In just a few hours I will officially begin my first term as a graduate student (though this week is a soft-start with orientation-type activities). In preparation for the onslaught of grading, studying, etc. that I anticipate, I have fortified the freezer ramparts with auxiliary rations: frozen burritos! Entirely homemade, of course.
My practice of making burritos for the freezer started with Hot-Pockets; my husband loves them, and I’ve gotta give the company credit for creating an on-demand meal/snack that is very satisfying. However, I was not happy that he was eating a processed food product on a semi-regular basis, so for nutritional as well as economic reasons, I endeavored to recreate some aspects of the Hot-Pocket experience. The first manifestation was as a breakfast burrito featuring eggs, cheese, beans, and sausage or bacon. And with this, I successfully transferred my husband’s affections to a homemade product… although he does occasionally cast a longing glance in the frozen section of the supermarket!
We treat our freezer as storage for raw-ingredients bought in bulk (such as meat) as well as the occasional ready-to-eat meal. For instance, if I make a chicken-pot-pie, I will package up half of it and freeze it for a rainy day. I intend to stash these burritos in the freezer both at home, as well as at school, to stave off hangry decision-making that is bound to happen during graduate school!
At this last week’s CSA-pickup I hoarded peppers, with the intention of freezing them straight-up, but I set aside a third of the haul for inclusion in these burritos.
To make the tortillas, starring my beloved lard, I used my favorite tortilla recipe from Serious Eats. Through a lot of trial and error on our electric stovetop which has heat settings ranging from “simmer -10”, I’ve found that a setting of 4-5 (30 seconds for each side) is key for producing soft and flexible tortillas. Any major deviations from this temperature and the tortilla becomes brittle and inflexible.
So what did I actually put inside of these burritos?
- Refried beans (Serious Eats Recipe featuring lard and onions)
- Chipotle-style Barbacoa Brisket (from The Kitchn)
- Salsa Verde from CSA Tomatillos (recipe from The Gouda Life)
- Green heirloom tomatoes from our CSA (see my first post on Provider Farm).
- Frozen corn
- Sautéed CSA Peppers
- Shredded “Mexican” cheese… whatever that is.
This whole process of preparing ingredients and assembling them together takes a surprisingly-long length of time, so I will only be breaking these out in the case of true emergencies!
Assuming that I am still allowed the vestiges of a life apart from school, I plan to maintain my regular cooking habits/food quality… my husband will just have to pitch in a little more often on that front! Blog-posting is another matter, so optimistically I’m going to shoot for a fortnightly post… or abandon the enterprise altogether….