Confessions of a Bad Cook: I Burned My Tortilla

There’s two embarrassing moments for just about any Hispanic or Latino; and that’s needing a fork to flip a tortilla, and burning one.

Thanks to my experience in Chemistry back in university, I either learned to handle hot temperatures or burned off most of my nerves around my fingertips and hands. I have been proudly flipping tortillas off the pan and my mother can no longer make fun of me and question really being her daughter.

Unfortunately, I still have moments where I burn my tortilla like a doorknob would. There’s of course the slight tinge of crisp that’s delicious, but these moments go beyond that- and having learned to appreciate even the smallest plates of foods, I am stuck eating my shame.

My only slither of redemption in this is that my timing is awful. A self-proclaimed professional procrastinator, the public transit enthusiast that either arrives three hours too early or three hours too late, the nervous plane passenger that thinks 2am flights won’t be during busy hours- how can I be expected to know when to put the tortilla on with enough time to melt the cheese on it and finish at the same time as the fillings? I can’t be. I. Can’t.

Currently hopping between meal prepping and “real-time cooking,” I was not meal prepping the week I had fresh chicken breasts, three too many bundles of asparagus and green onions, and six yellow squashes since my mother didn’t tell me she was also buying them.

It was lunch time, we had too many ingredients that could easily end up wasted, I was not feeling a tuna sandwich… so I decided to chop those four up and see where it went.

Too lazy to make rice, I went for the wheat tortillas. Being huge wheat tortillas, I went for the burrito idea. Taking my poorly butchered mozzarella cheese, I put the tortilla on with the cheese while I started cooking the chicken (which is a whole paranoid ordeal on its own).

Skipping a lot of details, here’s what you need to know- my cheese was melted and my tortilla was that perfect tinge of burned delicious long before my chicken was ready to be turned and accompanied by the vegetables. A shameful failure.

So putting aside the fact it’s hard to roll or fold a burned tortilla, and the taste of burned failure, the combination was actually really good. I added Romaine lettuce and my guilty-but-not-so-high-in-calories-pleasure sweet chili sauce. It was very filling without feeling heavy, being mostly vegetables aside from the few small cuts of the chicken without rice as a filler.

A friend mentioned trying it with black beans, another thought of corn. Going to try it at my next lesson in not burning the fucking tortilla.


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