The Edible Bracket 2011

Last year's winners of the MNCAAPG Best Bracket contest are back. This March Madness season, we will be documenting foods associated with the competing schools. Consider it March Madness, Top Chef Edition.

San Diego State Aztecs (San Diego, CA): “Deconstructed” Burritos

deconstructed burrito

San Diego seems not to have a cuisine of its own so much as it borrows heavily from the cuisine of its southern neighbor. But in cooking the food of San Diego, we wanted to do a little bit more than just try to recreate (poorly) some Mexican cuisine.  And so we also tried to highlight another aspect of San Diego (or, at least, California) cooking: healthy dining.  Spurred in part by guest-chef Jon’s recent “discovery” that refined carbohydrates aren’t healthy (wow, thanks, Men’s Health!), we didn’t make a classic burrito to represent San Diego State; we made a “deconstructed burrito.”  That means that we forewent the (carb-heavy) tortilla that usually surrounds a burrito and instead served our chicken, guacamole, etc. on a bed of brown rice.   

Takeaway: burritos are much more delicious with tortillas.

Deconstructed Burritos

for rice

 brown rice

chicken broth

for stewed chicken

2-3 chicken breasts



chili in adobo sauce

for guacamole

2 avocados

chopped red onion

chopped tomato

lime juice


for beans

black beans

chopped onions

chopped garlic

sour cream


1. Cook brown rice, using 1:2 ratio for brown rice to water (or other liquid—we used chicken broth).  Place rice and liquid in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat, cover pot, and let rice simmer for 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes.

2. Cook chicken in liquid.  Add chili in adobo sauce, honey, and cumin.  When chicken is tender, shred chicken.

3. To make guacamole, mash avocados together with chopped onions, cilantro, tomatoes and lime juice.

4. To make beans, heat chopped onions and garlic in a saucepan in some oil.  Add beans and cook till heated through, stirring occassionally.

5. When all the components of the burrito are done, top rice with chicken, beans and guacamole.  Spoon some sour cream on top, and add some cilantro.