“Ithaca: 10 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality” — I recently saw a bumper sticker printed with this statement, and its message has stuck (pun intended) with me ever since. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it; Ithaca is just not real life.
It may sound like I’m exaggerating when I say this, but whenever I come back to Cornell after being away for while, it feels like I’m entering a completely different world. The strangest part about it though, is that it no longer feels strange. Yes, it’s undeniable that Ithaca houses its fair share of questionable institutions and outrageous people, but I have become not only immune, but also expectant of the weird things that this town has to offer. That being said, living in Ithaca has made me appreciate the most normal, everyday things that I definitely take for granted back at home…case in point, Chipotle.
Don’t get me wrong: Chipotle is always delicious, no matter where or when I get it. But during this past summer when I was interning in the city, there were multiple Chipotle locations flanking me from all directions, like frat guys grinding up on hot freshman at a house party. When I say that I ate a ton of burritos, I literally mean two thousand pounds worth of tortilla, beans and meat, and Chipotle became my go-to eatery for the summer.
When I arrived back to Cornell in August, I was quickly jerked back into reality. While there was never a Chipotle near our campus to begin with, my recent 3-month-long love affair with it made its sudden absence that much more unbearable. Then the news broke that Chipotle was coming to Ithaca, and the whole campus rejoiced and united in a way that few religions are capable of inducing. It is not just the fresh ingredients, homemade chips and guacamole and overall amazing food that makes Chipotle so irresistible, but rather what it has come to represent for us Cornellians: Normalcy in a place where reality does not seem to exist.
“Chipotle” Burrito BowlAs much as I love Chipotle, I have forced my friends to drive me there way too often. While I can’t say that this burrito bowl recipe is as good as the one at Chipotle, it definitely comes close. So save yourself the cash you would’ve spent at Chipotle and on gas, and DIY!
Makes 2 servings
Burrito Bowl Ingredients2 cup shredded Romaine lettuce1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken1 cup cooked black beans1 ½ cup cooked white rice1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro1 lime¼ cup shredded white cheddar cheese¼ cup shredded Jack cheeseSalt and pepper to season
Toppings½ cup salsa1 cup guacamole (recipe follows)¼ cup sour cream
Guacamole Ingredients1 ripe avocado½ lemon (or lime)1/8 cup salsaSalt
DirectionsMix the rice and cilantro together in a bowl. Depending on how much citrus you like, squeeze the juice from the lime into the rice mixture and also add a dash of salt, and mix again. Taking a store-bought rotisserie chicken, pull of enough pieces to fill approximately 1 cup, and so that it has a shredded texture to it. Add in the shredded chicken, black beans, and cheeses, and mix again. Add salt and pepper to season.Divide the mixture evenly into two bowls (or you can eat it as a single serving — I’m definitely not judging), and top with salsa, sour cream and guacamole!
Making the guac is ridiculously simple: peel and chop the avocado and put it into a small bowl. Squeeze in some juice from a lemon or lime, add in the salsa, and throw in a pinch of salt. Mash everything together with a fork until it’s somewhat smooth, somewhat chunky, and you’re done!Tip: Make sure you refrigerate the guacamole until you use it, and whatever portions you don’t use, because the avocado in it will brown quickly.
Original Author: Michelle Kim