Weird question about Black Bean Burritos in Bulk: My 11-year-old son loves a specific flavor/brand of frozen burrito labeled "especial" that sells for $2.99 - $3.99 each. He can pop them in the toaster oven and I like having them on hand but they are pricey! I was thinking I will try to make up a bunch in bulk. I know they have olives and green chiles, and I have been searching for recipes online. Does anyone have any experience with preparing "especial" vegetarian burritos in large quantities (say 24-36) and wrapping individually in foil, freezing, etc.? I'd love any pointers before I embark. Thank you ;)



pierino February 3, 2011
Susan g, good suggestion! Bring on the burrito!
susan G. February 3, 2011
Food52 recipe search has no burrito recipes yet -- we'll be waiting for yours!
Sadassa_Ulna February 3, 2011
Thanks Pierino and ChefDaddy. I like the IQF technique idea! I also like the idea of test-freezing one and holding the prep overnight because the whole concept (a bean and rice pilaf plus cheese) is very forgiving and easy to correct. I will post the recipe afterward. THANKS EVERYONE!
ChefDaddy February 3, 2011
I just wanted to suggest that when you get everything prepped make one and see if he likes it. Freeze one over night and test. Don't worry your prep will hold overnight for a frozen burrito. Getting your son involved with getting things right could be fun for him. As a fellow burrito maker/freezer I do something called IQF (individually quick frozen) where I freeze the burrito's on a sheet pan in the freezer and after they have become frozen I put them in a gallon zip lock bag and pull them out as needed(so do my kids) and they don't stick together. As for the salt less for freezing, I have not had this experience and truly question it. Although many years ago in culinary school they did teach us that if something is made hot but is being served cold the flavor profile will change and therefore have to be seasoned accordingly but if something is made, frozen, and then reheated I have never experienced any change in the product getting saltier. Good luck and have fun!
pierino February 3, 2011
Seasoning ingredients most likely include cumin, cayenne rather than paprika (or another dried, powdered red pepper) and for a commercial variety probably onion salt as well. Avoid those tasteless canned, pitted black olives and substitute some good ones. There was a burrito discussion here not long ago, and it really is a Cal-Mex thing. Its popularity began at the old El Cholo restaurant in Los Angeles. Amy's is a good brand name for Mexican style dishes so you might want to read the package for ingredients. "Especial" just means special and doesn't refer to any particular style or formula.
nutcakes February 3, 2011
I think wrapping in wax paper, then bagging in a ziplock freezer bag is better than using foil, especailly if he might be microwaving them.
Sadassa_Ulna February 3, 2011
Thanks nutcakes, OAMC is a whole new acronym for me. Looks like a lot of information out there (OAMC = once-a-month-cooking). Thanks!
Sadassa_Ulna February 3, 2011
Thank you asfoodie for the tip about salt + freezing! And I will definitely taste test them myself. We have [fresh] burritos a lot and I got this idea after assembling two using leftovers, wrapping in foil, and refrigerating. The famous and pricey manufactured "especial" type that I will try to emulate has a jumbled filling of rice + black beans + finely chopped veggies + cheese - almost like if one were to make a one pot pilaf type thing and add grated cheese. I can come up with that part but if anyone has a recipe that would awesome! I guess I am wondering if anyone has done this before perhaps there are things I should do like spray the foil with a little oil before wrapping, or other things I can't foresee ("unknown unknowns") . . . I am guessing this will need cumin, garlic, hmmm paprika? oregano? definitely cilantro . . . thank you to anyone reading my lengthy strange inquiry . . . I know their not outrageously expensive, but really, rice and beans . . .
nutcakes February 3, 2011
Is "especial" the brand name? If not, it might help to name the brand, there may be copycat recipes online. Otherwise especial just means special and has no particular culinary meaning that I'm aware of. I would enlist your son to help with this project. Before making a big batch, just make a batch of beans and experiment with the seasoning to get a batch he likes. It may be more realistic to aim for something he likes rather than an exact copy. Check the ingredient list on the package. Making and freezing them should work out fine. I've not done it, but reports are positive. Search OAMC cooking sites for tips; those people are used to freezing in bulk. "OAMC burritos"
amreiskitchen February 3, 2011
I would make sure to try your son's burritos yourself. So that you have some ideas about the seasoning flavors. Then just go ahead and get your fillings lined up mise en place so to speak.Most burritos don't require a tremendous amount of any one filling. use a guesstiment the first time and see how evenly it works out. Also remember when taste testing your mixture, freezing tends to increase the flavor of salt in particular so try a bit less than fully flavored. I would try a bit less than 30 the first time just to see how it works out and what adjustments might need to be made. then multiply to make a bigger batch the next time.
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