Yields approx. 20 burritos
Did you know that there’s a lively debate over whether potatoes or rice were originally used in burritos? In fact, the more I research it, the more convinced I become that it’s likely that neither was ever an essential ingredient in burritos. Typically, rice would be served on the side while the inside would simply be a smearing of beans and some meat. Potatoes? Depends who you ask. But I digress. As a non-traditionalist, I really don’t care and as a non-rice-lover (I take flak for this all the time living in Japan), I don’t even need it on the side.
At this point, you might be wondering why I would think to put sweet potatoes in my burritos. The answer is simple: I’m a potato connoisseur of sorts, you might say. That, and my wife happens to love sweet potatoes. I figured that there must be a way to pair the two, so I searched the net and found a basic sweet potato burrito recipe by Karena on allrecipes.com. My first go at her recipe worked out pretty well, but I found it a little unbalanced. After several attempts, here’s my modified version of her sweet potato burritos.
I’d highly recommend making your own beans instead of using store-bought, refried beans. Not only will you have a fresher, fuller flavour, you’ll also cut out a lot of chemicals and preservatives that you simply don’t need to ingest. There’s also something intrinsically rewarding about making as much of your food as you can. I should also mention that if you want to make this recipe vegetarian friendly, simply omit the pulled chicken.
Any ways, I hope you enjoy this twist on burritos!
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 4 cans (240g when drained) of red kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
- 150 ml water
- 3 Tbsp prepared mustard
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 bunches freshly minced cilantro
- 20 tortillas shells
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 450 g boneless, skinless chicken
- 2-3 Tbsp canola oil (if frying rather than barbecuing)
- 2-3 Tbsp Cajun spice
Serve with guacamole, fresh cut salsa, and sour cream.
- Begin by heating the canola oil over a medium-high flame in a large, thick bottomed pot. Sauté onions, green pepper, and garlic until translucent.
- Reduce the flame to medium and stir in your beans of choice, gently mashing them with a potato masher. Slowly add water and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Stir in soy sauce, chili powder, mustard, cumin, and salt. Continue simmering for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently until excess fluid has been cooked off. Turn off the flame and stir in the cilantro.
- Place the prepared sweet potatoes in a pot of water and boil them until they’re ready to be mashed. After draining, add the butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mash them well and set aside to cool.
- While the beans and sweet potatoes are cooling, prepare your chicken by rubbing it with a drizzling of canola oil. Massage the Cajun spice into the chicken while pressing the chicken to no more than a 1/4 inch thick.
- Over a high flame, heat the canola oil and fry the chicken for approximately 1 and 1/2 minutes per side. Make sure it’s cooked all the way through by pressing down on each piece with the back of a fork. Once done, set aside and pull the chicken with two fresh forks. Set the pulled chicken aside and preheat an oven to approx. 350F.
- Prepare the burritos by placing a tortilla shell on a clean surface and evenly spreading the bean mixture, mashed sweet potatoes, pulled chicken, and cheddar cheese on each shell. Roll the burritos and place them on a baking sheet. Cover the burritos loosely with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Eat immediately or set aside to cool and freeze for a later date. If you want to have a crispy exterior, heat some oil in a pan and lightly fry them after the baking process has been completed.