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What is a classic authentic mexican burrito filled with?

I´ve been learning how to make burritos from Youtube videos lately. And they turn out tasting pretty good. I´ve been trying to find as many spanish speaking and latino looking cooks as possible.

So please correct me if I´m wrong, but my impression of the burrito, is that it contains these fillings layered on top of one another:

-Refried beans
-Carne asada

I´ve been making my guacamole fresh, as well as my salsa, and I´m surprised of how much cilantro they use in all this. But it turns out pretty good. I´ve also made some different versions of carne asada, because I always don´t have flank steak, or time to marinate overnight. But my question is, is that combination the authentic version? Is this what you call a classic burrito?

I´d like to learn more mexican recipes, but the popular image of mexican food is pretty distorted by fast food chains, trends and marketing. I understand that tex-mex is a merging of both Texan and Mexican food, but I would like to explore more authentic mexican!

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  1. You may as well ask what goes into an authentic sandwich. Burritos have different ingredients depending on which region of Mexico you're talking about and which period of history. And if you want to set the Wayback Machine to Pre-Columbian Aztecs, they stuffed theirs with chiles and vegetables. I recall reading one burrito fanatic did research in Mexico and the American Southwest and found that 19th century American burritos were made from beans and pemmican reconsituted in hot water. Basically wet beef jerky. For a thoroughly researched history of regional Mexican cuisine, I highly recommend checking out Diane Kennedy's, "The Art of Mexican Cooking." It's available in many public libraries.

      1. A real Mexican burrito often has only meat and refried beans. I wouldn't call other versions necessarily inauthentic.

        While burritos and especially tacos are representative of Mexican cuisine, there's a whole lot more to it. Check out Rick Bayless's cookbooks. You'll find amazing flavors.

        26 Replies
        1. re: JonParker

          Burritos and their interpretations are far more common in the US than in Mexico.

          1. re: Veggo

            Agreed. What you'll find in the US tend to be variations on the Mission-style burrito, which originated in San Francisco tacquerias in the 1960s.

          2. re: JonParker

            But what then is the difference between an enchilada and a burrito? Or a fajita for that matter?

            Especially when some restaurants already serve burritos with cheese on top!

            Anyway, how come I see my flavour combination so often? Why is that repeated by so many then?

            1. re: Ramius

              Enchiladas = made with corn tortillas dipped in a chile sauce. Usually fairly small, stuffed and rolled, but not usually baked in Mexico

              Burrito = 12" flour tortilla filled with anything and everything. Acts as a meal replacement food substance.

              Wet Burrito = same as above but with some sort of sauce - which may or may not be chile based - poured over the top of it and added cheese

              Fajita = contribution from the Tex-Mex lexicon of recipes. Grilled meat and vegetables, lightly seasoned, served with tortillas (usually flour) on the side.

              What flavor combination? Carne Asada? Because the northern part of Mexico is good cattle country and those that colonized and lived in the area got very, very good at cooking beef. Carne asada with beans and perhaps a nopal paddle is a fairly common meal.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                RESPONDING TO DINING DIVA*ding ding* we have a winner...yep, from what I've learned living in SW Florida for many years and having had a neighbor from the Rio Grande Valley in TX...burritos = flour tortillas (she taught me beef & bean filled...I usually sub in a litte turkey and lots of beans for healthier)...and the enchiladas = corn tortillas...dipped...yes! This is how she also does it. Thanks!

                1. re: Val

                  Years ago when I stayed with a small Mexican family in Piedras Negras (on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande), we usually had fresh store bought corn tortillas for the noon meal. Often this was a chicken noodle soup, with frijoles de olla (whole pot beans) at the end of the meal. The lady of the house usually made flour tortillas for supper. While she was better at this than I am, they were not large enough to wrap burrito style. At breakfast we ate leftover tortillas from the other meals, and 'barbacoa' on Sunday mornings.

                  I don't think we ever had antojitos, those streetfood 'whims' that we often think of as the core of Mexican cooking (tacos, enchiladas, questadillas, burritos).

                  And the most memorable meal? Freshly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with salt and lime juice, eaten with some oil field workers while they monitored a well.

                  1. re: Val

                    Right! By the way, if it's a flour tortilla, it's not a taco, it's a burro, fried or not.

                    In Puerto Penasco there are burrito ladies on the beaches in the morning, they usually have a couple of kinds of burritos, and will tell you what kind they'll have the next day, too. My favorite, which kind of surprised me, are the bean and the potato and chorizo ones. They tortillas are small, they're like little cigars, the burritos are hot and two or three for a dollar or two, I've had dozens of them and have never ever gotten sick of or from them.
                    Having said that, it's been too long- it's all I can do not to jump in my car and head for the border tomorrow at the crack of dawn for Penasco. One more beautiful culinary thing there (otherwise it's not really a foodie town, actually), they use Mexican wild shrimp, being on the shore in Mexico.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      It is the case that burritos are always made with flour tortillas, but it's not the type of the tortilla that distinguishes a taco from a burrito. You'll easily find tacos made with flour tortillas in northern Mexico where wheat is grown. And for instance here in Mexico City I have a favorite Ensenada-style fish taco place that offers you a choice of corn or flour tortillas. It's a taco either way.

                      1. re: Soul Vole

                        Can you get BIG corn tortillas in the US?

                        Here the only corn tortillas you get are very very small. Too small for me to bother. I make enchiladas with them once in a while. But I would use it alot more if they were big.

                        1. re: Ramius

                          They max out at about 7 inches. I suspect they cannot be larger due to the lack of gluten (strength) in corn.

                      2. re: EWSflash

                        Small, like little cigars... aren't those called "Flautas" or "Tacquitos?"

                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                          Flautas would be flour and tacquitos corn, but just meat or meat and cheese rolled tightly and deep fried.

                          1. re: bbqboy

                            Looking around the web, it appears that the corn/flour distinction is stronger in the USA than Mexico. Several Mexican sources (including Pati's Mexican table) make flautas with corn, and don't mention tacquitos.

                          2. re: GraydonCarter

                            Flautas (flutes) are usually fried, not simply rolled. I'm not sure tacquitos (little tacos) exist outside the freezer display.

                            1. re: paulj

                              sure they do. Partially depends on what part of our country one is in.

                            2. re: GraydonCarter

                              Flauta and taquitos are the same item, they're called different things in different parts of the country (similar to the hoagie, sub, grinder nomenclature in the U.S.)., Type of tortilla doesn't matter, once again, it's a regional thing.

                              They can be filled with almost anything. Potato flautas are outstanding, so are the bean ones.

                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                from a while ago...

                                The comments(and there are many) mirror our discussion,
                                with Californians and some others maintaining
                                the flour/corn distinction.

                        2. re: Ramius

                          An enchilada has to have chile sauce! That and the size are different.

                        3. re: JonParker

                          I have never seen a Burrito in Mexico.

                          1. re: chefj

                            I have, see above. I don't doubt that they're there for the turistas, but they do a damn good job.

                            1. re: EWSflash

                              They are traditionally found in the northern part of Mexico but I have never traveled in that region.
                              In Zacatecas, Guanajuato and Oaxaca I saw Hide nor Hair of them. Though in Zacatecas there where great Wheat based Gorditas that are very traditional for the area.

                              1. re: EWSflash

                                As I've said elsewhere in this thread, here in Mexico City anyway, burritos are not terribly uncommon. Just walk into any 7-Eleven. And once in a while I see them on the menu, but generally not in the types of restaurants tourists would go to.

                                1. re: Soul Vole

                                  I would bet that their presence in a 7-11 is a reinterduction from North of the Boarder.
                                  I assure you that I eat where locals eat and have never seen them on a menu in any of the areas I mentioned. I imagine that in DF there are many things available from all over Mexico and the world for that matter.

                                  1. re: chefj

                                    That's possible, but I doubt it -- they're smaller than what you usually see NOB. And I should have said *any* convenience store -- Oxxo and Extra both sell burritos (larger than 7-11's and prepackaged).

                                    I don't doubt that you haven't seen one, but they most definitely exist and really aren't that rare. I can think of six places just in Condesa-Roma that specialize in burritos, and I just remembered that the Ensanada-style place I mentioned in another comment also has burritos on the menu -- photographic proof: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/55...

                                    I remember a handful of places in Mérida that had burritos. Any notion that they only exist in the north is simply not true.

                              2. re: chefj

                                Go to any city in Chihuhua (state)

                                1. re: mextex

                                  Chihuahuais on the Boarder with the US and in Northern Mexico which I already stated is where you traditionally find them. So your point?

                            2. What is authentic?

                              Burritos are not that common in Mexico, especially as you go further south in the country and those you do find are smaller than the jumbo burritos found in the U.S.. There is no one single recipe for a "burrito". The border is pretty porous with regard to how food travels back and forth across it, meaning ideas that got their start in the U.S. are migrating south.

                              Really, the only thing that matters with your burrito is if you like it. If you do, than you've been successful at creating a burrito that suits your tastes. You can put anything you want in it. Where I live burritos are tortilla, carne asada, pico, and guac. That's it. Eaters can add additional salsa - red or green depending upon one's preference. Add french fries to it and it's called a California Burrito. You'd not find that in Mexico :-)

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                Ah, typical of americans to increase the size manyfold.
                                I actually managed to track down the one store in my city who have these big sized tortillas.

                                But the way mexicans use tortillas, is to fill them different foods from their culture right? And all guacamole, salsa, carne asada, comes from the mexican kitchen?

                                1. re: Ramius

                                  In the popular imagination, tortillas are often served as tacos, fajitas or burritos, but at the dinner table they are often served as an accompaniment, a flatbread really, to pair with stews, soups and grilled dishes. Large wheat tortillas can also be served smothered (see tlayudas) or folded (see sincronizadas).

                                  1. re: Ramius

                                    If you think of the endless debates about what ingredients go into a "classic, authentic" chili (e.g. beans / no beans, etc) -- with burritos in Mexico you are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

                                    First, burritos aren't that popular in Mexico and are mostly eaten in the North. Second, there isn't really the same level of rigidness in areas in Mexico where they are eaten about what must or must not be done to make a burrito "authentic."

                                    If there is a characteristic about burritos in Mexico that is different from in the US, it is that they are smaller. Generally fewer ingredients. No french fries :)

                                    You would probably get a lot more responses if you asked for an ingredient list for either a "San Francisco burrito" or for a "California burrito" (which are not the same).

                                    1. re: Ramius

                                      Guacamole, salsa and carne asada do, indeed, come from the Mexican kitchen, but you need to understand that they are but a very, very small part of it. Mexican cuisine is breath-taking in it's depth, breadth and diversity. Simply looking at tacos or burritos is like the blind men with the elephant...they all feel a part of the elephant and assume/think that they elephant is defined by what they've touched. Mexican food is an interegal part, and extension of the culture and heritage.

                                      The tortilla comes in many sizes and even shapes, and while the flour tortilla is making some in-roads SOB, corn tortillas (and corn based items) are far more popular and common the further south you go. The primary use for tortillas is NOT as a receptcal for an assortment of random foods. They are served at every meal, but mostly as an accompaniment to whatever is being served.

                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                        Thank you, Diva, for that beautiful post.

                                        Originally, since only the dry northern parts of Mexico are dry enough to grow wheat, flour tortillas were a northern product.

                                  2. Mexico's a big place, and half of what used to be Mexico is now a third of the Continental US. There's been - and continues to be - a wide variety of influences in "Mexican" food and it changes over place and time. [/lecture]

                                    I think of the "classic" dry burrito as a San Francisco variation on the sandwich - stuff wrapped up in a bread substitute to be eaten with ones hands. The larger flour tortillas were used because first, the dough is more flexible so it's a little easier to fold them around the fillings and second, that's what they had available. The taquerias near me [south of San Francisco: we have a substantial Mexican population in the area, largely from Michoacan] make their burritos with beans and rice, with a variety of meats: one of my favorite places offers carne asada, grilled chicken, carnitas [slow-grilled pork], tongue, and tripitas [grilled tripe] (not all in the same burrito - the customer selects one). Pickled vegetables, sauces and cilantro are available for patrons to add as desired, and guacamole inside costs extra. Since they're meant to be taken away to be eaten at the work site or in the local park they're not covered in sauce or cheese.

                                    That's what a burrito is around here. In New Mexico, they put red or green chile sauce on anything that doesn't move fast enough: they also wrap scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, green chiles, cheese, and a small amount of bacon or ham in a flour tortilla and call it a breakfast burrito.

                                    Where do you live? See if your library can get you a copy of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano, for a brief history of fusion food.

                                    23 Replies
                                      1. re: sr44

                                        Wow! Being in Norway, he's doing well with burrito versions! Beats lutefisk.

                                          1. re: wyogal

                                            + 1,000! Thankfully lutefisk only shows up at Christmas here in the U..S.

                                            1. re: KailuaGirl

                                              Thank goodness! One year, I was a little homesick at Christmas. I went to several grocery stores, looking for it. Found it, brought it home, fixed it. Yep, that cured me. Just give me lefse.
                                              I brought my husband home for Christmas one year, folks decided he was a keeper because he actually tasted it.

                                          2. re: Veggo

                                            Might be difficult to simulate Queso Fresco. This cheese crumbles easily, maybe a goat cheese or cottage cheese?

                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                              Feta is a pretty good stand-in for cotija, the crumbly cheese you see as a garnish on many corn-based antojitos

                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                I´ve been using mozarella. But our own norwegian Jarlsberg tastes pretty good in a burrito.

                                                Feta sounds very wrong, but I might try out cottage cheese. Is that more like the mexican cheese?

                                                I´ve seen several recipe videos on youtube where the mexicans use a shredded yellow cheese. What kind of cheese is that?

                                                1. re: Ramius

                                                  Um, I wouldn't use cottage cheese. I can't imagine cottage cheese, creamy cottage cheese, in a burrito.

                                                  Depending on how Americanized the cook you were watching was (and if they're demonstrating burritos, probably pretty American) it could easily have just been Cheddar.

                                                  1. re: Ramius

                                                    I think using the Jarlsberg is a great idea. Mozzarella is probably the closest cousin to Oaxacan quesillo and if your mozz melts well, then it's a good choice too.

                                                    The crumbled white cheese that you often see as a garnish on things like tacos, tostadas, sopes, huaraches, enchiladas, etc is usually Cotija cheese in Mexico. Feta is a good substitute for Cotija because it has similar crumbling properties and texture. Feta is a bit tangier than Cotija, but in small amounts as a garnish the taste difference is minimal. I don't think I'd try Feta in a burrito :-)

                                                    The shredded yellow cheese is probably a cheddar of some sort. Chihuahua cheese is another good Mexican melting cheese, but it typically isn't yellow.

                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                      Monterey Jack is a good Americanized cheese for this purpose. I do not recommend Cheddar for Mexican food of any sort.

                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        Monterey Jack is American, developed in Monterey, California, by the Jack family, but there may be some Mexican influences. I use it for cooking some Mexican dishes, but it's nothing like the Mexican cheeses I find here - those are closer to feta or Indian paneer.

                                                        Tex-Mex cooking does use cheddar, and I see cheddar cheese used in old-style Mexican restaurants.

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Agreed, though Jack is much more greasy than Oaxaca cheese. The latter has the texture of string cheese (dry mozzarella) but the flavor of Jack. If I were in Norway, I'd use something like havarti.

                                                        2. re: Ramius

                                                          Diningdiva is right, feta is the closest substitution for cotija. Cottage cheese is nothing like it.

                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                            A hard, more aged mizithra would be closer to cotija.

                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                              It would, and romano can also work.

                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                We get absolutely none of the mexican cheeses here. So thats out of the picture.

                                                                1. re: Ramius

                                                                  Do you get Farmer's cheese? Ricotta is a possible substitute for queso fresco but of course not exact.

                                                                  1. re: Ramius

                                                                    Go with havarti. Creamy, melty, not greasy -- close to the melting cheeses you'll find in Mexican quesadillas.

                                                            2. re: Ramius

                                                              The classic Mexican cheese in a burrito is Cotija. It's a dry, soft, grainy white cheese with a very salty flavor. It's not well liked by the American palate, so you often see Cheddar substituted here. That is probably the yellow cheese you saw in the video.

                                                              1. re: Booklegger451

                                                                Cotija is closest to mizithra and other salty, hard, grating cheeses. Soft cotija may resemble feta, but then feta comes in many variants (cow, sheep, goat etc). I wouldn't put it (soft or hard) into a burrito. My understanding is that Mexicans don't put cheese in their burritos, but then again, in my stays in Mexico I never saw one.

                                                                Cotija most often gets grated on top of beans. I personally substitute pecorino romano.

                                                      2. re: sr44

                                                        ahhhh, this makes sense, then! thanks!

                                                      3. re: tardigrade

                                                        "In New Mexico, they put red or green chile sauce on anything that doesn't move fast enough"

                                                        Easily the funniest thing I've read in a week or so. It's also completely true. Thanks!

                                                      4. Here in Southern California, if you can wrap a tortilla around it, it's a burrito. My favorite being chille relleno or grilled shrimp with rice, beans, pico de gallo and sour cream. Especially 3 AM taco shop drive through after going out.

                                                        Leftover rice from the night befores Chinese or Thai take away mixed with scrambled eggs and bacon or sausage is a typical breakfast burrito.

                                                        Maybe not "authentic" Mexican but very typical So Cal.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                          same here weezie - wrap a corn tortilla around it, it's a taco! hence all the fusiony tacos we've been getting - korean, indian.... everything tastes better in a nicely charred corn tortilla.

                                                          and yes to the bfast burrito! mmmm i remember making lobster and egg burritos when in Ensenada.... dammit, i'm hungry now.

                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                            Kills me when I see enchilada recipes that call for flour tortillas.

                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                              One of the earliest deviations from the usual corn tortilla taco was the 'Navajo taco' - mutton chile stew on fry bread.

                                                          2. Here's a link to an article on the Mission burrito
                                                            Our Mexican burritos up this way, made by expat Mexicans,
                                                            tend to be just meat, beans, and cheese, smaller than 12" tortillas,
                                                            and almost always have a whole piece of jalapeno laid atop
                                                            the filling before folding. Those made in restaurants/joints
                                                            tend to be the giant kind chock full of fillings including all as stated above with a choice of wet or dry.

                                                            1. From a popular Mexican restaurant in a Mexican immigrant town in southern California, the menu reads:

                                                              Burritos: Flour tortilla filled with meat and beans. $3.00
                                                              All meat: $3.75

                                                              Extras can be added for $0.50 cents each: cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole.

                                                              Covered in enchilada sauce and melted cheese, $1.00

                                                              1. I've heard numerous times that burritos are really a Mexican-American invention and not something that Mexicans typically eat.

                                                                That said, if you're looking for authentic, go simple: beans, rice and some carnitas or carne asada. Maybe some diced white onions and cilantro. Then serve the quacamole and salsa on the side.

                                                                1. Carne Asada





                                                                  Al Pastor



                                                                  Pollo Asada


                                                                  Which kind of meat is on an "authentic" Mexican burrito? Take your pick. Cabrito (goat) is my personal favorite.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                      Yes! Cabrito cooked in a hole in the ground! I don't have a hole, and many places have air pollution regs that prohibit cooking in the hole (San Jose, Calif. being one of them) so have to cook my goat in the oven - low and slow.

                                                                    2. There is no such thing as a Mexican burrito. You will never see one in Mexico.

                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Khatru

                                                                        That's not entirely true. They have existed in northern Mexico for quite a long time often being referred to as a Burro, not a Burrito. They also were a lot smaller, more compact and not the Great American Food Log...in that case you are right :-). That doesn't exist SOB

                                                                          1. re: wyogal

                                                                            Burritos are also covered in

                                                                            Planet Taco - Jeffrey Pilchard

                                                                            Tacos USA - Gustavo Arrelleno

                                                                            And, of course, the ubitquitous Wiki entry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burritos

                                                                            Where tacos and burritos are concerned, everyone's got a story :-) I hear that Tacos are something of a national dish in Norway?

                                                                        1. re: Khatru

                                                                          +1 I've been to Mexico City more than 15 times now, and I've never seen a burrito there. It's a northern Mexican thing, and USA.

                                                                          1. re: SocksManly

                                                                            Yes, I think you're right about it being a Northern Mexico thing, which is where the US gets most of its Mexican food. I don't think you generally get the burrito elsewhere in Mexico.

                                                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                Depends who you ask... ;)

                                                                                Sonoran food is very different that most of the food to the south, as is Bajain (sp?) food.

                                                                                  1. re: SocksManly

                                                                                    I live in Mexico City and I don't think I've seen a convenience store that *doesn't* have burritos -- usually small ones, filled with refried beans and cheese or carne deshebrada. You can also find frozen burritos in grocery stores. There's a place in Roma that specializes in burritos, La Burrería. And Mission-style burritos are the latest thing. I know of three places in the Condesa-Roma area that have recently opened offering them.

                                                                                    I've also lived in Mérida and it wasn't uncommon to see burritos there.

                                                                                    1. re: Soul Vole

                                                                                      Interesting. American prefab frozen burritos, Mexican brands, or handmade ones frozen?

                                                                                      1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                        The burritos you find in stores are generally prefab -- nothing special, no different really than what you'd find in the states. 7-Eleven makes fresh ones but it's just cheap convenience food of course.

                                                                                        FWIW, two other places have occurred to me in Condesa-Roma that specialize in burritos, and once in a while I'll see them on restaurant menus, though generally not at the places tourists would go to.

                                                                                        And funnily, one of the new Mission-style places has instructions with diagrams on how to eat your burrito, peeling the foil as you go.

                                                                                        1. re: Soul Vole

                                                                                          I just have a thing for frozen burritos, as evidenced by this thread:
                                                                                          Thanks for adding to my knowledge. :)

                                                                                1. Well by now I am sure that you've gotten the message that there really is no such thing as an "authentic" mexican burrito. So you are free to experiment with different types of meat (my favorites are lengua and carnitas), beans (pintos, black beans), rice, veggies, etc. I grew up eating burritos in LA and SF, different yet all delicious. We make burritos at home for dinner at least once and week and it is one of my kids' favorite school lunches. As someone suggested, you can basically wrap up anything in a tortilla and call it a burrito. Fried rice, left over steak, stir fried veggies, kebabs - have all found themselves entombed in a tortilla a mi casa. Have fun!

                                                                                  102 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                    Yeah, I´ve been having fun like this for years already. I was just curious to if there was a more "real way" to do it.

                                                                                    Generally I just fry some ground meat in the pan with fresh onins , add a box of red or black beans, then season it with chili, cumin and paprica powder, and boil it all with a cup of water, untill its absorbed into the meat, and flavours spread.

                                                                                    Then I fill tortillas with this and heat them up in in the oven on a tray.

                                                                                    Thats my fastest way to do it, for those times I just like to play it safe. But of course, I´ve done several different versions.

                                                                                      1. re: sr44

                                                                                        Yes. Or can.
                                                                                        We get these small cardboard boxes of ready to use beans here.

                                                                                        1. re: sr44

                                                                                          Poster is in Norway. Aseptic packaging of many types of food is very common in Europe. Examples here:


                                                                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                            Yes. I was trying to translate the box eastward.

                                                                                        2. re: Ramius

                                                                                          Try making the beans separately, then add them, either refried or whole, in the burrito right before you fold it.
                                                                                          Instead of being mix burritos are put together in layers.
                                                                                          Beans on the bottom, them rice, then meat and then cheese and toppings, or choose your own sequence.
                                                                                          Guacamole I don't usually put inside but that's just my preference. Slices of avocado work better for me.

                                                                                          1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                            Yeah I can see that working too. I wont bother making guacamole every time. But I just learned it so I´m kinda in love with it for now.

                                                                                            Also, texturewise the guacamole is a bit in conflict with refried beans. Since both are pastes. Its enough with just one of them. I tried recently omitting the beans completely, and just smeared guacamole on the tortilla instead. I liked that better.

                                                                                            Also, I don´t eat rice. I´m on a low carb diet, so rice and fries is totally out of the picture. The tortilla is acceptable, because of the hight protein - carb ratio in a burrito. One tortilla is just around 50-100 grams, so thats okay.

                                                                                            I´d appreciate some new ideas for toppings though. I´ve already tried salsa, which is good.

                                                                                            1. re: Ramius

                                                                                              There are low carb flour tortillas in the US, maybe you should at least be on the lookout in Norway.
                                                                                              buen provecho!

                                                                                              1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                "I´d appreciate some new ideas for toppings though. I´ve already tried salsa, which is good."

                                                                                                One of the easiest things you can do is change up your salsa. Instead try:

                                                                                                * Pico de gallo - finely chopped tomato + finely chopped onion + minced (fresh) chile (used canned if you can't get fresh) + chopped cilantro + squeeze of lime or lemon juice

                                                                                                * Citrus pico de gallo - peel an orange and make supremes (cut segment out between the membranes), chop and add to pico de gallo. This one works great with chicken, pork and seafood.

                                                                                                * Salsa Verde - tomatillos (fresh or canned) + chopped onion + minced chile + chopped cilantro

                                                                                                * Make the salsa chunky rather than smooth for some texture.

                                                                                                * Add roasted or grilled veggies to your basic salsa. Grilled fresh corn is really good in salsa.

                                                                                                * If you use guacamole then use whole beans, drained, rather than refritos

                                                                                                * If you're using refrieds, then use slices of avocado

                                                                                                * Change up your meat choice by using shredded chicken, slow cooked pork, cubed or shredded, or thin pork chops that have been pan seared and finely diced.

                                                                                                * Think about using seafood in your burritos. Sauteed shrimp is excellent as is flaked leftover fish

                                                                                                * Don't forget breakfast...scambled eggs + shredded cheese + pico or salsa (we put fried potatoes in ours but since you're lo-carb, leave those out)

                                                                                                * Breakfast burrito variations
                                                                                                - scramble the eggs wtih pico de gallo (drained) + beans + cheese.
                                                                                                - scramble egg whites + beans + breakfast meat of choice + beans + salsa
                                                                                                - scramble egg whites + chopped cooked broccoli + sausage + pico + cheese.

                                                                                                * Go veggie - stir-fried veggies (your choice) + chunky salsa (tried adding some roasted corn) + cheese. Tofu optional

                                                                                                Your options are really endless.

                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                  As some one who will wrap practically anything in a flour tortilla, I should warn you about using salsas, or any filling that is wet or creamy. No matter how carefully I wrap them, any liquid in the filling finds its way onto my lap. That can include fat from melted cheese.

                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                    Thanks. Very interesting about grilled vegetables, like corn, in the salsa. I saw a video on youtube where a guy grilled all his vegetables first - before processing them together.

                                                                                                    Do you just put the beans in? With no preparation? Not dry of course, but just plain beans?

                                                                                                    Also, is there not some sort of mango salsa that is good?

                                                                                                    And what do mexicans do with their chicken?

                                                                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                      Chicken is more common in a soup or stew than as a taco/torta/burrito filling. Places that specialize in 'pollo asado' roasted chicken, are popular. And 'mole', a complex chile, nut, and spice sauce is served over chicken (old stewed hen) or turkey.

                                                                                                      That said, chicken salad, if not too goopy, tastes great wrapped in a tortilla.

                                                                                                      1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                        Paulj is right, you can't make your salsa too thin or too liquid-y or it will either make the tortilla soggy or leak out or - god forbid - both. Grilling or roasting the tomatoes, chiles and garlic before blending into a sauce is very common in Mexio. It gives the salsa greater depth of flavor, adds some natural sweetness and hints of smokiness.

                                                                                                        I like to use either whole black bean or pinto beans in tortillas. You do need to heat them up if the burrito won't get any further heating after assembly, but that's about it. Heat, drain well and then into the burrito. I've used beans made form scratch or canned, I don't think it really matters which one. If you want to practice making beans as a Mexicans would, go for it and then use some in a burrito :-). If not, the boxed beans you currently get should be absolutely fine. If you want to doctor them up to suit your tastes, that's probably okay too.

                                                                                                        Mango salsa is really good. Mangos + finely diced red onion + minced fresh chile + chopped cilantro + a little lime juice is the basic recipe. You can beef it up by adding some finely diced pineapple, or jicama or papaya, or maybe some cucumber. Mango salsa is particularly good with chicken, seafood and cheese.

                                                                                                        Mexicans generally poach/stew their chickens or throw them on a spit and roast them (rostizado). I've seen chicken used in soups, pozole, with mole or pipian, in enchiladas and as a topping (shredded) for sopes, huaraches, tostados and such where it is more like a garnish than a substantial protein component.

                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                          But do they season the chicken or put some kind of sauce treatment on it?

                                                                                                          Today I made burritos with ground lamb meat + SW´s mexican chili beans + leeks, with guacamole and mozarella. Turned out pretty good.

                                                                                                          1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                            Three common preparations would be:

                                                                                                            Chicken Asado, marinated and grilled chicken

                                                                                                            Chicken braised or stewed in a chipotle chile sauce

                                                                                                            Chicken in a mole sauce (mole is another of those Mexican dishes, like burrito and salsa, that is a class of dishes rather than something specific).

                                                                                                            1. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                              Do you have a good recipe for the two first ones? Asado and chipotle chicken?

                                                                                                              1. re: Ramius


                                                                                                                This thread may interest you, it contains a few pollo asado recipes.

                                                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                  LF, I'm surprised no one gave you this recipe on your pollo asado thread (link above )


                                                                                                                  I make it all the time during the summer. It's pretty close and there's enough wiggle room to customize the flavors to suit your prefrence

                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                    Oooh, that looks good. WIll try it out when the weather warms up.

                                                                                                                    1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                      It is very good. I ususally just spatchcock the chicken and grill it, but I've also put it on the spit and roasted it. It's better laying on the grill but this recipe is so easy and the results so good.

                                                                                                                    2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                      Is there an easier way to do this with chicken breast?
                                                                                                                      I almost never cook with whole chicken.

                                                                                                                      I would like to know if there is a pan-version of this.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                        Do you have a grill pan, a skillet with ridges? If so, use that.

                                                                                                                        I've not tried pan sauting and I'm not so sure it's really suited to that. And, yes, you can use all breasts, all thighs, or a cut up chicken and grill it. I suspect you could also bake or broil it.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Ramius


                                                                                                                    Do you have access to canned/jarred chipotle chilis in adobo sauce or to dried chipotles? I can give you my (rough) recipe, but the two ingredients behave differently. Let me know which you can find.

                                                                                                                    Short form of the recipe is: Rehydrate the chilis (5 or 6) in a bit of warm water to cover for a few hours, until soft, if you're using dried. Blend until smooth with a cup of veggie or chicken broth. In a dutch oven, brown your chicken meat quickly, and remove to a plate. Add a chopped onion or two, a few cloves of garlic (3-5), and cook until golden and translucent. Add 2 peeled, chopped tomatoes, and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Add your chicken back into the dutch oven. Cover with your blended chipotle mixture. Slow cook until tender. Shred chicken meat back into sauce.

                                                                                                                    This can be pretty spicy... to moderate the heat, you can: Add some tinned mild green chili's to the blender mix and/or chunk up some cooked potato into the final mix. If you like cilantro, you can also chop some up and toss it in.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                                      Does that use meco or morita chipotle?

                                                                                                                      1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                        I'm pretty sure we get primarily morita's from Chihuahua, but they're not actually labelled either way.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                                          They're easy to tell apart. Moritas are wrinkly and dark, almost black. Mecos are tan. I've heard them described as looking like a cigar butt.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                                        We do have that here, and I use it often.

                                                                                                                        Usually I add a can into the pan with the meat and vegetables, and a cup of water to boil down and spread the flavours. Then the whole filling tastes chipotle.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                          Excellent! In that case, you can use those, cut back a bit on the garlic, and eliminate the tomato paste. Basic goal is the same as you've been doing... add some liquid (chicken broth for this dish) to spread the flavor around, and then reduce a bit while cooking.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                                            I will try chicken broth!
                                                                                                                            I never really use broths unless I´ve made them myself. So much chemicals in the dry cubes.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                              Ramius, just an FYI here...Knorr Suisse chicken boullion in cube or powder form is in kitchens all over Mexico including 5-star, upscale restaurants. It's often referred to as a Mexican "secret ingredient" because it adds just a hint of pizzazz (that would be salt and chemical flavorings <g>) that's hard to identify.

                                                                                                                              I don't know if Knorr makes the product specifically for the Mexican market and a different formulation for the American and European markets, but few Mexican kitchens are without it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                I keep a jar of the Mexican Knorr tomato chicken powder on hand, but not the large cans I see in Hispanic groceries. Maggi also makes this. On occasion I've tried other flavors such as shrimp or chipotle. And for an easy 'yellow rice' I use Goya sazon.

                                                                                                                                And yes, Knorr and Maggi do tailor their products to the local market. Even Maggi sauce differs.

                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                  Good to know, I thought they might have a specialized product in Mexico.

                                                                                                                                  I don't have one now, but I, too, have had a jar of the tomato powder on my shelf..right there alongside the Knorr Suisse chicken powder.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    I go through about 2 of the big jars a year.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                    Have look at this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VwnA1...

                                                                                                                                    Skip to halfway into the video where he starts to cook. He says he marinates his chicken breast in a word that sounds like "anchiodo"

                                                                                                                                    Im going to make chicken burritos tomorrow. And I dont have chipotles right now, so if theres something easy mexican you do with chicken breasts, I want to try that out.

                                                                                                                                    Other than that, I think that guy in the video has way too much saucy stuff in his burrito. I´m already moderating mine. I dont want them to open up a flood after the first bite.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                      he's probably talking about achiote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annatto

                                                                                                                                      oh! those guys are famous around here - Papalote.... not my favorite, but apparently they beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay in making their famous burrito.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                        Mariacarmen is right. He was saying achiote, which is derived from annato seeds. Not a lot of flavor, but a good base for other flavors. Has brillant color, which didn't really come through in the video.

                                                                                                                                        They built a pretty standard Mission-style burrito. I would have used whole beans and probably half the amount of crema they threw in that thing. If you noticed, in the video, he had a hard time wrapping it cuz it was over-filled.

                                                                                                                                        If I was going to do chicken for a burrito, I'd either grill it with lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper, or simply poach and shred

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                          "something easy mexican you can do with chicken breasts"

                                                                                                                                          It's typical of Americans for forgetting the dried chiles that are toasted, reconstituted (in water), pureed, and then serve as the flavor base for Mexican cuisine. These include guajillos, anchos, etc. They are virtually weightless and so shipping them up to Norway shouldn't be too big an issue. Once you acquire and use these, you'll realize great gains in terms of depth of flavor.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                    If you can get canned chipotles, here's a variation worth trying.

                                                                                                                                    Peel 12 gloves of garlic and put in a small, oven-proof baking dish and cover with a cup of veg. oil (a mild oil like canola, safflower or grapeseed). Cover and bake in a 300* oven for an hour until the garlic is soft and browned.

                                                                                                                                    Cool to room temp, put the whole thing in a blender or food processor. Add 2-4 of the canned chipotles (you need about 3 Tbls) chopped, a little lime juice and zest, salt and about a quarter cup of cilantro. Whirl it all up. It'll keep in the frige for a couple of week.

                                                                                                                                    Poach some chicken and then shred it. Stir in some of the chipotle mixture and enough chicken stock to loosen it up a bit.

                                                                                                                                    You can use the chipotle mixture for all kinds of other stuff. Add some OJ and marinate pork, chicken, shrimp. Add it to some ground meat for meatballs or hamburgers. Add a little to taste to mayo.

                                                                                                                                    This is not my recipe, it's one by Aaron Sanchez.

                                                                                                                                  4. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                                                    I think I was kind of smart today with my chicken breast.

                                                                                                                                    I boiled three chicken breasts in water and salt. Took them out and shred the meat. Standard procedure.

                                                                                                                                    But then I heated up the pan, added the shredded meat in, then half a can of chipotles - and instead of pouring water in it. I used the water I had left from boiling the chicken. Which now had turned into broth of course. It tasted phenomenal.

                                                                                                                                    Im a fan of using as few ingredients as possible, but in the most perfect way possible too. So this really gave it a round chipotle flavour with all the smokiness. But also gave it the "real" depth of flavour from the broth. The meat turned out almost glowing dark orange.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                      Sounds like the color and flavor profile you're looking for with chipotle chicken! The real test, of course, is whether it was tasty in your burrito. I hope it was!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Booklegger451

                                                                                                                                        Sure was, but you know what. I think having both guacamole and refried beans, distorts the flavour too much.

                                                                                                                                        Instead of adding character, they cancel each other out. I think the burritos are better without refritos. They sort taste more "green" that way. More refined. not just a little bit of everything, but rather a concious selection of a few things. And when the choice is between either refritos or guacamole, I like the latter much better.

                                                                                                                                        I also bought a year old stored cheddar today, and that really payed off. It really added character to the burritos.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                          it's so interesting that you are developing a taste for burritos that are really all your own making - not having had "the real deal" yet. you can't go wrong, as far as i'm concerned, but it's interesting. for me, burritos have beans or rice. just the way i've always had them growng up in Southern CA, and now living in San Francisco. and guac is always a welcome addition. it's my favorite too.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                            Im not opposed to beans. I just like guacamole better. But theres something about these beans that make me feel very heavy after the meal. Am I the only one alone here? I work out quite alot, and plan my meals for best performance, and whenever I´ve had beans, I just feel like I´ve eaten concrete.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                              Beans are very, very filling because they're slow to digest, and they contain some compounds that don't break down well in the human gut (hence their common side effect). The counter-intuitive solution is to eat beans more often to encourage the strains of intestinal bacteria that can better handle them. Or use less of them.

                                                                                                                                              I have the same problem with Indian cuisine, but haven't been able to narrow it to a particular ingredient yet - I just don't plan to do anything very physical after an Indian lunch.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                oh definitely, they're a gut bomb. i don't eat burritos often, because of that. i usually eat tacos.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                  I think you should be using whole beans in your burritos rather than refrieds. It's fewer beans, less fat and better textural contrast

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                    I took a picture of my burrito filling here: http://instagram.com/p/U7DYCFjIkr/

                                                                                                                                                    I used whole beans and added those to the chicken instead, together with the chipotle. So that beans and meat became one.

                                                                                                                                                    This was before I added the cheese, which covers everything. But cheddar tastes really good in burritos! I was at a cheese store and tested a stored gouda from Holland, and the flavour was amazing. I´m gonna try that next time.

                                                                                                                                                    But so far I´m happy with four layers of filling.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                      I'd eat that :-). You are more than on the right track with your burrito making.

                                                                                                                                                      Did it work out better for you using whole beans as opposed to the refritos? I love a good bean and cheese burrito with good refritos, but if beans are going into a meat-based burrito, I've always found they work better whole.

                                                                                                                                                      Gouda would actually probably be a great choice. Did you know there is a famous specialty dish from the Yucatan called Queso Relleno which is basically a stuffed wheel of gouda? Gouda isn't used much anywhere else, but it is also not totally unknown in Mexico either.

                                                                                                                                  5. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                    ground lamb - that sounds excellent!

                                                                                                                                  6. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                    I just made burritos with chipotle chicken, guacamole and mango salsa. It was amazing.

                                                                                                                                    I blended tomatoes, mango, cilantro, onion, and one fresh jalapeno together with a little lime juice.

                                                                                                                                    This time I used jarlsberg, which was good. But I almost ruined burritos forever the other day, when I put some french Raclette cheese in it. That was too sharp. It was labeled as a "tex mex" cheese. But it had that obnixous french taste. If anybody knwo what I mean?

                                                                                                                                    But so far, stored cheddar is the best.

                                                                                                                                  7. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                    Beans tend to be Red, Black or Pinto. Usually cooked separately with spices. Pintos would probably be most traditional
                                                                                                                                    and are usually the bean of choice for refried, but black beans,
                                                                                                                                    emanating from Caribbean origins
                                                                                                                                    have become more popular in recent years.
                                                                                                                                    Red beans, more from the American South when you're tired of the first two.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                      I love the yellow beans, they are very creamy. Another bean I like to use is the Anasazi bean (yes, SW, I know).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                        I love em too, but I figure he'll have a hard enough time finding the first three, though I don't really know the bean eating habits of Norwegians :).

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                          Pinto beans is the only one I´m unsure of.

                                                                                                                                          We get yellow beans, read beans (we call them kidney beans), and black beans.

                                                                                                                                          I prefer black beans, because they have the highest percentage of protein (9-10%).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                            As a general pattern, pinto beans are more common in the north, black in the south (including Mexico City). But the yellow, also called Peruano or Mayocoba, is also quite popular. It's not well known in the USA, in part due to some failed patenting efforts.
                                                                                                                                            In Europe any of the 'white' beans would work, including the Italian cannellini.

                                                                                                                                            Note also the paragraphs in that Wiki article on blank turtle and pinto beans.

                                                                                                                                            Even Swedish brown beans might work

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                              The red beans we're referring to are small red beans, not kidney beans. At least, this non-Mexican would use the smaller red beans. They're not azuki beans either, although there's a strong resemblance.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                Pinto beans are about the size of kidney beans, but they're a light tan color with darker speckles or spots on them - hence "painted" beans, pinto in Spanish. The markings disappear when they're cooked.

                                                                                                                                                There are lots of varieties of beans, and that's just counting Phaseolus vulgaris, the common New World bean. Pinto beans are the cheapest and most common beans I see in the Mexican groceries here, with small red beans that look and taste a lot like kidney beans but are a little smaller coming in a close second.

                                                                                                                                                Disclaimer: I just finished reading Beans: A History by Ken Albala and I'm crammed full of bean trivia!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                                                                                  Love Ken Albala. If you liked his bean book try is book on The Three Great World Cuisines...Chinese, Italian and Mexican. Fascinating read and information.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                        ooh, fried fish too! as in fish tacos..... batter dipped, fried fish, nice and crispy.... mmmmmm....

                                                                                                                                      3. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                        Other good toppings:

                                                                                                                                        Pico de Gallo (unless that's what you're using for salsa, a field nearly as wide as burrito in terms of what qualifies)

                                                                                                                                        Enchilada sauce

                                                                                                                                        Sliced fresh or pickled jalapeno

                                                                                                                                        Pickled carrots

                                                                                                                                        Shredded cabbage

                                                                                                                                        Sour cream (American... worried this may be one of those things that's called something else in Europe.)

                                                                                                                                        Roasted corn (kernels scraped from cob)

                                                                                                                                        Chipotles in adobo sauce, if you can find it

                                                                                                                                        Green tomatillo salsa if you've been using red salsa

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                      ok, ground meat is not carne asada, you do know that, right?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        I just tried to make my first carne asada marinade. Although I did not put beer in it, as I´ve seen many do. Is beer required?

                                                                                                                                        I sliced up beef and mixed a marinade of
                                                                                                                                        Orange juice
                                                                                                                                        Lime Juice
                                                                                                                                        Lemon juice
                                                                                                                                        Fresh cilantro
                                                                                                                                        Fresh garlic
                                                                                                                                        Chili powder
                                                                                                                                        Cumin powder
                                                                                                                                        Paprica powder
                                                                                                                                        Salt and pepper
                                                                                                                                        Olive oil

                                                                                                                                        Now its marinating in the fridge over night. How does that sound? Have I forgotten anything?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                          Carne asada marinate is a highly contested (at least in my area) recipe. Some people will say it's simply salt and pepper and then grill.

                                                                                                                                          Most of the local Mexicans do salt, pepper, some granulated garlic, rub it in and then squeeze lime juice all over everything. Let it sit for half an hour or so and then grill. Unless your meat is very tough you don't really need to go overnight with the marinade. If you've got a vacuum sealer, use it and let the meat marinate for an hour or so before grilling.

                                                                                                                                          Your recipe is very similar to one I use...

                                                                                                                                          4 cloves garlic, finely minced
                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped finely
                                                                                                                                          1 jalapeño, serrano or habanero
                                                                                                                                          2 freshly squeezed limes
                                                                                                                                          1 freshly squeezed orange
                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup olive oil
                                                                                                                                          1 tsp cumin
                                                                                                                                          Freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                          2 Tbls. white vinegar
                                                                                                                                          Beer to taste, optional
                                                                                                                                          Whisk or put in blender and pulse a few times

                                                                                                                                          2 lbs. flank or skirt steak
                                                                                                                                          1 Onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                          Salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                          Scatter some of the onions in a baking dish, layer in steak, another layer of onions, another layer of steak. Pour marinade over the top and let sit for several hours (Yes, it can go overnight if you want it to). Drain off marinade, discard onions, grill meat.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                            Nice. But one thing thats hard to get here, is those different types of chilis.

                                                                                                                                            Actually, the food store doesnt even name their chilis. We just have one chili here in green or red. Thats it.

                                                                                                                                            We only get jalapenos on a jar.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                              Can you post a picture of the green/red chile you can get? What's the flavor profile like on it and is it at all spicy? Chances are, you could probably use it in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                Is there no such thing as just plain "regular chili" to you? :P

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                    is a nice picture dictionary of fresh chile peppers.

                                                                                                                                                    dried ones.

                                                                                                                                                    Both pages are weak on chilies that are available in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                    Note there various spellings of chile. Many Americans use 'chile' for the pepper, 'chili' for a stew (usually using beef and dried chiles). 'chilli' is also used, though it has more of British feel to it. It is further complicated when you consider plurals.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                      Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, when they use "chillis", appear to often use the little red Thai chilis. Although I once saw a British cook call an Anaheim a jalapeno.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                      Chiles (note the "e" at the end, the Mexican usage) can run the range from mild, sweet bells through the more tangy and hotter poblano to jalapenos and serranos through the blisteringly hot habaneros and beyond. To make things even more confusing, they can have different names in different places. And they have different names when dried - e.g. a dried poblano chile is called an ancho.

                                                                                                                                                      When I started cooking 40 years ago on the other coast the only chiles available were canned green ones, which are still available. They're not the greatest, but good in a pinch. Given the option between no chiles and using what's available, I go with what's available.

                                                                                                                                                      Now "chili" with an "i" is a different thing entirely, being a stew containing chiles, the exact ingredients of which have sparked near wars. "Chilli" is an early British attempt to spell chile that has stuck around.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                                                                                        I think we use the full name of that stew, which is Chili con carne. Right? But we norwegian are really raping the mexican kitchen. We sometimes call that a "taco stew". And we call all tex-mex food for "taco". And most norwegian are not making tex-mex like I am. With fresh guacamole and stuff.

                                                                                                                                                        If you consider mexican cuisine the origin, and the tex-mex second hand and modernised enterpretation. And you then consider Taco Bell a fast food version of that interpretation - then our Norwegian tex-mex food is an interpretation of Taco Bell. We´re just too far away from the source to understand this cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                        These are the chilis we have here http://www.frukt.no/sitefiles/site1/f... And thats pretty much it.

                                                                                                                                                        One store also have fresh habaneros. And on occasion I´ve seen them have fresh jalapenos. But those red and green ones is the standard.

                                                                                                                                                        The sweet bell pepper you refer to, we call paprica.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                          I'd say you're making Cal-mex, not Tex-mex, with a dash of Sonoran, just to confuse you a bit more. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                                            i'd agree on the Cal-mex.

                                                                                                                                                            i don't think I'd consider Taco Bell as interpreting anything!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Ramius


                                                                                                                                                            Could you give me a scale on that chile picture? How long are they?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                Probably serrano's, then. A nice all around chile for cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                Could also be Cayenne, or possibly Chile de Arbol (or any of the dozens of types of chile I don't recognize on site, of course).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                  I think they're too large and too pointy to be serranos.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                Texas used to be Mexico, and Tex-Mex is fusion cuisine, formed when the Spanish-speaking population of Tejas encountered the Anglos from British North America and they started using each other's ingredients and cooking styles (and what the Mexican inhabitants were eating was already a mix of Aztec and Spanish influences, which were in turn were influenced by their predecessors back to the first people to think of cooking their dinner). So your new Norge-Mex cooking is part of a proud tradition! Traditions do change over both time and space, and pointing to a specific recipe and claiming it's the real version - especially if it's a regional food - is IMHO futile.

                                                                                                                                                                Are the peppers in your picture hot or sweet? They look a little like some varieties of Italian sweet peppers. Do you have a garden, or friends with gardens? Thompson and Morgan, a British seed company, offers poblano seeds, and http://www.chileseeds.co.uk has a lot of chiles I've never heard of.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                  Did you know Norway is famous for it's tacos...and I'm not joking.

                                                                                                                                                                  In his book Planet Taco, Jeffery Pilcher traces the lineage and heritage of the taco. I had no idea, but apparently, in the 60s when packaged taco shells and taco seasoning were gaining traction in the U.S. the companies manufacturing them were also aggressively exporting their products to Europe. They took hold with avengence in Norway (and Holland, France and the U.K. to some extent). So you Norwegians do have a taco history that is at least 50 years old :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  I do agree with the other posters who noted that you're actually making Cal-Mex Mexican, but you've really touched on one of the main themes of Planet Taco in your 2nd paragraph. How Mexican food was spawned, developed and exported to the rest of the world. The author's premise is that it was mainly created and exported by Americans and other foreigners and not by Mexicans, and there is some validity in his argument, especially when you look at the development of Mexican food in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                  One of his premises that I do accept is that corn was exported around the world but without the technique and knowledge that needed to accompany it so that it could be processed and used as Mexicans do/did and the nutritional qualities released. There was a reason it was grown as it was (with squash and beans) and nixtamalized and then ground on the metate. Corn was exported as a crop, but the knowledge about how to make it a viable food staple was not. Anyone who has ever eaten a fresh corn tortilla in Mexico will understand immediately. Almost nowhere else in the world can you find tortillas l ike that.

                                                                                                                                                                  The Spanish did not hold corn in high esteem, in fact, they tried to eradicate it. Corn was considered to be the food of the poor and indigenous, not the upper classes. They ate wheat. Unforutnately, for the Spanish, wheat proved hard to grow in the southern parts of the country, but it did take hold in the northern states

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't agree with all the themes and points in Planet Taco, but it is an interesting read and presents some material that many are probably not too familiar. Jeffery Pilcher is a professor, so the book is a bit scholarly and academic, but it's very readable and not deadly dull and dry :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  Your chile photo does resemble a serrano, but I don't think that's what it is. Have you tried eating a sliver plain/raw? Is the flavor grassy, floral, herbacal, sharp, stinging/biting, mild, slow burn. Whatever the flavor profile, I'm pretty sure you can use it in a carne asada marinade and most likely anywhere a fresh green chile is called for.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                    That part about norway is incorrect. We have not had taco that long. Its only been available for a decade or so. Maybe from the end of the 90´s. And when I say available, I speak of Santa Marias line of taco products. And thats it. Thats all Norwegians think of taco. And Old el Paso, which offers the exact same products.

                                                                                                                                                                    Glasses of ready-made salsa, either hot or medium, ready made tortillas, and premade spice mixes to cook into ground meat. Mostly tasting cumin. Thats it. And I think a mexican or tex-mexican would be ashamed to have this associated with their heritage food. There is no point in looking to how norwegians are making this food. I´m quite ashamed of our food culture, and many professional chefs are critical of this as well here. We have some absolutely great traditional food, but our everyday food is just shit.

                                                                                                                                                                    Theres no taste of avocado, cilantro, chipotle, citrus or any of these great mexican flavours in our taco. All we do, is buy cold tortillas, put the ground meat on it, and sprinkle freshly chopped and untreated vegetables on it: Paprica, corn, onion, salad on it. And then add some shredded tasteless cheese, and premade salsa on it.

                                                                                                                                                                    What I´m trying to do is rise above the norwegian way, and make the food in more accordance with the roots of this cuisine. And as far as I´ve understood, all the fillings are traditional mexican recipes. The only modernised thing here, is that the burrito wraps them all together.

                                                                                                                                                                    The actual word "taco" is for the folded and fried tortilla right? So it turns crisp? Isn´t it true that Taco Bell invented this?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                      taco bell did not invent anything. forget about taco bell, please. tacos can be made with fried tortillas to form a hard shell but they are also made with soft corn tortillas which have been steamed or griddled or heated on an open flame until portions of it are charred. they come laid open flat with the filling atop, and you pick them up and fold them into the "taco" shape to eat them. i love them more than burritos because i love corn tortillas more than flour, although some do make tacos with smaller flour tortillas.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                        Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrlHpO...

                                                                                                                                                                        Its slightly unclear, but they do claim that they did invent the readymade tacoshells.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the info on Norwegian tacos! I thought it sounded kind of strange when I read it, but in the context in which it was presented it seemed plausible. When did Old El Paso hit store shelves in Norway? That company did a huge amount to expand ready-to-use products in the European market

                                                                                                                                                                        Tacos come in many different formats...corn tortilla, flour tortilla, folded, not folded, fried, not fried, steamed, rolled, and so on.

                                                                                                                                                                        Glenn Bell "stole" the idea of the crispy taco from a joint in San Bernardino, CA that was owned and operated by a Mexican family. He ate there on nearly a daily basis until he could figure out how they did things and their recipe. He certainly didn't invent the hard shell taco. What he did do was refine the product for use in fast food and invent the taco rail for filling the taco shells. There were several millling companies that were also working on developing the hard shell taco shell and the packaging to prevent breakage.

                                                                                                                                                                        Both Taco Planet by Jeffery Pilcher and Taco USA by Gustavo Arrelleno provide an insightful look at how the taco developed (surprise, it's not a pre-colombian food item), how it grew in the U.S. and abroad and the role played by people like Glen Bell and companies like Old El Paso. Taco USA is an easier read, but the author's biases are pretty evident. Planet Taco is probably a little broader and encompassing, but slanted more towards an academic evaluation of the history of the taco.

                                                                                                                                                                        To try and define Mexican cuisine by virtue of the burrito and/or taco does a huge disservice to the cuisine. I live on the border and the Mexican food we have in San Diego is pretty dismal. Yeah, I can find a decent taco or decent burrito, but not much else and that's a shame. Luckily, the food scene in Tijuana right now is booming so it's gotten easier to satisfy the Mexican food cravings with something other than The Great American Food Log (which would be an over-stuffed burrito)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                          Now I´m intrigued. What is a rolled taco? And how is that different from a burrito?

                                                                                                                                                                          Is ground beef the common denominator?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                            see the posts in here upthread about flautas and taquitos.
                                                                                                                                                                            They start after your question about enchiladas.
                                                                                                                                                                            BTW, ground beef IS more Tex-mex, or Taco Bell like, if you prefer.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                              Rolled tacos are also know as tacos dorado, taquitos, and on some occasions, flautas. Falutas are usually taquitos made with a flour tortilla rather than a corn tortilla.

                                                                                                                                                                              They are corn tortillas tightly wrapped around a filling so that they resemble a slim cigar or cigarette, They are often secured with a tooth pick and then deep fried. In my area they are plated on a bed of shredded lettuce, then topped with a generous amount of guacamole, shredded yellow cheese and sometimes crumbled cotija cheese. The filling is NEVER ground beef. Rolled tacos in my area are either chicken, mashed potatoes (super good), refried beans, shredded fish and occasionally shredded beef.

                                                                                                                                                                              In our local taquerias rolled tacos/taquitos are served either 3 or 5 to an order. It's a popular option for a fast lunch. Rolled tacos, even 5 of them, are much smaller than 1 big Mission-style burrito. They're 2 different animals. Burritos use a flour tortilla, rolled tacos almost always a corn tortilla. Burritos are filled with anything and everything, rolled tacos have a small amount of filling and the variety is much smaller. Rolled tacos are almost always fried or deep fried. Burritos can be fried, in which case they become a chimichanga not to mention a gut-bomb. Rolled tacos are more of an appetizer, burritos more of a meal.

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think I've ever seen a rolled taco with ground beef, and burritos with ground beef here are pretty rare too. A lot of our taquerias do offer ground beef as an option but it usually buried somewhere on the menu and the taquerias that cater to our local Mexican population and adverturous angelos don't offer it at all. You're more likely to see things like tripas (tripe), lengua (tongue), buche (other offal) along with carnitas, machaca, shredded beef or chicken, and chorizo, rather than grd. beef. Ground beef is not a common demonimator anywhere in non-Americanized Mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                In Mexican American homes in Texas I have seen fried tacos (doraditos or tacos dorados) not rolled as a flute but folded in half for frying and filled with "picadillo" or "carne picada" (which is ground and not chopped but the term is used by some to mean carne molida). And this is not beef with orange "taco seasoning." Often it has fried potato cubes mixed in. I can't say that I have seen this at any taquería, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, but growing up in Kansas (North Texas) deep fried tacos
                                                                                                                                                                                  were (are) a standard menu item at many places. Usually
                                                                                                                                                                                  a soft corn tortilla, filled, with meat and some beans, then clipped closed with clothespins and deep fried. Afterwards,
                                                                                                                                                                                  pried open enough to add cheese, lettuce and hot sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Puffy tacos in Texas would be the term.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't speak to what they call em in Oklahoma, but they are all through the Midlands and for sure didn't originate with Mr. Bell.
                                                                                                                                                                                  A funny take on the subject...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                  So its always FRIED then!? Thats the rule for the taco. Crisp corn tortilla!?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                                    where did you get that? as i said, tacos can be fried, steamed, griddled, charred over an open flame... and dining diva said "Tacos come in many different formats...corn tortilla, flour tortilla, folded, not folded, fried, not fried, steamed, rolled, and so on."

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                                      The rolled taco/taquito in the U.S. is almost always fried and it is almost always made form a corn tortilla.

                                                                                                                                                                                      You cannot, however, infer the same thing for a regular old taco. While pre-fab hard shell tacos may be the most common taco in the U.S., that is hardly the case in Mexico. As Soul Vole accurately desribes, in Mexico most tacos are served on fragrantly soft corn tortillas that are about 3-4" in diameter. You step up to the taquero and tell him what you want. The meat is usually put onto a wooden chopping block so some sort and quickly hacked to pieces by very large, very shrap cleavers or knives. The result is finely chopped meat, which has a much different taste or texture than ground beef. The meat is put on top of the tortillas and handed to you to top with chopped white onion, minced cilantro, whatever salsas the taqueria has made that day and perhaps a squeeze of lime.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Corn tortillas in Mexico are wonderous things. They are soft and pliable which makes the taco so easy to pick up and eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                      There's the concept of a "taco enrollado", where the tortilla is fully rolled around the filling but not necessarily fried. More commonly, here in Mexico City anyway, the tortilla is placed flat on the plate with the filling on top, but cochinita pibil tacos (a type of shredded pork) are often served pre-rolled, I assume to help contain the juices. Sometimes the resulting taco is briefly griddled. I think that flautas etc. are considered types of taco enrollado.

                                                                                                                                                                                      In Mexican Spanish there's actually a verb, taquear, meaning simply to roll something up in a tortilla and eat it, to make a taco out of something. You might see on a menu "mole poblano con pechuga y tortillas para taquear" -- with tortillas on the side to make tacos. And there is a technique to it. I've heard Mexicans joke that gringos seem innately incapable of holding a taco properly. One taco hold involves fully rolling the tortilla around the filling, carefully pinching it from the side with your thumb and first three fingers, and then you extend your pinky to bend the far end up to keep juices from dripping out.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And indeed ground meat of any kind is extremely rare for tacos in Mexico. The one exception I can think of is picadillo, a mix of ground beef or pork and other things, maybe potatoes, peas, nuts, dried fruit, it varies a lot. It's still quite far from the ground beef + taco seasoning you see outside of Mexico. (I joke that "You might be a gringo... if the idea of 'taco seasoning' doesn't leave you scratching your head.")

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                                  > Thats it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  To tell you the truth, 90% of mid-western, suburban households think homemade Mexican food IS a jar of salsa, ready-made crispy tacos (in a box), and premade spice mix to cook into ground beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                    All of America loves a good crispy shelled taco.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Doesn't mean we can't love Mexican style soft tacos too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                                                                      We midwesterners clearly need to wash the target off of our backs. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, well I'd like to introduce my Norwegian-Minnesotan friends to a couple of taquerias in urban America.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                                                                        Growing up I hated tacos because of the classic "american" hard shelled variety. As soon as I had soft tacos with just some carne asada and pico de gallo, I was hooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                          Not me. I love em all. Hard or soft. Ground beef or buche.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Beans or no. I've been eating Mexican food since I was a wee on, having a dad from Texas. The expanded options today
                                                                                                                                                                                          just mean more things to try and love. I was on a kick for a while where I would just get each place's tortilla soup and rate them that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Lots of fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                        hah - i recently saw, while my father was watching a Spanish language channel - a commercial for El Paso pre-made crispy taco shells in Spanish, marketed to Latinos.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                          Kind of like coals to Newcastle, no? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                            In taquerias and taco trucks out west (e.g. Washington) folded crisp taco shells are virtually unknown. Some items, like ceviche, might be offered on a tostada - that's a flat crisp tortilla. But tacos are 1 or 2 small corn tortillas folded around the meat (carnitas, lengua, etc) with a garnish of onion, cilantro, etc, and salsa on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Burritos, in the large Mission style, are on the menu. But more authentically Mexican are the tortas, sandwiches with the same meats, refried beans, avocado, etc, and often pressed.


                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                                If you can ever get your hands on Poblano Chiles, even canned, try making Stuffed Poblano Chiles (Chiles Rellenos). The Poblano is a mild Chile, and the dredging in egg is sometimes difficult to get just right, but it is my favorite dish in any cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                2. You might enjoy these videos if you haven't come across them already, Sonoran burros made with tortillas sobaqueras (huge extra thin wheat flour tortillas):





                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                                                                    I posted these videos for Ramius because he said in the OP that he liked to search through youtube hunting for burrito videos.

                                                                                                                                                                    Note the couple of posters who said that they have never seen burritos in MX: these are four videos of burros being made in Mexico by and for Mexican people.

                                                                                                                                                                    And to suggest that Northern Mexican food is not Mexican or somehow less Mexican than Southern or Central Mexican...how to even begin explaining how absurd that is? Oddly I have seen this attitude come up in other CH threads where wheat vs corn tortillas are discussed.

                                                                                                                                                                    Also, it doesn't fly to use the rationale: I travelled through Southern Mexico and never saw a burrito except for tourists. No one said burritos were found throughout MX. They are def. found in regional norteño cuisines within MX, though. Unquestionably. There are a lot of regional foods in the US that one doesn't find made (or made well) outside of their regions, does that disqualify them from being US foods?

                                                                                                                                                                    BTW even the extra large sized burritos are "authentic" in the sense that they are found in Mexico being made and consumed by Mexican people. For example, a version of the extra large size ones are originally from Sonora and called burros percherones after the extra large sized percherón breed of horse. (featured in vid I posted also)

                                                                                                                                                                    Here is another vid featuring burritos in the Sonoran style at a well known place in Tijuana---starts at about 4:00. Oh, but Baja California isn't really MX either, right?


                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                                                                      I saw all those videos and they were very inspiring. Especially since they were so simplistic: Meat, avocado and salsa. Or was that tomatoes?

                                                                                                                                                                      It did however prove that I was onto something with putting guacamole and salsa inside the burrito. Because it seems alot of these mexicans want both the flavour of avocado and tomato paired with their meat.

                                                                                                                                                                      But those tortillas looked great though. When its fresh baked, you need less fancy spices and sauces, because the baked goods will shine on its own.

                                                                                                                                                                      However, if its northern mexican or southern doesnt really bother me. Perhaps it does more to you americans who possible have a regional connection to them, and have been there yourself? To me it seems these videos prove that mexicans do indeed make burros/burritos.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                        I think some people are possibly reacting to the word "authentic." I see people on these boards reacting to that quite often.
                                                                                                                                                                        I believe that Mexicans making burritos, in Mexico is "authentic." Not sure if it was a later development, or something that has always existed, or maybe migrated from one region to another..... Heck, I think that the burritos here (quite a ways north of the border) in Mexican restaurants, run by Mexicans, served by Mexicans is authentic. I even go so far as to say, using the meat you have on hand, the cheese, the beans, wrapping it in a tortilla, is
                                                                                                                                                                        "authentic." :)
                                                                                                                                                                        And quite frankly, the word "authentic," is probably misused by some. It does not necessarily mean "original."
                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like you already have a great idea of what your "authentic" burritos ought to contain! Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                                                                        I think the point being made is that when you associate "classic" and "authentic" with "burrito" you're more likely referring to a creation that is American, not Mexican.

                                                                                                                                                                        There are probably 20 places in San Francisco alone for every place in all of Mexico that serves burritos as a staple item. It is much more popular in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                        That's not to say that people in Mexico can't also eat burritos!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: calumin

                                                                                                                                                                          But it seems the northern mexicans have been making burros for a long time. And judging by several videos, they seem to always use avocado, tomatoes and meat as filling. Or guacamole, salsa and carne asada. These three seem to be elementary

                                                                                                                                                                          Not cheese, sour cream, refritos and all that.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: calumin

                                                                                                                                                                            There are 40 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in the US. Compared to 112 million living in Mexico itself.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                              That's a good point. I should rephrase to a creation that is "Mexican-American" not "Mexican."

                                                                                                                                                                              I would still bet that there are more places in San Francisco that serve burritos than in all of Mexico. Certainly more in California than in all of Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. And now after reading this thread I'm craving Mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. As many have said, you can put almost anything in a flour tortilla and call it a burrito. For folks on a limited budget, that can mean fried potatoes, scrambled eggs or beans with either a green or red sauce. At a place that serves giant burritos in San Diego, one of the choices is french fries which is actually quite good. Your cane asada burrito would be one of the fancier burritos I've ever seen.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                                                                            The OP didn't mention whether he had explored the wonders that are breakfast burritos. I love 'em with fried potatoes/zucchini/chiles, black beans, scrambled eggs, and crema.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                                                                              seriously escondido? not trying to be snarky, but the carne asada burrito the OP describes is pretty common.... especially in san diego....

                                                                                                                                                                              and yes, fried potatoes/eggs/salsa are wonderful as burrito/taco fillings.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Like many have said, this question is impossible to answer because of the size and diversity of Mexico. I can only provide an isolated sample. Here in Chicago, the burrito places run by and for Mexicans are usually made thusly:

                                                                                                                                                                              Griddle a large flour tortilla and spread with refried beans. Widely available meat choices are carne asada, lengua, chorizo, barbacoa, lomo encebollado, al pastor, and chicken cooked with onions and peppers. Meat goes on top of the bean spread, then pico de gallo, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and sometimes avocado/guacamole is added. The whole thing is wrapped up into a 10-inch package, flipped and griddled again to seal it closed. Roasted red pepper and green tomatillo salsa is on the tables, not in the burrito.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I noticed a lot of Americanized burritos and burrito inspired wraps use cold tortillas and they are raw tasting and doughy. I definitely prefer griddle heated tortillas and even better when the burrito has sat on the griddle for a few moments after folding so that they cheese inside is oozing and the outside is very slightly crisped where it has sat on the griddle. That said, I hardly ever eat burritos. Maybe just twice a year.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                                                                                  The hand stretched flour tortillas that are sometimes used in burrito places is divine when griddled :-). I love a good bean and cheese burrito made with one of those hand stretched tortillas, good beans, cheese and salsa verde. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                                                                                                    Huh. I guess I've been lucky with where I've had burritos - never had one on a cold tortilla! SF was steamed in most places, but every other city has been put on a grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. When I was a kid growing up we rolled up bologna and mustard in a flour tortilla and called them South Tucson subs.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Still like 'em!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                                                                                                                      That reminds me of my first taco, was at the neighbors, she was babysitting us. She gave us a hard shell corn tortilla with a slice of bologna and American cheese inside.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember loving it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. So where do rice-based burritos originate? Wonderful chewy wheat tortilla, rice, a few frijoles do olla, and a very finely chopped mix of cabbage, cilantro, tomato, and radish plus your choice of asada, carnitas, lengua etc. Adobo and/or verde sauces on the side (or on my shirt). This was Hood River, Oregon. Good grief they were good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: wiinga

                                                                                                                                                                                        The version with rice and beans is commonly referred to as 'Mission style', a reference to the Mission district of San Francisco.

                                                                                                                                                                                        In my experience, taquerias and taco trucks in the west (e.g. Oregon and Washington) offer their meats in at least 3 ways:

                                                                                                                                                                                        - as tacos (small soft corn tortillas folded around the meat and little else); usually 3 or more to a serving

                                                                                                                                                                                        - as tortas (a grilled roll, with meat, some beans, and vegies, including avocado).

                                                                                                                                                                                        - as Mission style burritos.

                                                                                                                                                                                        mulitas, gorditas, sopes, and quesdillas may also give a choice of their meats.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Look over this list of tacos. The various meats mentioned are also 'authentic' fillings for burritios.



                                                                                                                                                                                        carne asada
                                                                                                                                                                                        tripita (intestines)
                                                                                                                                                                                        chorizo asado
                                                                                                                                                                                        Cabeza, a serving of the muscles of the head;
                                                                                                                                                                                        Sesos ("brains")
                                                                                                                                                                                        Lengua ("tongue")
                                                                                                                                                                                        Cachete ("cheeks")
                                                                                                                                                                                        Trompa ("lips")
                                                                                                                                                                                        Ojo ("eye")

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. For what it's worth, last week when my son was visiting we went for lunch to the taqueria that is owned by and is next door to El Milagro, the city's major tortilla bakery, in the most Mexican of Chicago's neighborhoods, Little Village, so things don't get much more authentic than that, and he had a burrito that had exactly what you list: steak grilled on a charcoal-fired grill then wrapped in a huge flour tortilla with layers of beans, salsa, shredded white cheese, avocado, and I think tomato, maybe shredded lettuce, and there may even have been some rice. He had extra avocado, sauce, and sour cream on the side, and the whole thing was about a foot long, simply gargantuan. So it sounds as if you are on the right track.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                            Querencia, what's the name of this taqueria? That sounds like a good weekend expedition lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I've spent eight months exploring the triangle of Mexico from Puerto Escondido(ish) up to Zacatecas out to Puerto Vallarta and I can only recall seeing burritos once- at Burrito Revolution in Sayulita. Total tourist food and also the single least hygienic food preparation I've ever seen in my life. http://www.sayulitalife.com/burritore... I suspect if I'd gone further north I would have seen more.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Most places I have been in Mexico had a plate of meat, beans and rice and a stack of tortillas. Most people make their own burritos if they want one or they make tacos. The only burrito I saw in Mexico was the breakfast burrito at Mickey D's.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Salsa is a must though.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cold burritos can be very good. I once took leftover beans, rice, chopped veg, shredded cheese, sour cream, and green sauce and rolled it all up in a flour tortilla and froze it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Next day I grabbed it on the way out of the house, and by lunch time it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I think you should develop a uniquely Norwegian burrito. One topped, for example with flambéed brunost. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can all say that you can put anything inside and call it a burrito. But I think it should atleast have a connection to the mexican-texan kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Even though burritos are not as popular in mexico, I feel I am still making mexican food here, because all the fillings I use are mexican recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do however make wraps as well. I´ve copied the KFC Twister, with fried chicken and special salad. But then I simply call that a wrap. Not a burrito.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The First Rule of Norwegian Burrito Club is do not talk about Norwegian Burrito Club.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Second Rule of Norwegian Burrito Club is DO NOT TALK ABOUT NORWEGIAN BURRITO CLUB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, pass me one of those lutefisk & gravlax burritos and an aquavit margarita.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I actually made a great wrap with leftover ribs (Norwegian ribs), sourkraut and mustard, wrapped in a lefse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You gotta' tell us what Norwegian Ribs are now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lutefisk wrapped up in Lefse (rotton potato tortillas) Bleeech!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lefse is a wonderful food, not made with anything rotten. With butter and some sugar, a perfect food. Lutefisk, on the other hand......

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Focusing on burritos and tacos as Mexican food is a bit like focusing on Scandinavian open face sandwiches (smørbrød).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They are antojitos (little whims), streetfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Contrast those with the 'comida corrida' - hot lunch

                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the main dishes mentioned is 'milanesas' - breaded cutlet, the Mexican version of Chicken Fried Steak or Wiener Schnitzel. That's just as authentically Mexican as a taco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        On one trip to Mexico years ago, I mostly used the comida corrida as the main meal of the day, and depended on the panaderias (bakeries) for supper and breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I had a hard time finding those boxes for keeping tortillas in online. I searched for tortilla box, tortilla container, tortilla storage, when I eventually found out they are known as "tortilla warmers".

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then of course, it was a challenge finding warmers big enough for 12 inch big tortillas. And I finally found someone who sold those. So now I have ordered a 12 inch tortilla box from Texas Rolling Pins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ramius

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't they make lefse warmers? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No. And lefser are not 12 inches big!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Btw, do you know any other websites selling these warmers? There are surprisingly few on ebay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ramius


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also try Amazon.com . They've got a lot of Mexican poducts related to food. I've ordered dried chiles from them when I needed a specialty chile and the quality of what they sent me was very good. YMM, of course. But they are a viabe, albeit pricey option