled Mexican-style cheese, like queso fresco
2 Scrambled eggs
3 Cooked chicken
4 Chunks of roasted potato
5 Cooked corn
6 Chopped scallions
7 Minced fresh chiles
8 Chopped olives, any kind
9 Chopped fresh tomatoes
10 Chopped avocados

  • Another heating method: Wrap the tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for 30 seconds; check and heat for another 10 seconds or so, until they’re hot but not soggy. To keep tortillas warm, wrap them in a dry kitchen towel.
  • Try substituting bacon fat, lard, vegetable oil, or butter for the olive oil in the beans—all will result in slightly different flavors.

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