Have you ever wondered about the steps to building the perfect burrito? At El Chubby’s Fresh Mexican Grill in Aurora, we strive to create and serve perfect burritos every day and want to share more about how it’s done.
Start with the Tortilla
Tortillas, both the flour and corn versions, originated in Mexico. Starting with a solid flour tortilla is the best way to make your burrito a standout. Instead of buying tortillas from the grocery store, considering checking out your local taqueria instead. Asking for flour tortillas there will often get you fresh, authentic tortillas to use for your burritos.
Add Some Meat
Carnitas is a type of delicious Mexican pork. It is a slow cooked pork shoulder that is crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. Skirt, flank or flap steak are excellent choices as well to create the perfect carne asada burrito. If chicken is more your style, try for the thigh meat for a richer chicken flavor. To prepare your meat filling, stick to the basics. Grilling or braising works well. For pork, low and slow will work perfectly. Using simply salt and pepper, maybe a squirt of lime, for seasoning is the best way to allow the meat to contribute to the flavor of the meal.
Remember to Add Rice
Mexican rice when building the perfect burrito is optional, but if you include it, should be light and fluffy. If you want perfect rice, soak it in water overnight. After draining well, heat oil in a pot and add rice. Toast till the rice appears opaque. Add a little less water than the recipe requires and bring the pot to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, cover and cook according to directions over very low heat. You can also add tomato to the liquid for traditional Mexican rice. In the end, add just a touch of salt. Too much salt can ruin your burrito balance.
Here is a great opportunity for a shortcut when building the perfect burrito. While soaking and slow-cooking beans is a viable route, you can also simply warm up a can of pinto or black beans. Black beans tend to be highly popular, but pinto beans can provide a yielding, softer flavor. You can choose a can of refried beans if that is what you prefer. Experiment with additions such as fresh garlic and diced onion, or seasonings like cumin and chipotle powder.
Add a Little More
For added flavor consider adding pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and hot sauce. To make a great pico de gallo, combine diced fresh tomatoes with red onion, cilantro, and salt. If you like a bit more spice, you can add jalapeno as well. A squeeze of lime is also optional.
Guacamole can be created from a mashed fresh avocado and a few spoonfuls of the pico de gallo. Otherwise, you can put in some onion, cilantro, lime, and salt.
For a little heat, we recommend a Tapatio or Cholula hot sauces. Sriracha and Tabasco are a little too harsh for burrito perfection. You can also make your own hot sauce by grilling whole tomatillos and jalapeños and then blending them to a puree. If you just want spice without much work, slices of jalepeño work well to boost the Scoville scale of your burrito.
Instead of sour cream, try finding a crema from a Mexican market. You may even find it at your grocery store. Crema has a tang that is different from sour cream and it is an excellent way to help with building the perfect burrito.
Choose a mild cheese for your burrito. Monterey jack and cheddar both work really well. If you place your tortilla on a skillet and place your shredded cheese down the middle, you can melt your cheese and warm your burrito tortilla at the same. It is a simple but effective trick.
Prepare and Assemble
Prepare your ingredients so that you can assemble your burrito in a way that keeps your burrito warm, but not soggy. Lineup your various burrito ingredients from hot to cold. You can top your melted cheese with beans, then rice, then meat, followed by guacamole, hot sauce and then end with crema.
For good proportion, don’t pile too much on and try to keep the ingredients balanced. While you can add more ingredients, keeping it straightforward to start can help you determine which extras are too much and which ones are worth keeping. For example, some people find that lettuce is distracting from building the perfect burrito flavor while others prefer the fresh and crunchy texture it offers.
For best results, you may want to assemble your burrito at a good pace after melting your cheese. To wrap your burrito, fold in the sides that are perpendicular to your line of ingredients. Keeping the burrito ingredients parallel to your body, roll your tortilla over the ingredients and pull your burrito tight. Tighten as you roll up the remaining tortilla.
Wrap your burrito in tin foil to keep in warmth while you assemble other burritos. Use the same method as you did to roll up your burrito.
Master the Basics, Then Add Variation
Burritos are a fusion food, a Mexican dish that was invented in the United States. As a result, some people are used to wet burritos (topped with an enchilada or chili sauce and more melted cheese) whereas in others may add unusual ingredients like kimchi to their burrito concoction. We here at El Chubby’s Fresh Mexican Restaurant are partial to our own chili cheese smothered burritos. Recently, deconstructed burritos, also known as the burrito bowl have entered the scene. Regardless of your preference, think of your burrito as a palette of flavors combined in perfection and you will end up satisfied with your results.
If you’re craving Mexican food, but think building the perfect burrito may be a little too much work, come see us here at El Chubby’s Fresh Mexican Grille in Aurora for Mexican food and try one of our signature burritos. We think you will enjoy it.