Thursday, May 24, 2012

Black bean and plantain burritos

Why have I never thought of this before?  I love black beans.  I love plantains.  I've eaten them paired together so many times it isn't even funny - especially living in Venezuela.  They both pair well with queso fresco.  So why have I never thought to put them all together in a burrito?  I have no idea.  But I saw this idea in a cookbook I have checked out of the library called The everything guide to being vegetarian.   While I can't say that it is my favorite cookbook, or that I want to buy it, it has had some good ideas - like this one.  However, in this recipe the book used canned beans - I used dried and totally changed up the recipe.  However, I do have to credit the book for giving me the idea of putting those 3 ingredients in a burrito.  So yummy.  The plantain adds a delicious sweetness and the queso fresco adds a nice saltiness that just made a unique and wonderful burrito.  Definitely want to try this again.  Oh, and sadly, the left overs are already gone - should have made more I guess.
Here is my version - some of the measurements are a bit vague, but it is to adjust to taste.


  • 2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • salsa -to taste I'd say 1/4-1/2 cup.  Sadly I ran out so I was closer to the 1/4 cup, but a bit more would have been nice.
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ancho chile
  • 2-3 ripe (yellow to black) plantains
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • tortillas -10-12 depending on the size.  If large burrito size, maybe only 6-8.  I used some homemade corn, and some flour ones from the store.
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  1. Place the  black beans, ancho chile, and 6 cups of water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are cooked.  (For me, it took only  about 1 hour.) (I also have to mention here that I took the skin off of the ancho as it cooked - not sure if it is necessary, but it kind of peels right off once it is hot.)
  2. Add oregano, cumin, and salt and continue simmering and stirring occasionally until the water is mostly gone.  
  3. Meanwhile, slice the plantains and fry until golden  in 1-2 Tablespoons of oil per batch. 
  4. When the water is mostly gone int he beans, add the salsa.  Heat through mashing until desired consistency. (For me this was pretty mashed because typically my youngest won't eat beans if he can tell they are beans, but it ok with them if they are mashed.)
  5. Serve beans topped with a couple slices of plantain, sprinkled with queso fresco and wrapped in a tortilla.  YUM!

The tortilla pictured here is a corn one.  I've found a corn tortilla at the store that is like the best of both worlds - soft and pliable like flour, but tastes like corn.  It ran in my mind that they used vital wheat gluten in it, so I tried out these by making the recipe on the masa harina package but adding a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and a bit of olive oil.  The result was fine, but still needing work.  Hopefully one day I'll get a version I love and post about it.  :)

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