As the college life draws closer, my parents think it’s a good idea for me to become independent in the kitchen, so they leave me home one evening while they ran the most errands. A couple of hours home alone and my runners stomach starts to pang.
Hour 1 – I ate a few peanut butter crackers. Hour 2 – I baked a cookie in a cup. Hour 3 – I was seriously wanting substance and wanting it fast. There was very little in the pantry and no left overs in the fridge, it was right around that time that good old cousin Ivy rang the door bell.
Ivy is my dad’s cousin, he’s only a few years older than my dad, though he’s definitely the youngest of the two, if you ask me. And that’s not a put-down, it’s just that cousin Ivy has an awesome sense of humor and has a knack for always finding the good in a bleak situation. I love that guy.
After inquiring about my parents whereabouts, he told me, he had just come off of the road (a 6-hour trip) and wanted to know what was for dinner? I told cousin Ivy, I was wondering the same thing. He walked over to our pantry door, opened up and said, “Is this it?”, I said, yes. He then pulled from the shelves a can of chili, a can of refried beans and a package of flour tortillas. Curiously, I said, “What’cha making there?“ He replied, “Urbanroccis.”
Urban-what? Urbanroccis (urban-rah-shees). An Urbanrocci is best described as a cross between an enchilada and a burrito. And just in case you’re thinking of something straight from TACO BELL, think again, Urbanroccis have no tex-mex relative taste, but a more soulful one.
Cousin Ivy whipped up the urbanroccis consistency in no time, wrapped it in tortilla’s and placed them in the oven to bake. The kitchen swelled with goodness, and I was excited. Once out of the oven, I see a casserole dish full of melted cheese draped over what appears to be tortilla enchiladas. I cut one out and forked into it and… my goodness gracious! It was the best thing to hit my mouth since my discovery of pepperoni pizza (when I was 3 & still a favorite dish of mine).
I began to subconsciously stare at cousin Ivy, as to how he opened a seemingly empty pantry and made this miracle. While I was locked in a glazed stare above cousin Ivy’s head, (as he sat opposite of me in dine), he said out of nowhere, “You weren’t looking at it right.” He shocked me. Talk about yanking a girl down out of the thought bubble. He continued, “You weren’t looking at the pantry inventory right. You didn’t even know this meal was in there. Did you?” My mouth stuffed with urbanroccis, I replied, “No. I had no idea this was in that pantry.” Crazy oversight on my part.
An hour later my parents came home and cousin Ivy had dined and gone but left a pan of evidential left overs for my parents to enjoy. My dad smelled it upon opening the front door and without a word being said, he said, “Are there Urbanrocci’s in this house,” and made a b-line to the kitchen asking, “Is cousin Ivy in town?”
I kidded my dad for bypassing the idea that I could have conceived making Urbanrocci’s myself. He clarified that he didn’t think I couldn’t have made them – he knew I didn’t make them. He said, he was confident that I would look into the pantry and see nothing, and he was right. However, thanks to cousin Ivy, that won’t happen again. Don’t let it happen to you either, grab a note pad and jot down the recipe.
Oh and in case you’re wondering where the name “urbanrocci” came from, let me fill you in on the history. When my dad and his cousins were in college (UT Austin) they had a knack for being low on funds, though living in an urban community had its store stock perks. They would buy a bag of tortillas, a can of chili, refried beans, cheese and any other ingredient they could afford to compliment, for about $5 and it made 20 urbanrocci’s. It all sounded like urban legend stuff to me, but sure enough it fed me and my parents for at least two days – heartily.
Thanks to my spendthrift kin – I’ll never have to go hungry again:
[click the recipe to enlarge]