So, in keeping with my previous post about weekly dinners, here's our #1 standard dinner. It's cheap, easy as hell, and filling. Duhhhh, burritos! As we get terrifyingly closer to buying our first home (no jinx! no jinx!), this will probably be on the menu like 3 times a week. BEANS AND RICE 4 LYFE, SUCKAS. All my adorable mumbo jumbo about budgeting is going to get thrown out the window when we buy a house, because our rent is basically going to double no matter what- good bye, fancy eggs! We are lucky to have found a really cheap apartment a few years ago and the rent hasn't really gone up with the rest of the neighborhood. BUT, whatever- we're here to talk about food.
First of all- "Burrito night." I know it's dorky, but along with enjoying family meals at the table, I like to keep a sense of order and consistency in my kid's world by referring to dinners like, "Burrito night! Pizza night! Noodle night!" etc. I feel like it will give him something to look forward to when he's a little older and give him a sense of family stability and BLAH BLAH BLAH- I am totally over-thinking this. So, burrito night, it happens every week. We usually time it so that it falls on a night that I babysit, which means that my friends probably think we eat NOTHING BUT BURRITOS, since I always drop their daughter off in the evening with the sendoff, "She had a burrito!" The reason we time it this way is that burrito night basically = opening a bunch of cans and rolling shit up in a tortilla. I'm not gonna lie, this is the laziest night of my week. The only way we could get lazier would be to go to an actual burrito shop, which we occasionally throw up our hands in exhaustion and do, (we're only human!) but why pay 15 bucks for 3 burritos when the basic elements of this meal total up to like 5 dollars?
A recent phone call with my mother revealed that she doesn't know how to make spanish rice from scratch. I can't fault her for this- I didn't know either until I met my husband. I feel like this is one of those things everybody should know how to do, like boil an egg (hey, I learned to do this last year!) or like, wipe their own butt. We make spanish rice from things that we always have around the house. Look, I'm not even going to bother looking up a recipe for this or pretending like I know anything about spanish rice, so spare me your "MY MEXICAN GRANDMA DOES IT LIKE THIS, AND YOU ARE DOING THIS WRONG, BLAH BLAH BLAH." I don't care- this is how we make it, it tastes good in our burritos.
More moments of confession: I am a sloppy-ass cook. I don't really measure anything, I eyeball everything, and if it doesn't come out just right, I eat it anyway. I kind of apply the same logic to cooking that I do when I cut my own hair- YOU JUST HAVE TO BE COOL WITH THE IDEA OF SHAVING YOUR WHOLE HEAD, AND THEN YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND CUT YOUR OWN HAIR. In short, if you screw it up, it's not the end of the world. Deal with it, or start over.
Sorry, I just have a lot of pictures to show off. I used 2 cans of beans last night because I wanted leftovers for lunch today.
ANYWAY MAKE SOME SPANISH RICE:
about a cup of rice
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (these are so good! i know i'm all boo-hoo-no-processed-food but sometimes you need some damn canned tomatoes.)
handful of chili powder
smaller handful of cumin
bay leaf (i didn't have any yesterday, bummerrrr)
a little water
In a large pan, saute onions and garlic until they begin to soften. Dump in the rice and spices, and toast for a minute or two. Dump in the can of tomatoes, stir it around, and then dump in like a can's worth of water or so. You just want to make sure the rice is covered with liquid, but err on the side of a teeny bit more, because overcooked gummy rice is preferable, in my opinion- to crunchy undercooked rice.
Stir it around and put a bay leaf in, then drop a lid on it. Stir a couple of times to make sure it doesn't stick, and in about 20 minutes or so you have a big ass fluffy pan of spanish rice. You can also use stock instead of water but it's not a huge deal. It does taste better, though. THERE- stop using a box now, mom. You don't need all that sodium in your life. OH YEAH speaking of sodium, make sure you remember to salt your rice. I always forget and then my husband is all, "UGH, PASS THE SALT."
Anyway, oh hey- do you know how to fold a burrito? Sure, you could just do tacos, but there's just something about the meal-in-the-palm-of-your-hand that is a burrito that is so dang satisfying. I worked at some crappy local taco chain when I was a teenager, rolling burritos all day, so I like to think that I'm pretty darn good at it. I tried to do a little photo essay describing my method, but damn if it isn't a pain in the butt to try and photograph yourself ROLLING A BURRITO ONE-HANDED.
Basically, you tuck in the sides first:
And then you grab the end closest to you and fold it over so it touches the other end, and then tuck it under.
Then you just kind of keep pinching the sides in and roll the whole thing up, it's really satisfying, okay? This method works really good with spring rolls, too.
Heat up the tortilla on a cast iron skillet, dump some food inside, (CHEESE. BEANS. RICE.) and roll it up. TA DA. Burrito night.
Sometimes if we're feeling ritzy we'll buy sour cream or avocado, but usually it's just beans, cheese and rice, because come on- what do I look like, a millionaire?
HEY SPEAKING OF MILLIONAIRES- I got an inquiry about joining an ad network owned by General Mills. If I can figure out how to deal with the fancy sign-up website, I will probably throw some ads onto the sidebar there- but if it doesn't pay more than google ads I'll probably just dump it, because in case you noticed the google ads I had up there- I was literally raking in PENNIES A DAY. Like, one or two pennies a day, literally. What a waste of space! That had been there for months and months, and I still didn't have enough racked up for them to cut me a check, because they have a minimum. Whatever! Don't hate on my corporate sponsorship, y'all- I have to pay for my kid's Nike Airs somehow, and this 8 dollar carton of eggs isn't going to pay for itself.