When we were youngsters, Boomer used to make tacos as part of our regular rotation of dinners. She rocked them traditional-Midwestern-upbringing-style, browning up some ground beef, dicing up some tomatoes, sauteing some onions and opening a bag of shredded cheese, then serving them with taco shells. Everything then got topped with a nice layer of Ortega mild taco sauce, for that authentic touch. When the exotic foodstuff “tortillas” was introduced to our grocery store, we graduated from hard taco shells to burritos. And when we stopped eating beef, we healthied things up by using ground turkey. This culinary treat became known as a “Boomer Burrito”.
During the year that I was at Oberlin, Pookie and Boomer were left to fend for themselves, food-wise. I’m told Boomer Burritos were relied on heavily for sustenance. When I moved back home, the request was put in for me not to neglect Boomer Burritos when I was meal planing, even though they were sort of “slumming it”. And for years, I made them just the way Boomer did (isn’t it nice to have family recipes passed down between the generations?), but I recently made a break with tradition. The impetus for the change was browsing through Penzey’s Spices, where I found their taco seasoning blends. I decided to try out the Chicken Taco Seasoning and the Bold Taco Seasoning.
I alternate between the two (tonight I used the Chicken seasoning), and brown up some thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts with a generous shake of the seasoning. And with that go the traditional additions: the onions, the tomatoes (plasticine and pink, this time of year) and the cheese (now freshly grated, none of that pre-shredded crap).
Of course, the secret to a perfect Schnookie Burrito is the same as the one for a Boomer Burrito — the Red Gold:
Everything gets layered up inside a warm tortilla:
And after about 20 minutes of prep, from start to finish, it’s time to devour dinner.
I go through phases where sometimes I make these every week and sometimes I can go a month or two without thinking of them, but lately they’re my go-to lazy weeknight meal. Perfect for a cranky Monday evening.