By Alec Harding –
Suppose, just for a moment, that you find yourself in the Midwest following a particularly brutal winter, confronted with the task of opening up the cabins for summer while subsisting on whatever the closest possible market has to offer.
Bear in mind that you have – thanks to a deep seated penchant – travelled without luggage other than a leather over-the-shoulder bag containing little more than some limited files and your electronic chargers. Furthermore the aforementioned market has little to offer.
You will be in the locale for one short week which promises to be very busy – what with the clean-up of debris from the ice wind and snow that has been experience in the region. There will be little time, or ingredients, to engage in any kind of exotic cuisine. In just such a position, taking my lead from our most recent group of immigrants, I turned to, and perhaps perfected the in-home, cheap and easy, two-minute burrito. Simple and quick solitary grub, just what the doctor ordered – yes?
Back at the under-stocked market, you will need: ground chuck, onions, tomatoes, avocado, five-blend shredded cheese, and of course some tortillas. It should be noted that you will have brought with you some ground New Mexican chile – the kind available in any bodega – or at Trader Joe’s.
Start by browning first the chopped onions, then adding the ground chuck and your chile powder. For moisture use some of the remarkably low-quality white wine available at that same market, and some chicken broth – there should be some from the previous year in the freezer. Simmer down to a mushy consistency then store in a Tupperware container – you will have made enough for many meals.
Now picture yourself entering the cabin, having spent hours cutting and hauling limbs both great and small – debris from the reportedly devastating wind and ice storms. At this point how much energy do you have to pursue any kind of cuisine – let alone “haute”? Not much.
To business: chop a slice of tomato, and some avocado. Place a tortilla on a plate, and sprinkle with cheese. Lay on that the tomato, avocado, and a few spoons of the meat ingredient. Microwave for twenty seconds, then remove and fold in the traditional burrito manner. Should you be feeling fancy, you might brush the object with melted butter before microwaving for an additional forty seconds.
All that remains is to eat … then get back to work!