Monday, June 23, 2008

BRCC Burritos

There are a few fast food exceptions I will make. McDonald’s ice cream cones, McDonald’s Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken and El Pollo Loco’s Black Bean BRC. (Amelia, I know you are with me on that one.) The black beans at El Pollo Loco are loco. They didn’t have them for a long time after Hurricane Katrina because that was where their primary bean crops came from. But they came back, like an old friend.

Here is my BRC, but no delish black beans. But I do have delish pintos with ancho chiles, Mexican rice, grated cheddar cheese and chicken breast seasoned with a homemade Mexican seasoning blend.

This was in my arsenal of meals to make after I had Van. It was easy and I did more of the work ahead of time.

Pintos with Ancho Chiles
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
2 cups boiling water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 15 oz cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place chiles in bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let soak until chiles are soft, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving 1/2 cup soaking liquid. Seed chiles; place in processor. Add onion, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup soaking liquid; puree.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chile puree; stir until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Add beans, broth, bay leaves, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf.

Mexican Rice

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.

Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Mexican Seasoned Chicken Breast
1 tsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1½ tsp Mexican Seasoning Blend (recipe follows)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sprinkle Mexican Seasoning Blend over the top. Saute until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Mexican Seasoning Blend
1/4 cup dried oregano
3Tbsp dried chile powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Mix all seasonings together. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Once you have made everything- don’t forget about the tortillas and grated cheddar cheese!

Rookie’s Notes: Here is the best part: this was all in my freezer. We had the beans, rice and tortillas left over from a month ago. All I had to do was make the chicken, which was super easy. So if you do make the beans and rice, be advised that it makes a lot. But you will have enough to freeze the leftovers for another meal.