If I have learned one thing about myself in the past few months it is that I will jump through hoops to get a taste of “home”…
Something I truly am fond of is a tasty carne asada burrito with a huge side of guacamole. And although you can find very crowded Mexican restaurants in my neighborhood, the overpriced menu and awful cheese wiz seem to miss the point. Where oh where have my $5 taco stands gone?
I found myself really wanting a beef burrito and did what I had to do to make it happen! Filet mignon marinated in balsamic vinegar and mustard with pico de gallo, guacamole and…beans!! For those of you that live or have lived in Brazil, you know that you cannot find frijoles (pasta de feijão) in your average supermarket…here was my first tentative at making them.
(Do not pay attention to the poor aesthetics of this picture)
Directions for filet mignon (from my research it seems that Brazilian filet mignon is the equivalent of American tenderloin):
1. Marinate .8 pounds (.36 kg) of thin slices of filet mignon in 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of whole grain mustard for about an hour.
2. In a pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter and grill slices of meat on each side until cooked.
3. Transfer to cutting board and cut into thin slices. Salt as needed.
Directions for frijoles (pasta de feijão):
1. Boil 3 cups of water in pot with 1 tsp salt.
2. Add pre-soaked beans (I used carioca beans) to water, cover and let simmer on low until very soft. Unfortunately, I forgot to pre-soak the beans so it took 1 hour and 50 minutes! Using a pressure cooker would have been much faster. I had to add water about halfway in but only put enough water to cover the beans. You want to make a paste, not soup.
3. When beans are cooked, transfer to blender and blend until paste-like.
4. In a pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Fry 1 medium onion (chopped) and 1 clove of garlic (minced).
5. In a bowl, combine frijoles and onion/garlic mixture. Add salt to taste.
Directions for pico de gallo:
1. Finely mince 1 large onion, 2 medium tomatoes and 2 sprigs cilantro.
2. Mix together in bowl. Add juice of 1/2 a lime and salt.
Directions for guacamole:
1. Finely mince 1 medium onion.
2. Mash avocado.
3. Mix together in bowl. Add salt and some lime juice if desired.
*Note on the Brazilian avocado: Known as the West Indian variety, it is much less buttery and therefore less calorific than the California Hass. So eat as much as your little heart desires!
Enjoy along with some flour tortillas and corn tortilla chips!