Growing up in the Bay Area, I was accustomed to eating San Francisco-style burritos – soft flour tortillas, filled with meat, beans, rice, salsa, cheese, sour cream and guacamole, made to order at the counter and then wrapped in tin foil. I watched them put the tortilla in a big steamer and then watched it emerge warm and pliable. Aside from the bloated feeling that I had after eating those burritos (due to undiagnosed celiac disease), I have missed the satisfaction of peeling back that foil and taking a big juicy bite of burrito goodness.
Well, guess what?? I have finally done it! After years of trying, I have finally created a gluten-free burrito like the ones I used to know.
A while ago I wrote a review of La Tortilla Factory’s Gluten-Free Wraps and mentioned that perhaps I needed to work on some new ways to prepare the wrap. Remembering the way that the burrito shop workers put the tortilla into the steamer, I decided to try steaming it. The result? A soft, pliable tortilla that does not fall apart, allowing you to form a burrito. The best part is that when you steam it, it stays soft.
So how to steam a tortilla? There are steamers on the market for hundreds of dollars, but all you really need is some way to elevate the tortilla above boiling water for about 30 seconds. I’ll show you what I did just to give you ideas.
I took some – I don’t even know what they are called – pastry tin things and put them into a big saute pan. I boiled the water, placed the tortilla on top of the pastry tins (so that it didn’t touch the water) and covered the pan. 30 seconds or so later, I used tongs to remove the tortilla to a plate. You could probably just use a steamer pan, but I don’t have one big enough.
Now the fun part: fill the burrito and then wrap in foil. But wait – follow these instructions on how to wrap a burrito first! You want to have a tightly wrapped burrito and then to roll it tightly in foil so that it doesn’t fall apart as you eat it. And some more tips: don’t overfill the tortilla, and it might be a good idea to fill the tortilla while it is already on the foil, rather than trying to transfer the full burrito.
Here is a picture of my burrito! Not quite as big as those other burritos (does anyone really need them that big?), but mmmm (sorry, my mouth is full).