Tag Archives: esquites

Vegetarian Burrito Bowls with Creamy Cilantro Pinto Beans, Corn Salsa, and Fajitas

29 Aug

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.

Faijitas:

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.

Assembly:

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.

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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

3 Aug

Thanks to a suggestion in the comments, I remembered I had this recipe bookmarked in my “To Try” list.  I had every ingredient for this except the cilantro (because, hey, fresh herbs do not last that long) and exactly the right amount of ears of corn.  Kismet!  And I am so glad I had that reminder, because this was ridiculously good.

We ate this side dish alongside some simple black bean burritos, eating it as-is and also as a sort of warm “salsa” on the burrito.  Both were extremely good.  The sharp feta contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the warm caramelized corn, and the mayonnaise creates a creamy sauce that is to die for.  The heat from the jalapeños and crushed red pepper flakes works well with the sweet corn and creamy feta and mayonnaise, bolstered by the bright, fresh cilantro, lime, and scallions.  I will definitely be making this again the next time we receive corn in our CSA with no changes other than the fact that I want to double or even triple the recipe.

As an update, I just wanted to acknowledge that I made this dish again with ingredients from Week Four of the CSA.  Because we were bringing it as a side dish to a friend’s house, I decided to serve it cold.  And it was frickin’ delicious both room temperature and cold.  I also added about half a cup of halved cherry tomatoes, which was a great addition that added both color and flavor.

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

From Serious Eats

2 tbs. vegetable oil

4 ears fresh corn, shucked, kernels removed

Kosher salt

2 tbs. mayonnaise

2 oz. feta cheese, finely crumbled

1/2 cup scallion greens, finely sliced

1/2 cup cilantro greens, finely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and stemmed, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 lime, juiced

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over high heat until shimmering.  Add corn kernels and season to taste with salt.  Toss once or twice and cook, without moving, until charred on one side, about 2 minutes.

Toss corn, stir, and cook, again without moving, until charred on second side, another 2 minutes.  Continue tossing and charring until well charred all over, for a total of about 8-10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.  Serve immediately.

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