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Little Donkeys stuffed with Beans, Kale & Chorizo...otherwise known as Beans 'n Greens Burritos w/ Chorizo

Let's talk burritos today.  Little donkeys.  Delicious.  Little.  Donkeys.  There are countless versions of how the name burrito came to be.  Some say that a burrito resembles a donkey's ear.  Others say it resembles the rolled up packs or bedrolls that a donkey carries.  My personal favorite version* is the story of a man named Juan Mendez who, during the period of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921), sold tacos at a roadside stand.  Now, I don't know the reason...perhaps he lost his stand or decided delivery would pay better...but when he needed to transport his tacos, he would wrap the food in large homemade flour tortillas to keep it safe; he would then wrap each one up in individual towels.  Then he would hop on his donkey and go around the city...his food safely wrapped inside of the flour tortillas.  People came from afar to find this food of the burrito (food of the little donkey) and the rest, as they history.  Also called tacos de harina (wheat flour tacos), burritos are the ultimate street food- warm, deliciously spiced meats, beans, vegetables, and/or cheeses all contained in a hand-held cylinder.  So yes, "wrap" is basically just another name for a burrito, as well.

While perusing one of my favorite new cookbooks, Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook, I stumbled upon this soul-quenching, mouth-watering recipe for a burrito that made my toes curl in delight!  The deep green of the kale combined with earthy black beans...both of which are flavored with gorgeous, chile-flecked chorizo...oh man. Put a bit of creamy queso fresco over the whole thing and wrap it up in a homemade whole wheat tortilla...aaahhhhhh...these burritos are fantastic!  Plus, you could leave out the chorizo to make a meatless version...just sauté in a bit more olive oil.  The double-awesome thing about them is that they freeze very well.  I made a bunch of extras, wrapped them individually in wax paper (alternately, use foil), and then froze them in a freezer bag.  Mexi and I just pulled one or two out when we wanted a meal and re-heated each in the microwave (unwrapped) for ~2½ minutes.  We plan on making a new batch every couple of weeks, so that we will never be without one of these tasty little donkeys when the craving strikes.

Beans 'n Greens Burritos w/ Chorizo
slightly adapted from the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
yield: ~8-10 burritos (depending on size of tortilla)

8-10 homemade whole wheat tortillas *see recipe below, or store bought
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ lb. fresh, homemade chorizo, or store bought
~1 Tbs. minced garlic
~1 Tbs. chipotle chile powder
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
~1 lb. kale, roughly chopped
2 c. cooked or canned black beans, drained, liquid reserved
½ c. crumbled queso fresco
Pico de Gallo, for serving

Heat the oven to 350° F. Stack tortillas and roll them up in a sheet of foil.  Place them in the oven to warm while you cook the filling.

Place oil in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  When it's hot, add the chorizo and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is cooked through.  If the pan is very dry (which is more likely with homemade chorizo than storebought), add a bit more oil.  Add garlic and onion and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are soft.  Sprinkle in chile powder, a bit of salt and pepper, and then add kale.  Cook, stirring from time to time until it wilts and releases liquid, ~5 minutes.  Stir in the black beans, mashing a bit with a fork or potato masher, adding a bit of the reserved bean liquid if mixture seems too dry.

To roll each burrito, lay a tortilla on a flat surface and divide the filling mixture evenly among the tortillas (amount you get will depend on size of tortilla) on the third closest to you.  Sprinkle on cheese.  Fold tortilla over from bottom to cover filling, then fold in the sides to fully enclose them; finish rolling and put burrito seam side down on  a plate.  Serve with pico de gallo on side.
Mostly Whole Wheat Tortillas
also from the Food Matters Cookbook
makes ~8 tortillas (again, depends on size)

1 c. whole wheat flour, plus more as needed
½ c. ap flour or bread flour
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. lard, softened butter, or olive oil
~½ c. boiling water, more as needed

In a bowl or food processor, mix together flours & salt.  Stir or pulse in the fat.  Add water slowly, a bit at a time, until dough holds together in a ball.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic (~4-5 mins. by hand or 1 min. in food processor).  Wrap dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 mins. or up to a couple hours (or in fridge for a few days).  Working with room temperature dough, divide into ~8 pieces.  Flatten each into a disk on a lightly floured surface, cover, rest again for a few minutes.  When ready to cook, roll each disk as thin as possible into circles 8" or more in diameter, stacking between sheets of wax paper or plastic as you work.  Put a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for ~5 mins.  Cook tortillas one at a time, until brown spots begin to appear on bottom, just under a minute; turn and cook on other side.  Each tortilla will only take a couple of minutes, total.  Wrap in a towel to keep warm...or let coo, wrap tightly and store in fridge for a few days (or freezer for up to a few months).

*source- Wikipedia