Last week I overhead a coworker confess that, while she’s looking forward to seeing old friends when she returns to New York, she’s secretly most excited about revisiting a favorite restaurant. “I mean, it’ll be great to hang out with them, but I’ve been dreaming about this one sandwich.” She feigned shame until one of us asked her to describe the sandwich. “Oh you don’t even KNOW!! Okay, so it starts with…”
It’s gonna be a while until I share my coworker’s longing-ranking of friends and food** but I can still identify with her excitement. I’ve been daydreaming about Laughing Planet – a quick-serve restaurant in our old neighborhood – and my regular order there.
Toinight we set out to recreate the magic. Here goes…
LAUGHING PLANET’S CHE GUEVARA BURRITO REMAKE
1-2 cups rice (white or brown, doesn’t matter) ** 1-2 sweet potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cubed ** half an onion, diced ** 1-2 plantains, sliced **1 can black beans, rinsed ** few tablespoons chopped cilantro ** 1 small crown of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces ** tortillas ** favorite hot sauce ** favorite bbq sauce
Get the rice cooking using your preferred method. Meanwhile, chop the cilantro, rinse the black beans, and set them both aside. Boil a small pot of water and throw in the sweet potato; cook until just tender. Rinse and set aside. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet, then add the onion and cook a few minutes. Throw in the plantains and stir. Let the plaintains sit a bit before flipping so that they can brown a little. Add the sweet potato and stir. Heat this mixture until the plantains are tender. Steam the broccoli until just tender. Lay out each of the ingredients assembly-line-style. Stir a healthy dose of hot sauce into a half cup of bbq sauce (I like it hot enough that my nose runs).
Heat the tortillas (I love heating them one by one over the gas burner) and walk down your assembly line. I like putting the sauce on after the rice, because the rice helps hold it in the burrito.
** The Oregon food memories all include friends…gardening, trading recipes, dinner parties, sharing lunch leftovers, trying new restaurants. The other day a very kind coworker remarked, “you must miss your friends from Oregon,” and dammit I lingered too long in formulating my response. And then I got choked up…which is always kind of a surprise to this stoic midwesterner. So Oregon friends, if you’re reading this, you have not been eclipsed by a burrito.