Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Too-Hot Sauce and Bean and Cheese Burritos!

A couple weeks ago I was so inspired to make bean and cheese burritos after reading this post on Alexandra's Kitchen.  Alexandra made making homemade flour tortillas look easy, so I decided to give it a try - and it was so simple and so worth it.  I won't reblog about her post, so click here if you want to learn how to make your own tortillas.  I will say that the making the dough is very quick and easy, especially if you make it in a food processor like I did.  The hardest part of making the tortillas is rolling them out into a nice circle.  Luckily, the dough is much more forgiving than a pie dough and it is really easy to get it as thin as you need to.  The end result is a soft, more flavorful dough than you can get by just purchasing some flour tortillas in your grocery store.
To go along with the burritos I wanted to make a delicious hot sauce, so I went to my newest favorite cookbook Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.  There is recipe called Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa which has options for which chiles you prefer based on heat level.  I thought I liked things pretty hot, so I wasn't really thinking how hot 24 habanero peppers would be (I doubled the recipe).  What a surprise when I was choking on the fumes from just roasting the peppers.  In fact when I threw out the left over sauce today I had to open the window to stop from coughing (finally stopped coughing after an hour off and on).  When I licked my sauce off the spoon, I instantly knew it was HOT.  That didn't stop my friend and I from putting it on our burritos (very sparingly).  There were points during my meal where I had to literally stop eating and just sit there and let the pain leave my mouth.  The whole point I am trying to make is - be careful!  I will definitely be using different chiles next time - or at least a combo.  Also, wear gloves - capsaicin can stay on your skin for a couple of days and that can really hurt when you are putting contacts in the next day (um yes I have experienced that).  So here is the recipe (with chile options - use habanero if you dare!

Here are the ingredients for Rick Bayless' Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa from Mexican Everyday (makes 1/2 cup - I doubled the recipe):
-4 ounces fresh hot green chiles (about 4 medium jalapenos, 16 medium sarranos, 2 medium-hot banana/Hungarian wax or 12 medium green or yellow-orange habaneros-really any small hot chile)
-4 garlic cloves, peeled
-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

To begin, turn on the broiler and adjust the rack to its highest level.  Break the stems off the chiles, cut them in half lengthwise and lay them, cut side down, on a small baking sheet.  Scatter the garlic cloves among the chiles.
Slide under broiler and roast until the chiles are soft and blotchy black in places, about a minute or two.
Scrape the chiles and garlic into a blender or food processor and add the lime and 1/4 cup water.  Process until nearly smooth.
Pour into a small serving bowl and thin with a little water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency.  Taste cautiously and add salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon.  Cover and refrigerate (for up to five days) if not using immediately.

I also made some Classic Mexican Rice from Mexican Everyday.  It was really quick and simple.

Here are the ingredients (serves 6 to 8):
-1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
-1 1/2 cups white rice
-1 cup bottled tomato salsa
-1 cup chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
-1 1/2 cups frozen peas (I felt like these were too may peas, so use less if you like)

Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees F.  Set a medium (3-quart) ovenproof saucepan over medium heat.  Add the oil and rice.  Stir frequently until the grains of the rice turn from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes - don't worry if some of them brown.
Add the salsa, broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir a couple of times, then let the mixture come to a full boil.
Cover the pan and set in the middle of the oven.  Bake 20 minutes.  Uncover, add the peas and recover.
Bake 5 minutes longer, then remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff the rice, releasing the steam and mixing in the peas.  You're ready to serve.

Last year around this time, I made tomato soup.  Click here to check it out.

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