I’m in a Long Distance Relationship With a Burrito (Or How to Make Las Fuentes’ Pollo Con Rajas Burrito)

This is my attempt at making the best burrito in LA.

There’s this Mexican restaurant deep in the San Fernando Valley that my aunt and uncle discovered about 15 years ago called Las Fuentes. It’s not a fancy joint, but it’s fabulous. They often get takeout burritos when I go to their house, and I have fallen absolutely in love with the pollo con rajas burrito.

The restaurant is only about 16 miles away from me, but in LA that distance can easily mean an hour and a half in the car, roundtrip. This city is so stupid! I mean, I dated someone who lived 16 miles away before and I swear it was like being in a long distance relationship. Our debates over whose turn it was to drive across town nearly required an intervention from a UN Peacekeeping unit. (Obviously, we broke up.)

So anyway…

Since I can’t justify spending 90 minutes in the car — even for the best burrito in LA — I decided to replicate the tastiness at home.

I made the chicken in the slow cooker, so it’s a pretty low maintenance dish that can be assembled quickly. It would be the perfect entree for a party where you don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen.

Here’s the recipe:

Pollo Con Rajas Burrito

Serving size, 2 burritos

2 large chicken breasts
1 C chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, peeled
dash of salt
1 medium onion
2 pasilla chiles

refried beans
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
extra large tortillas
avocado, optional

Slice the pasilla chiles and the onion into strips. Place the two chicken breasts in the slow cooker along with chicken broth, garlic cloves, half of the onion, and strips from one pasilla chile (setting aside the rest of the chile and onion slices for later use). Allow the chicken breasts to cook on the low setting for about 6 hours.

Shred the chicken with two forks. Discard the broth, onions, and chiles. Place the reserved pasilla chile strips and the sliced onions on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until slightly brown on the edges.

Slather refried beans on the tortilla. Top with chicken, chile, onions and cheese.

This pile of tastiness is ready for melting. Then eating.

You can heat the burrito in the microwave or the oven — your call. OR you could heat up the refried beans with the cheese in a pot on the stove and just warm the tortilla before serving. Whatever works best for you.

If you want to add avocado, do so after heating up the burrito.

Top with salsa or salsa verde.

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Birthday Girl Betsey Johnson Shows Me Up (Or It’s Time to Do the Splits)

I’m not exactly sure when it started, but there’s been this running thing for years where my friends judge whether or not we’re old by my ability to do a back bend at my birthday party. For those of you not acquainted with this kind of idiocy, here’s a mental picture: from a standing position I lean back and touch my hand to the floor while making a bridge with my body. Some years I touch both hands to the ground, achieving a full Urdhva Dhanurasana.

Other years, I just put one hand down and keep the other arm stretched toward the sky. Either version counts as long as both feet are on the ground and I get into this contortion from a standing position. I think maybe it’s cheating now that I’m all certified to teach yoga and whatnot because backbends are a pretty common practice for yogis. Doing such things in heels, though, is not a common yoga practice, so I guess maybe it’s still an acceptable test.

This pose? Was not meant to be done in heels. Photo Courtesy of Kathlynn Diary

This year I was feeling all proud of myself because I managed a rather epic backbend in a bikini. Well, that is until I saw fellow birthday girl Betsey Johnson (who turned 70 the week after my birthday), do the splits in the middle of the shoe section at Nordstrom.

I dare you to do the splits in the mall like Betsey.

See, Betsey was at The Grove (a Disney Land-like mall, complete with a trolley and hoards of irritating tourists) to unveil a new shoe commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the mall’s opening.

This is the Anniversary Shoe Situation from Betsey Johnson.

I absolutely adore her, so when I read that she was going to be at The Grove, I got all dressed up in a vintage Betsey ensemble, broke my rule about avoiding the place on a weekend, and braved the tourists for a chance to see her.

I mean I have been wearing her designs since high school! Her dresses line my closet, her bras, bikinis, and jammies fill my drawers. And her shoes? Let’s just say I have a lot of those as well. Oh, and don’t get me started on my Betsey jewelry collection. It’s a little obscene. And it involves bejeweled deer heads. For real.

So anyway, now I feel like it’s time to really step up my game. She’s 70. And she can do the splits. Challenge accepted. (Yes, I’m actually that competitive. Besides, I used to be able to do the splits, so it’s high time I get back to business on that.)

Anyway, I didn’t get super fabulous shots of her, but I did have a good excuse to break out one of my favorite ensembles and wear it to the mall, so there was that.

Here’s Betsey talking telephone bags and meeting her fans. I’m really glad I got the boom mic in the shot. #PhotoFail

Here I am in Betsey at the Eclipse Premiere. See? Photographic evidence she’s my girl.

I mean who doesn’t want to walk around the mall in 4″ heels and browse Sur la Table with a bejeweled tea set hanging from her wrist?

I bought this bracelet for Carlton Cuse’s birthday party back in the day. It’s in heavy rotation on my person. Because every girl needs a pink tea set hanging from her wrist.

And now I’m working on the splits. I need to stretch out my hip flexors anyway. They’re super tight from hiking and sitting in traffic. To ease my way into the splits, I’m going to add a lot of King Arthur, Natarajasana, and Supta virasana to my (somewhat half assed) home practice because they all stretch your hip flexors. (Flexibility with my hamstrings isn’t keeping me from doing the splits, but I should probably give them a little love too.)

Oh, and BTW, don’t take this as actual advice from a real yogi or anything because I do backbends while dancing. In heels. I may have completed 500 hours of teacher training, but I’m still kind of an idiot driven by adrenaline and hubris, and I’m known to do many ill-advised things when dared to do so. If you’re new to yoga, you should totally find a studio with smart, safe sequencing and don’t be dumb like me. (I recommend YogaWorks for a solid foundation.)

You know what else I’m working on – other than the splits? Cupcake decorating. You can check out my sharks here and my owls here.

And now, I’m going to crank up David Guetta and Kelly Rowland’s Commander and start making dinner. I’m trying to master the pollo con rajas burrito I adore from Las Fuentes. (It makes magic in my mouth.) When I do, I’ll hook you up with the recipe.