Freezer-friendly black bean burritos are made for breakfast or any other time of day

Becky Krystal

THE WASHINGTON POST – No one really wants their refrigerator to die on them. But sometimes blessings come in disguise.

I had never been a fan of our inefficiently laid-out fridge. Yet in the nearly 10 years we’d owned our home, I had not felt compelled to replace it – until my hand was forced last summer. The freezer stopped keeping food cold, which is obviously the point, so I said goodbye to my appliance nemesis. I went back to basics with my new one, prioritising a maximum amount of space over things like a water dispenser and double doors. I also prioritized freezer over fridge space.

I’ve felt vindicated in that decision many times since then, but never more so than now, as I’ve turned to my freezer over and over again during the coronavirus pandemic. And one of the things you’ll almost always find in there are these Black Bean Breakfast Burritos. They work just as well for breakfast as any other meal, and if your family is anything like mine, everyone will love them (even my picky toddler!).

I kept the base filling simple and pantry-friendly. Customise the experience with your choice of extras, such as salsa, cilantro or pickled onions or jalapeños. I like to serve the burritos with salsa and guacamole, too.

Even if your freezer is not as generously sized or stuffed to the brim as mine, I hope you’ll set aside some real estate for these burritos. They’re worth every inch, and more.

Black Bean Breakfast Burritos. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

BLACK BEAN BREAKFAST BURRITOS

Active: 40 minutes | Total: One hour 10 minutes

Six to eight servings

The assembled burritos can be refrigerated for three days or frozen for several months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave on DEFROST before heating and browning in the skillet.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BLACK BEANS

Two bay leaves

One tablespoon ground cumin

Half teaspoon dried oregano

Two teaspoons smoked paprika

One dried chile pepper, such as ancho or New Mexico

Two tablespoons tomato paste

Two teaspoons kosher salt

10 cups water

One pound dried black beans, rinsed

FOR THE BURRITOS

Two tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus more as needed

Eight to nine ounces sausage or minced beef

Four to six large eggs

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Two cups grated cheese, such as cheddar

Six to eight 10-inch flour tortillas

STEPS

For the black beans: Add the bay leaves, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, chile pepper, tomato paste, salt, water and black beans to an electric pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 27 minutes, let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure. If the beans are undercooked, either bring the machine back to pressure and cook for an additional two to three minutes, then manually release the pressure to check again, or continue to cook the beans uncovered, on the SAUTE function if using an Instant Pot. Remove the chile pepper and bay leaves. If continuing with the burritos, drain three cups of beans and store the remaining beans in their liquid in the refrigerator or freezer.

For the burritos: Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage into the skillet and saute until cooked through, five to seven minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper, to taste. The sausage may have rendered fat into the skillet. If it looks dry, however, add more oil as needed (about one tablespoon of fat total is good). Reduce the heat to medium. Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet, allow them set for a minute or two, and then reduce the heat to medium-low to finish cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Have all the components at hand to assemble the burritos. Divide the cheese, sausage, black beans and eggs evenly among the tortillas, keeping the filling in the lower half to two-thirds of the tortillas. For eight burritos, aim for about quarter cup cheese, three quarter ounce sausage and a bit shy of half cup black beans per burrito. Fold the sides of the burrito over the filling and then, starting with the side closest to you, roll it into a cylinder, tucking the filling and tortilla in as you go. At this point, the assembled burritos can be refrigerated or frozen.

Thaw or briefly reheat the burritos as needed in the microwave. Remember that everything is cooked and you’re just warming it through and crisping the outside.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add one or two burritos to the skillet, seam side down. Cook until the tortilla is golden and crisp, rotating to brown on all sides. Repeat with as many more burritos as you want to cook, adding more oil as needed. Serve warm.

Nutrition: Calories: 500; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 120mg; Sodium: 920mg; Carbohydrates: 49g; Dietary Fibre: 7g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 24g.