Friday, March 5, 2010

The World is Warming Up: Chipotle Burritos

Today the temperature crept up and the sun came out. I went for a run and am now treasuring hopes that spring has really come. Of course, I've been treasuring them since November. I'm really not a winter person, exactly.

As long as things are getting warmer, why not make a spicy dinner to match? I first made these when I realized there was no chance of Chipotle Mexican Grill ever coming to Bulgaria. They are a pretty darn close approximation to the Chipotle chicken burrito, with the pleasant addition of mango salsa. Now if only I could figure out how to make lime salt for chips on the side. If you know, PLEASE leave me a comment with explicit instructions!

Chipotle Style Burritos, in 6 parts

Preface: Burritos are mainly about cilantro and limes. Do NOT put away your limes or cutting board full of cilantro at any point during the preparation of these burrito elements, as you will probably need both again later.

Part I: Shredded Chicken
Put several boneless chicken breasts in a baking dish. Pour in 1/2 cup water. Cover dish with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes (until no longer pink inside). Remove to a bowl and shred, using two forks, by pulling them away from each other through the chicken.

Part II: Lime-Cilantro Rice
Put 1 tsp olive oil in a pan and heat over medium high heat. Stir in 1 cup of long grain white rice for 1 minute (stir the whole time). Add 2 cups water + 1 tsp salt to the rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in zest from 2 limes and 2 TBSP chopped cilantro and cover/sit for an additional 15 minutes.

Part III: Pico de Gallo
Dice 2 tomatoes and 1/2 yellow onion. Stir in 2 TBSP chopped cilantro.

Part IV: Guacamole
Mash 2 peeled avocados. Add one chopped tomato (discard seed and juice) OR one diced mango. Stir in 1-3 minced garlic cloves, a handful of chopped sweet onion, one lime's worth of juice, and a bit of diced jalapeno - if you like that kind of thing.

Part V: Mango Salsa
Mix: 1 diced mango, 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 finely chopped jalapeno (optional), 2 tbsp lime juice, and one tbsp lemon juice. Cover and let sit for 1/2 hour before eating.

Part VI: Putting it all together
Shred cheese (we like cheddar). Heat tortillas briefly in a dry skillet. Layer in warm chicken and rice and sprinkle cheese over it so it will melt, then add the rest. Chopped lettuce contributes a nice crunch.

Leftover jalapeno? You can freeze those little peppers and use them again some other time. Just thaw them out before deseeding and chopping the next time.

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