When the weather turns hot, my appetite turns to Mexican food. Many dishes include my favorite fresh ingredients that are abundant and flavorful in the summer, and the spiciness can make me sweat a little, which helps me cool off a bit in the heat.
Burritos make great summer meals. Just put out bowls of ingredients and let everyone help themselves. The Picky Eater and I like my beef and bean filling, with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and taco sauce or salsa, all rolled up in a flour tortilla. Additional choices could include shredded grilled chicken, avocado, sour cream, roasted corn kernels, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges.
A burrito bar makes a quick and easy summer party. Just use colorful table coverings, plates and utensils. I keep the tortillas warm under a damp, warm towel. Margaritas and sangria would go right along with the fun, but I also like ice cold glass of limeade to cool off the spiciness.
Here are my recipes for taco sauce (Try the homemade stuff. It’s great!) and beef-bean burrito filling. Both freeze well, so you can have burritos whenever the craving strikes.
Homemade Taco Sauce
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (I use Hunts)1/2 cup water, to rinse out can
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoons salt (optional, depending on the saltiness of the tomato sauce)
In a small sauce pan, add all of the ingredients, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Lower the temperature and simmer for 20 minutes.
Beef and Bean Burrito FillingServes 4
1 pound hamburger1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup water
1 16-ounce can chili beans
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, brown the hamburger over medium heat. Just before the hamburger is completely brown, add the onion, and continue to saute until the hamburger is brown and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Stir in the remaining seasoning and the water. Add the beans and continue to cook until the water is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.