Monday, June 18, 2012

Rainforest burritos

OK, I've been wanting to post this recipe since I started this blog and I finally got my cousin's permission to post it... as long as I change the name.  So, I hereby give you *drum roll*... the rainforest burrito!  Rainforests have nothing to do with the burrito, but it's kind of in keeping with what her family calls them. This recipe came from my cousin, who got it from her dad, who may or may not have gotten it from a restaurant somewhere.

This recipe is soooooo yummy! I'm not even an olive fan, but I couldn't dream of these burritos without them! For the boonies cook, it's reasonably attainable (the tomato is the only thing that won't keep for a long time in the fridge), and it's really fast to put together. 

For this recipe, you'll need:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. sliced or chopped almonds (preferably toasted)
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/2 c. sliced green olives
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • flour tortillas
  • feta cheese
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • lettuce
To make, brown the meat in a large frying pan or wok. Drain excess fat.
Now, add each ingredient in order up to the spices, stirring for about a minute after each addition. 

Heat some flour tortillas - you can do this one by one in a dry frying pan over medium heat.  Don't cook them - you just want them to soften.  Alternatively, you could place them in the microwave for about 20 seconds on high. Or in the oven wrapped in foil for about 15 minutes at 350°F.

Add a leaf of lettuce, then put the meat mix on it. Sprinkle some feta cheese, sour cream and salsa over the whole mess and wrap up to eat. You'll probably need to make this every night for a week because it's so dang good.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Spring rhubarb

Here in the Bulkley Valley, spring has sprung and my rhubarb patch is hastily producing some tangy red stalks to tempt me. One of my fondest memories growing up was sitting on the back steps at my house with a giant stalk of rhubarb and a little yogurt container of sugar. My friends and I would raid the rhubarb patch and dip the stalks in sugar, munching them down during the heat of the day in the shade of the house. The moment I discovered the rhubarb patch the first spring in my new house, I was elated!

Rhubarb is a great local food - easy to grow (seriously, I've never known a rhubarb patch to need maintenance of any kind).  In fact, I'm often completely baffled by the people who try to sell it at the farmers market or Safeway.  Doesn't everyone have a rhubarb patch??

So if you have a rhubarb patch, start raiding it.  Here are some great recipes to make use of that spring treasure!

Rhubarb Currant Chutney

This recipe comes from Epicurious and is wonderful on grilled pork chops, tenderloin or sausages. I'm pretty sure you could easily can this and have it for the whole year too.
  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
Bring the first 6 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rhubarb and currants and simmer until the rhubarb softens. Serve warm with your choice of meat.

Dal with Rhubarb

This vegetarian recipe comes from Mark Bittman (of How to Cook Everything fame). It's super fast and very, very boonies friendly due to the use of dried staples and seasonal ingredients. In addition, it's vegetarian so you can help save the world just a little bit. I love it, but it's very gingery and tangy so hubby isn't a fan.  However, if you're like me and love a lot of flavour in your food, give this a go!

  • 1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 dried ancho or other mild dried chile (optional)
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter or peanut oil (optional)
  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Combine all of the ingredients except the salt, butter and cilantro in a saucepan and add water to cover it by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture simmers gently. Cook, stirring occasionally for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Remove the cloves and cardamom pods, and add the salt, butter and cilantro. Serve on its own, or with steamed rice or quinoa.
In case you haven't had enough rhubarb, here's a whole slideshow of delicious rhubarb recipes from Epicurious!