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Fred's Black Bean Burritos

Fred's Black Bean Burritos
Monday, 26 May 2008


When Harald and Renate Zoschke had their Suncoast Peppers, Inc. office in St. Petersburg, Florida, right next door was the "Kopper Kitchen," a great family restaurant owned by Fred Tirabassi. Every Wednesday was "Burrito Day," and Fred's special of the day was a delicious Cuban-influenced black bean burrito, accompanied by fresh salsa and rice, a vegetarian dish.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
Bell Pepper
  • 1 pound dry black beans

  • 6 cups water

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 2 cups rice

  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth

  • For the sofrito:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

For the salsa:

  • 2 ripe but not overripe avocados, peeled, seeds removed, diced

  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced

  • 1/4 onion, finely diced

  • 2 to 3 hot chile peppers, such as serrano, seeds and stems removed, finely

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 2 red, yellow (preferred) or green bell peppers, diced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • For the burritos:

  • 6 large flour tortillas

  • 6 to 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


Rinse and wash the beans, look for stones. Add the beans to a large pot and add the water. Add green pepper, onions, and bay leaves. Cook, uncovered, for 2 1/2 hours or until done.

In a frying pan, prepare a sofrito by sautéing the onions and bell pepper in the oil. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ketchup, cayenne, and salt and pepper and mix well.

Combine the sofrito mixture with cooked beans. Heat together for 10 to 15 minutes. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the vinegar.

For the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and let marinate for at least 1 hour to blend the flavors.

To cook the rice, combine it with the water or broth in a large saucepan. Cover and cook on low heat until all liquid is evaporated, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the excess liquid from the beans. Divide the bean mixture on the flour tortillas and top each portion with cheese. Roll the tortillas and heat them until the cheese is melted and tortillas are heated through. (Fred put them on the griddle.)

Serve each burrito with the rice and salsa. Spice up rice with your favorite hot sauce.



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