This time of year, when most of the color in my environment is found inside the house — especially in the kitchen — or on TV and computer screens, I entertain myself by taking pictures of the food we make and eat every day. I really believe in turning one of life's necessities — the daily meal — into a hobby and a pleasure. Especially if you don't otherwise work for a living.
Yesterday, we were going to make Tex-Mex style burritos for lunch. I had some cooked beans in the freezer, and some cooked rice in the refrigerator. I had pulled pork, which is a more than a little like Mexican carnitas, in the downstairs freezer. (You could use cooked and spiced ground beef.) It was easy to make some salsa with a can of tomatoes, some chopped onion, and some hot sauce (pureed cayenne peppers, also in the freezer). And to add in a little can of corn.
We had a package of what are called « wraps » — pronounced [VRAHP] in French — on hand. They are large-size Mexican tortillas that we get from the supermarket, and they're good. Trouble is, they're not quite large enough to make a decent burrito, like the ones we used to get from restaurants in San Francisco. So I came up with the idea of making a layered casserole or gratin with the ingredients we had ready to go. Layered like a pan of Italian lasagne.
A layer of rice and cheese, a layer of beans (black-eyed peas in this case) and meat, and then another layer of more rice and more meat, and finally a cheese-covered tortilla on top, and you've got it. You just have to be careful that everything is wet enough but not too wet, so that the tortillas will cook but not get too soggy. And that you have salsa and spices like chili powder, cumin, and Mexican oregano in the right amounts throughout. We'll get two good meals out of our "lasagne" and enjoy them both.