TASTE
11/03/2011 05:09 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make A Burrito

Chef Iliana de la Vega of The Culinary Institute of America demonstrates the simple technique for making a burrito. She starts by warming up flour tortillas, then spreading one side of the tortilla with warm refried pinto beans. She then adds some shredded Asadero cheese. To create the classic burrito shape, she rolls the tortilla, stopping about one-fourth of the way to tuck in the right and left hand sides of the tortilla (this keeps the filling in). She then continues rolling until the burrito is complete. Another option is to forget the tucking step, which she refers to as the "homestyle" method.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Iliana de la Vega from the Culinary Institut
e of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to roll a burrito.

Burritos! Everyone in America thinks they are native to America, like California-Mex, or Tex-Mex, but actually they come from Chihuahua in Mexico. This is a traditional dish from that area.

Flour tortillas are essential for this, and it's good to have everything a little bit warm. We'll warm up the tortillas first. Burritos in Mexico are not as big as the ones in the States, and the stuffings are simpler. They always have refried pinto beans or bayo beans. I have here some pinto beans that are still warm - it's important that whatever your filling is, it should be warm.

We don't want the tortillas to be extra hot - because we will handle them - but they have to be warm and good, so they will be easy to fold without breaking. Now let's spread some beans into our burrito. You can flavor your beans with a little bit of chiles if you like, mix a little bit of cheese - whatever you want, it will be fine. We don't want spread over the whole thing, and not a thick layer either; maybe across about two-thirds of the tortilla. Then we add cheese; we're using asadero, which is available in every supermarket. Now we start rolling our burrito, just like this, from the bottom - and then here, after you roll up one end, tuck the side parts in so the filling doesn't come out. Then roll the rest of the way, and here we have a burrito.

If you're going to eat them right away, this is the more casual, homestyle way of rolling a burrito in Mexico: spread the beans, some cheese - as much as you like - and roll it straight up. This is the way we eat in a home, just rolled like this with the ends open.