I use canned beans--either pinto solo or a mix of pinto and black. My favorite combo is probably one large can of Westbrae organic pinto beans and a smaller can of the black. Rinse the beans well, but leave a little water on them.
Use whatever you like or whatever you have on hand. I have used jasmine, basmati, white long-grain, brown, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Blend (brown rice, daikon radish seed, and black barley), and Trader Joe's Basmati Medley (white basmati rice, wild rice, dehydrated carrots, onions, celery, red bell pepper, mushrooms, parsley, garlic, and lemon peel). But my new-found favorite is Lundberg's Wild Blend (long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, Wehani®, Black Japonica™ and select wild rice pieces). In general, I think the brown rice adds a nice toasty, nutty flavor to the burritos, but I also like the aromatic quality of jasmine rice, which I know sounds weird for burritos, but I stand by it!
Use what you like! Monterey Jack is, of course, a classic burrito cheese, but if you have access to Mexican quesos like queso fresco, even better. What I use most often, however, is extra sharp white cheddar. I like to grate it on the thick cut side of my box grater.
Again, use whatever you like (or you happen to have on hand). My stand-by is Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili salsa, but I buy all sorts of different types depending on the season and what strikes my fancy.
Yeah, that. I can get Tapatio at the Mexican market in the Strip (Reyna's), but I imagine you can find it at any cosmopolitan supermarket, or, you know, just about anywhere if you live in a region with a significant Hispanic population.
I used to always use Pepito or Mission plain flour tortillas, available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, but I have come to like the Trader Joe's variety with flax seeds. Don't be afraid to experiment with the flavored "wraps" either. Just make sure that whatever type/flavor you choose, it is burrito size, or else you'll never get it to roll up properly.
In addition to the above, you'll need:
- a nice medium to large onion (preferably a sweet onion, though plain yellow or white will work just fine)
- Kosher or sea salt
- cayenne pepper
- celery salt
- other suitable herbs and spices that you like (e.g., I also have a chili & lime blend that works nicely for this)
- sour cream
- Get out a medium saucepan and start your rice first.
- Slice your onion--I usually slice the onion in half and then cut down the middle of each half and then slice each half into slightly thick slices.
- Mince up/crush a clove or two (or however many you like) of garlic.
- Heat a glug of oil in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the onion and saute until it softens. I sometimes add a small amount of butter to the oil just for some extra flavor, but this is totally optional.
- Add garlic and saute for a few minutes.
- Dump in the beans.
- Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Optional: celery salt and oregano. I have never measured the spices, but I go heavy on the cumin--I would guess at least a teaspoon. If you are new to this spice, obviously start with less and add more, otherwise use your judgment. I probably use about a 1/4 tsp of cayenne, mas o menos. Note: canned beans all have a lot of salt, but some brands have WAY more than others, so bear that in mind when you add salt.
- Now here's where it gets tricky to explain--every batch turns out a little different from the last, but it's pretty hard to screw up unless you burn them to the pot. I usually turn the heat up just a little. If there wasn't much water left on the beans, I may add little (probably a tablespoon or two). Depending on how long and how hard you cook them down, you can end up with anything between complete whole beans and something that is like lumpy refritos. There is no right answer, so play around and discover what consistency you like best. I will sometimes partially cover them as well to keep some of the moisture in and steam them a bit.
- While the beans cook, shred your cheese, slice the avocado, and get your salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream out of the fridge.
- Once everything is done cooking, you are ready to assemble your burritos. Heat up a flat griddle or a frying pan large enough to put the tortilla in the bottom over medium/medium high heat. Once the pan is warm, put a tortilla on it. Using your fingers, rub the tortilla on the griddle. When it feels warm to your fingertips, flip it over. (Turn heat down to medium at this point.)
- While still on the griddle, take a small amount of cheese and place it in a line slightly right of center, leaving several inches clear from the bottom edge. Put a little bit of rice (maybe two forkfulls), a little bit of beans (maybe 1.5 soup spoons worth) on top of the rice. At this point, I usually slide the tortilla off onto a plate to finish and toss another tortilla on the pan to warm up. Put salsa, hot sauce and sour cream on top (again, use small amounts). Top with slices of avocado. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Use a spoon to shape your filling into a nice cylinder. Fold up the bottom and tuck around filling. Fold the right side over, and then carefully roll the left side over. (It helps to pick it up to do this.) The top will be open.
Next time I make them, I'll take some pics. :)