Let’s celebrate Mardi Gras!
Sure, we’re a little early. And it’s true that we’re nowhere near New Orleans. But don’t you just feel like you want to let the good times roll right about now? Me too…
I don’t have a strong connection with New Orleans or its tradition, but I have often celebrated Mardi Gras over the years; it falls at a time on the calendar when most people are just about begging for the weather to warm up, dying to let loose and live a little, and after the first of the year’s health push, probably looking for a bit of indulgence.
But we don’t need to give a whole new meaning to ‘Fat Tuesday’, do we? Let’s just be spicy and throw some colorful beads at each other. No need to hate ourselves and each other in the morning.
So, delicious meatless burritos flavored with a homemade Creole spice blend: easy to assemble, incredibly satisfying to consume, colorful and well kept – I threw these burritos together on a Sunday and then ate them warmed or at room temperature every day of the following week for lunch. Perfect, indeed.
And the best part? These are burritos! Which means they’re totally portable! So you can take them to a parade! And eat one while you throw beads with your other hand!
Multitasking Mardi Gras!
The good times never rolled so hard…
Red Bean & Rice Burritos
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. carrot, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 c. yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1- 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. long grain white rice, cooked
2 tbsp. parsley, minced
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp. white pepper, ground
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano, ground
2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded
10 large (burrito-sized) flour tortillas
Warm olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, celery and onion, and sauté until softened, approximately 12 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for just 3 minutes more. Remove cooked mixture to a large bowl. Add beans, rice, parsley, paprika, black pepper, white pepper, salt and oregano, and toss until seasoning is evenly distributed and filling mixture is uniform. Stir in cheese.
To assemble your burritos, place approximately one half cup of the filling mixture on the bottom half of a tortilla. Fold the bottom up to cover the filling, fold each side over the bottom flap, and gently roll the burrito up and away from you. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Serve immediately or store, covered, for up to one week. Note that I like to serve these burritos with pickled onions and/or a mild tomato-based salsa.
YIELD: 10 large burritos