Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yumtastic Burritos

Starving? Of course you are. Want an easy meal? Of course you do. Craving Mexican? Great, because I've got a great recipe for simple tasty burritos.

Stuff you should obtain:

1 package ground beef (80% lean)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
1 green bell pepper
1 package taco mix
Burrito-size tortillas

Notes about ingredients: The best thing about burritos is that you can put whatever sort of toppings you want on the tortilla to personalize your meal. Other options than the ones listed could be shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, etc.

What you should do:

1) Cut the bell pepper!
Unsure of what to do with it? Click here for nice pictures. I didn't quite cut it so thin as in those pictures, instead opting for more wider, squarish rectangles.

2) Cook the meat!
There are a few ways to cook the ground beef, I chose to do it in a frying pan. Essentially I just dumped the entire hunk of ground beef in the pan, which probably wasn't that great of an idea because the beef wasn't entirely thawed out. So essentially I spent my first few minutes cooking trying to hack at the semi-frozen meat with the stirring spoon to break it up so it could be cooked fully. I would advise ensuring that your meat is thawed. Or just being lazy and browning it in the microwave.

3) Prepare the taco mix!
After you get the beef browning appropriately (be sure to stir it around, making sure that all the pink meat gets against the hot pan at some point), follow the directions on the back of the taco mix - essentially just mix the packet with the right amount of water.

4) Drain the meat!
This step is important! I would know, I didn't do it and it made clean up a pain in the behind. See, if you don't drain the meat, the taco mix gets all gunky after you turn the burner off and it's a pain to clean off of the pan. And it also means there's going to be a lot of taco meat juice when you actually put the meat into the tortilla - a little too greasy.

5) Add the bell pepper and taco mix!
Adding the bell pepper now means that it gets the flavor of the taco mix and that it doesn't get really soggy. If you don't like your bell pepper on the crispy side, you could probably put it in earlier or simmer the meat for longer in the taco mix.

6) Prepare your tortilla!
As the meat simmers, you can get started on preparing your burrito. Fancy type people can put the tortilla on a plate and preheat it in the oven, so it's nice and warm.
I always put the sour cream on first, slathering it all over the tortilla. I think it makes it really nice and even, getting rid of that one bite of pure sour cream that you get if you put it on in a dollop.

7) Add the meat!
After the meat has simmered appropriately, turn off the burner (don't want to burn down the house, you know), and begin to spoon out the meat/pepper mix onto the burrito. Cover with cheese immediately so it gets melty with the warm meat.

8) Eat!
Om nom nom nom! Congratulations, you've made some tasty tasty burritos!

Leftover Capability:

I ate one burrito with this recipe, and probably will have enough meat for two more - that's three meals out of one evening of cooking! Of course, your leftover capability may vary, depending on how much beef you cooked, and how much you actually put on the tortilla.

But What About My Money?:
The following is the cost for each of the items I used in this meal (priced at a Martin's in West Virginia):
1 package ground beef 80% lean - 1.48 lb$4.87
8 oz pre-shredded cheddar cheese$3.25
16 oz light sour cream$1.19
Taco Mix$.89
Burrito-size tortillas (package of 8)$2.09
1 smallish green pepper$.69
With two leftover meals, that comes out to about $4.33 per meal. Of course, unless you really go to town, you probably won't use the entire container of sour cream or cheddar cheese, so it's probably a little cheaper than that. Getting regular cheese and then shredding it yourself may also be getting more bang for your buck.

Final Grade: A-
Minus some small glitches, this meal went pretty well and tasted excellent. Definitely something I'm going to do again.

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