When we received three different types of peppers in this week’s CSA share, my mind immediately jumped to Chipotle’s fajitas (I had been bemoaning the lack of a Chipotle near school the day before). I decided to make a burrito bowl with rice, creamy pinto beans, sautéed peppers and onions, and cold esquites as a corn salsa. I was particularly excited to make this due to the fact that we had received a variety of salts, pepper flakes, and hot sauces as one of our wedding gifts from our friend Diane. Though I love to cook from scratch, sometimes it is super helpful to use some flavor enhancing shortcuts. Here, the bacon salt (which was artificially flavored) meant I could make the beans flavored with the smokey, meaty flavor of bacon without actually using bacon – which means Zak could happily eat them. The jalapeño pepper sauce imparted spicy jalapeño flavor without the need for chopping and deseeding. I can’t wait to use more of the awesome products she gifted us, especially some of the fancier salts that I would usually not justify purchasing on my own.
Combined together, the separate components of this dish were excellent. Spicy and sweet, hot and cool, creamy and crunchy. It was filling from the rice as beans but not overwhelmingly heavy thanks to the fact that it was heavy on vegetables, including the corn, peppers, and onions. This also reheated really well (I packed the esquites separately and everything else together). While it wasn’t a dead on knock-off of Chipotle, or anything, it was pretty darn good.
Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
with Creamy Cilantro Pinto Beans, Corn Salsa, and Fajitas
Creamy Cilantro Pinto Beans:
1 lb. dried pinto beans
1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups cilantro, stems included, roughly chopped
1 tsp. bacon salt (or 3-4 strips bacon, roughly chopped)
1 tsp. Arizona Gunslinger Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce (or 1 jalapeño, finely chopped)
6-8 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Pick through beans to make sure there are no stones or deformities. Place in a pot and cover by 2″ with cold water. Let soak overnight, or at least 8-10 hours.
Add all ingredients to a medium stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a low boil and cover. Simmer 3-5 hours until beans are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if necessary. Mine took about four hours. When done, the beans will be tender and the liquid in the pot will coat the back of a spoon. Taste for seasonings, adjusting as necessary
Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad):
Follow recipe, posted here
Serve the esquites chilled.
In this recipe, I substituted the jalapeño with 1 tsp. Arizona Gunslinger Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce. Additionally, I doubled the cilantro and used both the whites and greens of the scallions. I used garlic salt rather than garlic (because I had forgotten to chop it when I was adding the ingredients at the end), and chipotle pepper flakes rather than crushed red pepper flakes. The original recipe, of course, would be fine as is.
1 green bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
2 tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. chipotle pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
In a grill pan or cast iron skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until charred and soft. Season with pepper flakes, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
1 cup white rice, cooked according to instructions
Creamy cilantro beans, see above
Corn salsa/esquites, see above
Fajitas, see above
Plain Green yogurt or sour cream, for serving
Starting with rice, then beans, then fajitas, then corn (or however you like it!) layer ingredients in desired amounts.