black bean wraps: baaaatter up!

Tuesday was a day for reminiscing. Slow pitch was the game of the day, with Gord playing for the honour of the UBC law students, and a small group of us cheering from the side (we were the only spectators - so he had all the cheers!). While sitting on the grass that-smells-so-much-like-summer, I remembered the slushies, Spitz, way-too-high-socks, and camaraderie that accompanied my childhood years of softball. I looked forward to those evenings, where the sun took on a red tinge, and all that mattered to me in the world was winning the game.
We sat and cheered, while Anne was roped in to being the scorekeeper for the entire game - note: Anne doesn't know a thing about baseball.
After an electrifying game of slow pitch, the only logical thing to do was go to a pub. Main Street has some lovely ones - we ended up at The Cascade Room (you should go - good food, cheap beer, delightful chats). We surprisingly, didn't hark back to the grade 6 Victoria trip, or one of Matt Frasier's parties (these are usually topics of conversation with Powell River folk).
But, just as I enjoy remembering my softball 'all-star' years (as well as my Powell River experiences), I also associate certain meals with my childhood: ones that are hearty, saucy and prepare you for hitting a home run. And yet again, I go back to an interpretation of Mexican.

In my mind, tortillas are always filled with something delicious. It has become an automatic assumption that their deliciousness overrides any other meal option - "Oh hey! Look at that wrap! Man, I'm going to get that over that lousy sandwich!" - is a usual response to the array of dishes on a lunch menu.

Tortillas have always been a mainstay of the Mexican diet. They can be used as a plate, a holder, or even a utensil. They have been in use since 3000 BC supposedly - the Aztecs knew a good thing when they made it.  With the advent of the 'automatic tortilla maker' in the 1960's, and the burgeoning Hispanic population in the US, they became part of the food cadence of everyday North American life.

This is one of my favorite meals. Every time I serve it, it also becomes the favorite of whomever is consuming it. My mother and several close friends swear by it. I hope you will as well.

Black Bean Wraps
(originally adapted from the Rebar Cookbook - but so changed that it doesn't really look like the original recipe anymore . . .)

2 avacadoes, peeled and mashed
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. onion, finely diced
1 roma tomato, seeded, finely diced
salt to taste
1 tsp. minced jalepeno pepper, seeds removed (optional)

Black Bean and Tomato Sauce:
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 sm. can tomato paste
1 tbs. dried oregano
1 tbs. chili powder
1/2 tbs. cumin
1/2 tbs. coriander
2 tsp. white sugar
salt to taste
2 canned chipotle in adobo, minced (optional)

handful of cilantro, chopped

1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced

4 large tortilla wraps (I personally like whole wheat, but whatever floats your boat)
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
lettuce leaves (optional)

1. Combine all the ingredients for the guacamole. Chop ingredients to as fine or a chunky as you want the finished product to be. Personally, I like chunky.

2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic. Fry until golden brown. Add the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the flavors meld.

3. In a separate frying pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, and fry until it begins to become slightly translucent. Add the red pepper. Continue to fry until both have browned a bit.

4. Place filling, while hot, inside wraps. Add cheese and guacamole (and lettuce if you wish; shredded chicken is also good in this). Wrap. Drizzle sauce on top. 

5. Pray. Eat. Enjoy after a rousing 9 innings.