“Go and serve the food mom”
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This is a horribly dated and very sexist song. That we, as radio listeners, ever allowed this to be broadcast much less reach the Top 10 is a stain on our cultural record. Its one saving grace, if one can call it such, is that Gerardo never had a successful follow-up or even that much of a career. One Hit was really one more than he deserved. Nevertheless, it is a brilliant pun for a burrito. I do not take full credit as I first ran into ‘Rito Suave on the Fried Egg I’m In Love menu. (They are also rocking some serious music food punnage.)
In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad burrito. (Well, except maybe Taco Bell but that’s not really a burrito or even food.) I had grown up with the fairly standard Midwest burrito-style – meat, beans, cheese, salsa in a tortilla – so discovering the California style burrito – carne asada, fries, beans, and sour cream – was a revelation. It is now my favorite burrito style, though I will grant it takes a bit more work to make compared to the burritos I made most of my life.
(You’ll have some leftover steaks from this recipe, so consider making steak sandwiches.)
Gochujang seitan asada, twice-fried fries, peppers, red onion, refried beans, cheddar, hot sauce, & sour cream wrapped in two flour tortillas
Makes 2 burritos
For the seitan steaks
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup cooked small red beans
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons red miso
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon MSG
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the seitan marinade
2 scallion, white & greens minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup strong coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons gochujang
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the refried beans
1 cup cooked red beans
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the seitan asada
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 marinated seitan steaks, sliced thin
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 poblano, sliced thin
1 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the fries
1 pound of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
2 quarts vegetable oil
4 large flour tortilla
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons sour cream
Your favorite hot sauce
Add all of the seitan steak ingredients to a food processor except the vital wheat gluten and blend into a smooth sauce. Add the vital wheat gluten and blend until well mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed until everything is well mixed. There will be some dry spots but that’s ok.
(Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor you can first mash the cooked beans with a fork or potato masher, then add everything together in a large bowl and mix well.)
Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface and begin to knead it together. It may be a bit crumbly at first, but keep kneading it for a few minutes until it comes together into a tight ball. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes on the counter covered with a clean towel.
After the dough has rested, knead it for 2-3 minutes. Then cut the ball into 4-ounce pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll out each section into 1/2″ thick steaks. The dough will be very tough and stretchy, but just keep working at it until you get your desired steak shapes.
Put the steaks in the steamer basket and cover them with a lid. It’s ok if they are overlapping a bit. Steam for 28 minutes, flipping the steaks halfway through so they steam evenly. They will double in size. Remove from steamer and let cool for 15 minutes.
Place the steaks in a large ziplock bag or air-tight container, mix the marinade ingredients and pour into the bag. Let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking, or even better, overnight. You’ll need two steaks to make these burritos. Save the other two for making steak sandwiches.
Place a skillet over medium heat and add the butter for the refried beans. When the butter has melted, add the beans and vegetable stock or water. Using a spoon, mash the beans while cooking. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper and continue to cook until the beans are your desired consistency. I like a fairly smooth refried bean, but you do you. If they dry out while cooking, add a bit more stock or water. When to your liking, remove them from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set them aside.
Clean the skillet, and place over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and peppers and cook until just starting to caramelize. Then add the seitan steak, salt, and pepper. Toss to thoroughly combine and cook until the seitan is lightly charred and crispy. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and set aside.
Add 2-quarts of vegetable oil to a heavy-bottomed pot or deep frying pan and heat to 350°F. Line wire racks with 2 layers of paper towels. Fry the potatoes in batches until a light tan color and the edges are just starting to brown. Transfer the fries to the rack to drain.
When all of the potatoes have been fried once, increase the heat of the oil to 375°F. Fry the potatoes a second time until they are golden brown and crisp. Drain on the rack and sprinkle with salt.
Now it’s time to assemble the burrito. Lightly heat two tortillas in a pan or over a gas flame. You don’t want to toast them, just get them soft. Overlap the tortillas on your work surface (think: Venn diagram). Spread half of the refried beans across the center of the tortillas. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Pile a generous portion (a bit less than half) of the seitan asada. Top with hot sauce and three tablespoon dollops of sour cream. Fold the tortillas closest to you over the filling. Fold each end inwards. Continue to roll the burrito tightly to close it. Place in a skillet over medium-low heat to seal the seams and toast it.
Repeat for the second burrito.