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Archive for International Foods

TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Chilaquiles

Instead of Huevos Rancheros on Cinco de Mayo, how about chilaquiles (chee-la-KEE-lace)?

While there are numerous regional variations of this traditional Mexican breakfast or brunch dish, the basic recipe tops quartered, fried corn tortillas with salsa or mole sauce, and crowned with fried eggs.

Pulled chicken can be added; the dish is topped with shredded queso fresco and/or crema, Mexican sour cream. Sliced raw onion, avocado or other garnish can be added. A side of refried beans typically completes the dish, which you can see in this recipe.

Chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami sent us her own twist on the recipe. Forget the pulled chicken: She uses beef short ribs.

We’ve broken her recipe into three separate ones, since you can use each in combination with other ingredients and dishes.

RECIPE #1: SHORT RIB CHILAQUILES

With Queso Fundido & Pickled Red Onion

Prep time is 10 minutes; bake time is 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes.
 
Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325F. In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

    2. WHISK together the agave, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in another small bowl. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the salt mixture, then place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

    3. BAKE the ribs for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Pull out and brush both sides with some of the agave glaze and bake for an additional hour. Remove the foil, brush with remaining agave glaze, and bake another 20 minutes.
     
    RECIPE #2: GREEN CHILE QUESO FUNDIDO*

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and roasted
  • 1 tablespoon yellow onion, chopped and roasted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup oaxaca* or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup corn tortillas, quartered and freshly fried†
  • ________________

    *Oaxaca cheese, pronounced wah-HOCK-a, is called the Mexican mozzarella.” It can be purchased in a ball or a braid. Fundido, the Spanish word for molten, refers to melted cheese.

    †The quick substitution here are tortilla chips or strips. It’s not authentic, but it works.
    ________________
     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Combine the jalapeño, onion, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, salt, honey, and oil in a blender and set aside.

    2. BAKE the cheese in a small ovenproof dish for 15 minutes or until bubbling.
     
    RECIPE #3: PICKLED RED ONION

    You may want to make quadruple the recipe: These pickled onions are a delicious garnish for just about anything.

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro
  •  
    Preparation

     

    Short Rib Chilaquiles

    Raw Short Ribs

    Oaxaca Cheese

    Chilaquiles

    Pickled Red Onions

    [1] Short rib chilaquiles (photo courtesy Chef Adrianne Calvo). [2] Raw short ribs (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Oaxaca cheese (photo courtesy Cheese.com). [4] Traditional chilaquiles (photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico). [5] Pickled red onion (photo courtesy Inspired Taste).

     
    1. BRING the ingredients to a boil in a small pot, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes.

    2. ASSEMBLE: Place the tortilla on a clean work surface. Layer with short rib, queso fundido and the green chile. Top with pickled onion and fresh cilantro.
     

    CHILAQUILES HISTORY

    The name derives from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word chilaquilitl, meaning herbs (or greens) in chili broth.

    A traditional Mexican peasant dish, it provided a way to use stale corn tortillas, a staple food of Central America which are fried as the base of the dish. Chiles, too, were native to the area and readily available.

    The simplest form of chilaquiles simply topped them with a salsa to soften them somewhat prior to eating: an easy way to fill the stomach. Their cultural significance is as a versatile staple for peasants [source].

    As the dish evolved, it incorporated inexpensive ingredients, including leftovers, to make it a main dish: bits of meat, cheese, or eggs.

    As with most dishes there are regional versions: in sauce (green, red, white sauce), in protein (cheese, chicken, pork, shrimp), garnishes (avocado, beans, cheese, onion, radishes), seasonings and spiciness (epazote, hot chiles), consistency and so on.

    Mexico City is known for using a spicy tomato sauce and always tops each serving with an ample sprig of .

    While the dish may be centuries old in Mexico, the first published recipes found in the U.S. are from a cookbook dating to 1898: El Cocinero Español (The Spanish Cook), by Encarnación Pinedo [source].

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Teriyaki, Beyond Japanese Food

    Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique in which foods are broiled or grilled with a glaze of mirin*, saké, soy sauce and sugar†.

    Proportions vary according to recipe: You can create a more sweet or more savory sauce, a thicker or a thinner sauce. Here‘s a basic teriyaki sauce recipe.

    The alcohol in the glaze gives a luster (teri) to the grilled (yaki) protein; the brown color comes from the caramelization of the sugar.

    Proper preparation of teriyaki involves repeated applications of the sauce during the latter stage of cooking, until the sauce thickens and acquires luster (the meat or fish can also be marinated in the teriyaki sauce up to 24 hours before cooking).

    While some Americans grilling the meat and then pour on the sauce, this does not produce the same results.

    The addition of garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and/or and chiles to teriyaki may be tasty, but is not traditional. The bottled teriyaki sauces that contain them are actually versions of the spicier Korean bulgogi sauce, which features garlic and hot chiles.

    Teriyaki dishes are served with steamed white rice, which is made flavorful with the excess sauce. The dish is often garnished with chopped scallions (green onion).

    While chicken teriyaki seems to be the most popular in the U.S., it isn’t even on menus in Japanese.

    Instead, the authentic teriyaki protein of choice is fish, such as mackerel, marlin, skipjack tuna, salmon, trout, yellowtail and sometimes, squid.

    ________________

    *Mirin and saké are types of rice wine. Both are fermented from rice, but mirin has a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content (as an analogy, thing of sweet and dry vermouths). If you have saké but no mirin, make a mirin substitute by adding a half teaspoon of sugar to the saké, and warm it slowly to dissolve the sugar.

    †Modern American substitutes include honey for the sugar and other alcohol for the saké (e.g. bourbon, vodka).
    ________________

    THE HISTORY OF TERIYAKI

    Most of the modern Japanese dishes familiar in the U.S. first appeared during Japan’s Edo period (1603 to 1867), an era characterized by stability and economic growth. That included exposure to new ingredients from abroad, which gave rise to new styles of cooking.

    Food historians believe that teriyaki was created in the 17th century, one of a number of new dishes using roasted or grilled fish and meat. The special sweet-and-savory glaze distinguished teriyaki from other grilled dishes.

    With the proliferation of Japanese restaurants in 1960s America (thanks to the 1965 Immigration & Nationality Act, which enabled many more Asians to emmigrate), teriyaki dishes became popular [source].

    To cater to American tastes, beef, chicken, lamb, pork, salmon and tofu with vegetables were offered instead of the traditional varieties of fish.

    More recently in the U.S., fusion cooking has engendered teriyaki burgers, meatballs and other variations; and teriyaki sauce is used as a dipping sauce and a marinade ingredient (more about this in a minute).

    In fact, the concept of a discrete teriyaki sauce (as opposed to a glazed fish dish cooked teriyaki [grilled] style) is believed to have originated in Hawaii, among Japanese immigrants. Local pineapple juice was incorporated, not just for flavor: It’s enzymes also help to tenderize the meat.

       
    Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

    Chicken Teriyaki

    Beef Teriyaki With Salad

    [1] Homemade teriyaki sauce (photo courtesy Olive This). [2] Classic chicken teriyaki with a not-so-classic side of sautéed bok choy. Here’s the recipe from Chowhound. [3] A fusion “steak and salad”: beef teriyaki bowl (photo courtesy Glaze Teriyaki).

     
    According to a history on Leaf TV, “there is apparently no official teriyaki sauce history, and the term refers rather to the aforementioned cooking method, and applies primarily to the preparation of fish, such as mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna.”

    TERIYAKI ON TREND

    Teriyaki was part of the first wave of Asian flavors to find a foothold here (source).

    Modern trends find teriyaki in all sorts of comfort food, from burgers and meatballs (try a meatball bánh mì sandwich) to grain bowls.

    Flavor And The Menu, a magazine that shares national restaurant trends for chefs and restaurateurs, notes dishes like these popping up nationwide:

  • Chicken Teriyaki Bowl: Grilled chicken with snow peas, onions, carrots, broccoli and rice; topped with teriyaki sauce (at RA Sushi, multiple locations). See the teriyaki bowl ideas below.
  • Fish Teriyaki Bowl combines wild mahi-mahi with tropical salsa, macadamia nuts, and lemongrass teriyaki sauce (at Tokyo Joe’s in Colorado).
  • Hawaiian-Style Meatballs with roasted pineapple, modernizing the teriyaki sauce by introducing coconut milk (from R&D chef Andrew Hunter).
  • Mexican Mash-Ups: tacos and burritos with teriyaki-seasoned fillings. Teriyaki Chicken Tacos, at Da Kine Island Grill in San Jose, combine chicken teriyaki, tomatoes, green onions and a fiery mango sauce.
  • Prime Teriyaki Tenderloin Bites with scallions and orange supremes (at Metropolitan Grill, Seattle).
  • Teriyaki Burgers, brushed with teriyaki sauce, served with teriyaki mayo (at Hotel Monaco | DC, photo #5).
  • Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich: grilled chicken breast, teriyaki, grilled pineapple, melted Swiss, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo (at Red Robin, multiple locations).
  • Teriyaki Lamb Pops with spicy apple-pepper jelly (at Share Kitchen & Bar, Williamsville, NY).
  • Teriyaki Meatball Hero: Teriyaki meatballs, Asian slaw and kimchi on a baguette with fresh basil or mint leaves, sliced jalapeño and scallions (at THE NIBBLE offices).
  • Teriyaki Peppercorn Shrimp with sun-dried pineapple (at Angelina Café, NYC).
  • Wings: Chicken Wings In Whiskey-Teriyaki Sauce (at The Comedy Zone in Greenville, NC), Wasabi Teriyaki Wings (at John & Peter’s Place, New Hope, PA), Maple-Bacon Teriyaki Wings (at Preston’s, Killington, VT), Sesame-Pineapple Teriyaki Wings (Dry Dock Bar & Grille, Norwalk, CT).
  • Other Meat Snacks: teriyaki-glazed meatballs, ribs, lamb riblets and skewers.
  •  

    Teriyaki Meatballs

    Teriyaki Burger

    [4] Teriyaki meatballs (here’s the recipe from Mom On Time Out). [5] Teriyaki meatball at Dirty Habit | Hotel Monaco | D.C.

     

    BUILD YOUR OWN TERIYAKI BOWL

    Mix and match:

  • Teriyaki-style fish or meat of choice
  • Grain of choice
  •  
    For The Salad

  • Salad of choice: mesclun, Asian cabbage slaw (recipe), other greens of choice
  • Bell pepper
  • Carrots (shredded if possible)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Edamame, shelled
  • Onion, sliced
  • Peas: spring peas (shelled), snow peas, sugar snap peas
  •  
    Dressing

  • Ginger Dressing
  • Japanese Restaurant Salad Dressing (recipe below)
  • Mint cilantro vinaigrette
  • Miso salad dressing
  • Nobu’s sashimi salad dressing
  • Rice vinegar sesame oil vinaigrette.
  • Wasabi-passionfruit dressing
  • Yuzu dressing
  •  
    Garnish

  • Chopped scallions
  • Sesame seeds (ideally toasted)
  •  

    Love that textured, orange salad dressing at Japanese restaurants?

    It’s easy to make at home:

    Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 two-inch piece fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients except the oil in a blender. Process until liquified.

    2. ADD the peanut oil and pulse a few times to combine.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Peas, Use ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em

    Green Pea Potstickers

    Spring Peas

    Edamame

    Spring Tartine

    [1] Recipe #1, Spring pea dumplings (photo courtesy Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog. [2] Spring peas (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Edamame (photo courtesy Burpee). [4] Recipe #2, a tartine (open face sandwich) with spring peas and other spring ingredients from Chef Alain Ducasse (photo courtesy All My Chefs).

     

    Spring pea season is fleeting. Enjoy as much of the tender green nuggets as you can: raw in salads or for snacking; or lightly steamed in recipes.

    Spring peas are also known as English peas and garden peas.

    At breakfast—the meal least likely to include spring peas—you can use them to garnish eggs, avocado toast, or a bagel with cream cheese.

    You can toss raw or cooked peas into plain Greek yogurt. Use them as a garnish, or mash them and stir them in as you would preserves.

    Moving on to snacks and appetizers: Here are three tasty recipes for appetizers, first courses or snacking. For a special main course, check out this innovative approach to surf and turf: Squid With Bacon & Spring Peas.

    Here are more ways to use spring peas, and the history of peas.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: SPRING PEA OR EDAMAME POTSTICKERS

    Hannah Kaminsky adapted her easy edamame potstickers recipe to showcase spring peas. She mixes the legumes with hummus for extra protein, although you can skip the hummus and just fill the dumplings with peas).

    Hannah notes:

    “General folding advice still stands as a good guideline to follow when wrapping things up, but once you get those papery thin skins to stick, you’re pretty much golden.

    If you’re less confident in your dumpling prowess, cut yourself a break and fold square dumpling wrappers in half instead. You’ll still get neat little triangles.”

    If celebrate Purim, you can serve these as savory Haman’s Hats.

    Ingredients For 15 Dumplings

  • 1 cup shelled spring peas or edamame
  • 1/3 cup edamame/pea hummus (mash them into regular hummus, to taste)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Savoy cabbage
  • 15 (3-inch) round wonton skins or gyoza wrappers*
  •  
    Plus

  • Steaming basket or rack
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SET UP the steaming apparatus: Line a bamboo steamer or metal steam rack with leaves of savoy cabbage to prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bottom (and eat it afterward). Place the steamer in a large pot with water and heat the water to boiling; then reduce to simmering. Meanwhile…

    2. MIX together the shelled edamame, hummus, scallion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cumin, stirring thoroughly. Lay the dumpling wrappers on your work surface and place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each. Run a lightly moistened finger around the entire perimeter and bring the sides together, forming a triangle. Tightly crimp the corners together with a firm pinch.

    3. PLACE the dumplings on the cabbage leaves and cover the steamer or pot. Steam for 2 to 4 minutes, until the wrappers are translucent. Serve immediately, with additional soy sauce for dipping if desired.

    ________________

    *You can typically find these either in the produce section near the tofu, or in the freezer aisle with other Asian ingredients.
     
    RECIPE #2: SPRING TARTINE

    This recipe, courtesy of All My Chefs, is from the great Alain Ducasse.

    It requires no particular cooking technique…or even cooking, except for blanching the asparagus and green beans. Otherwise, you just slice and assemble.

    Serve them as a snack, a first course, or with a glass of wine.

    Here’s more about tartines, French for open-face sandwiches.

    This recipe was originally published in “Nature By Alain Ducasse” (Éditions Alain Ducasse).

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 16 small green asparagus
  • A good handful† peas
  • About 10 radishes, washed and peeled
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, rinsed
  • About 20 cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
  • A handful wild arugula, rinsed, patted dry, stalks removed (you can save them for salads)
  • 4 slices multigrain or whole wheat bread
  • 5-1/2 ounces (100g) Saint-Moret** or similar cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 ounces (40g) grated parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt or flake salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BRING a saucepan of salted water to a boil, and prepare a bowl with water and ice cubes.

    2. CUT the tips of the asparagus into approximately 2 inch (5-6 cm) pieces. Rinse and immerse in the boiling water with the peas.

    3. DRAIN and immediately plunge them into the ice water to keep their color. Leave for 2 minutes, then drain with a slotted spoon and lay on a dry tea towel. (TIP: We put the vegetables into a strainer. It’s easy to lift the strainer to drain, then plunge it into the ice bath.)

    4. SLICE thee radishes into fine rounds (about 3 mm) with a mandoline (we used a knife). Slice the fennel into thin slivers of the same size.

    5. ASSEMBLE: Spread the bread with cream cheese and arrange the vegetables on top. Sprinkle with parmesan, a bit of crunchy salt and some pepper.

    ________________

    **Saint-Môret is the leading natural fresh cheese in France. While it has a different flavor and texture from American cream cheese, it is the closest comparison. We actually used spreadable goat cheese: We love the extra tang.

     

    RECIPE #3: SPRING PEAS & BURRATA SALAD

    We adapted this recipe from Julie Andrews, The Gourmet RD. It takes just 10 minutes to prep. We could eat it every day.

    Her recipe uses sugar snap peas. We added spring peas as well.

    You can eat the pods (shells) of sugar snap peas, but it depends on the age of the pea. Older sugar snap peas tend to be more fibrous, making the pod hard to chew. Eat one, then decide.

    Unlike sugar snap peas or snow peas, the fibrous pods of English peas cannot be eaten—although they can be saved and used in a vegetable stock (freeze until needed).

    TIPS:

  • Shell spring peas immediately before cooking. Break off the stem and pull the fibrous string down the length of the pod.
  • If you can’t find burrata (we get ours at Trader Joe’s), use a mozzarella ball. And…we serve 1/2 ball with each salad.
  • If you have fresh tarragon on hand, toss in some leaves.
  • As a change, we like to substitute balsamic vinegar for the honey.
  •  
    Ingredients For 4 First Courses

  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cups fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup carrots (thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 ball burrata (substitute fresh mozzarella)
  • 1/2 cups pistachios (roughly chopped
  • For serving: toasted sourdough bread
  •  
    Preparation

     

    Spring Peas Salad

    Burrata

    [5] Recipe #3: burrata salad—note that you can’t eat the shells of spring peas (photo courtesy The Gourmet RD). [6] Be prepared when you cut open a burrata: The creamy insides will spill out (photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese).

     
    1. WHISK together fresh lemon zest and juice, honey, olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as necessary.

    2. ADD the peas, green beans, carrots, arugula, basil and mint to the bowl, and toss with the dressing.

    3. QUARTER or halve the ball of burrata and arrange on a platter. Top with salad, sprinkle with additional coarse salt and ground black pepper, and garnish with pistachios.
     
     
    MORE BURRATA

    Here are two more burrata salad recipes and a dessert burrata recipe.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Burritos & Burrito History

    April 7th is National Burrito Day. You don’t have to twist most arms to enjoy one.

    THE NIBBLE is having a lunch of gourmet burritos. We share the ingredients below, but first, a bit of…

    BURRITO HISTORY

    A step back in history: In 1519 the Spanish conquistadors arrived in what today is Mexico, bringing with them wheat flour and pigs. This enabled flour tortillas and carnitas. Flour tortillas are more flexible than corn tortillas, and therefore, easily rollable.

    A modern question is: Why are carnitas in a flour tortilla called burrito—“little donkey” in Spanish?

    No one knows for sure, but the leading guess is that it was named for its shape, which resembles the bedrolls carried on the back of donkeys.

    While the modern burrito is no more than 100 years old, Mesoamericans often rolled their food in tortillas for convenience (no dishes or utensils needed). Avocados, chili peppers, mushrooms, squash and tomatoes were sliced and rolled.

    The Pueblo peoples of the Southwestern U.S. were even closer to the mark. They made tortillas with beans and meat sauce fillings, prepared much like the modern burrito [source].

    But the word “burrito” doesn’t appear in print until 1895, in the Spanish-language Dictionary of Mexicanisms. It was as a name used in the region of Guanajuato, in north-central Mexico. It is described as “a rolled tortilla, with meat or other food within, called coçito in Yucatan and taco in the city of Cuernavaca and in Mexico City.”

    That there was a rolled food called burrito in 1895 dispenses with the folk tale of a man named Juan Méndez, who sold tacos from a street stand during the Mexican Revolution (1910–1921) in Ciudad Juárez. As he used a donkey for transport, customers began to call his tacos “food of the burrito,” the little donkey, and the name eventually stuck.

    Food historians opine that the modern burrito may actually have been invented in the U.S., as a convenient lunch for Mexican agricultural workers.

    The Modern Burrito: Born In The U.S.A.

    The precise origin is not known, but it is generally believed to have originated in a Mexican-American community in the U.S., among farm workers in California’s Central Valley (Fresno, Stockton).

    According to Wikipedia, the farm workers who spent all day picking produce in fields would bring lunches of homemade flour tortillas, beans and salsa picante (hot sauce)—inexpensive and convenient.

    Burritos first appeared on American restaurant menus in the 1930s, beginning with El Cholo Spanish Cafe in Los Angeles. El cholo is the word used by Mexican settlers in California for field hands.

    Burritos were mentioned in the U.S. media for the first time in 1934, appearing in the Mexican Cookbook, a collection of regional recipes from New Mexico by historian Erna Fergusson.

    The book includes “celebrated favorites such as enchiladas, chile rellenos, and carne adovada, as well as the simple, rustic foods traditionally prepared and served in New Mexican homes.”

    It was “inspired by the delight and enthusiasm with which visitors to the Southwest partook of the region’s cuisine.” You can still buy a copy.

    In 1999, food writer John Mariani wrote that “What makes burritos different from most other Mexican-American foods is the metamorhpasis of this dish.

    “We tracked down the earliest print references for ‘burritos’ cited by food history in American/English reference books. They are nothing like the burritos we are served today…

    “When and where did the change happen? Early 1960s, Southern California. The who and why remain a mystery. Our survey of historic newspapers suggests food trucks played a roll. Burritos are efficient, economical, easy and delicious.” [Source: Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 48)]
     
    TODAY’S BURRITOS

    In Mexico, meat and beans or refried beans can be the only burrito fillings. In the U.S., things get more elaborate.

    American burrito fillings may include not only the refried (or other) beans and meat, but rice, lettuce, salsa (pico de gallo, salsa picante), guacamole, shredded cheese (cheddar or jack), sour cream and vegetables. Burrito sizes vary—they’re super-sized in the U.S., up to 12 inches. You can also find them in 9- and 10-inch diameters.

    In 1964, Duane R. Roberts of Orange County, California sold the first frozen burrito. He made so much money that he was eventually able to buy Riverside’s iconic Mission Inn and refurbish it.

    The U.S. even developed the breakfast burrito, and astronauts eat them in outer space!

       

    Steak Cilantro Burrito

    Shrimp Burrito

    Wet Burritos

    Green Chili Chicken Burrito

    [1] Steak and cilantro burrito. Here’s the recipe from Half Baked Harvest. [2] Gourmet burrito: grilled shrimp and avocado cream. Here’s the recipe from Foodie Crush. [3] Breakfast burrito: Now an American staple, it first appeared in 1975. Here’s a recipe from She Wears Many Hats. [4] Chipotle restaurants brought burritos and burrito bowls across America (photo courtesy Chipotle). [5] Wet burritos: definitely not grab-and-go. Here’s the recipe from Hezzi D’s Books & Cooks. [6] Not wet, but smothered in a poblano-cheeese sauce. Here’s the recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch.

     
    Tia Sophia’s, a Mexican café in Santa Fe, New Mexico, claims to have invented the original breakfast burrito in 1975, filling a rolled tortilla with bacon and potatoes. It was served “wet,” topped with chili and cheese.

    Many Americans had their first breakfast burrito when McDonald’s introduced the Sausage Burrito in 1991: a flour tortilla, sausage, American cheese, scrambled eggs, onions and peppers. Taco Bell didn’t introduce a breakfast burrito until 2014.

    Which brings us to the choice of the grab-and-go burrito, eaten by hand, and wet burritos, on a plate covered with sauce and other garnishes, eaten with a knife and fork.

    And then there’s the burrito bowl, pioneered by Chipotle: the fillings of a burrito eaten with a fork, no tortilla.

    Chipotle now sells more bowls than conventional burritos. The bowls save 300 calories [source].

     

    Burrito Bowl

    Kale & Bean Burrito

    [7] A burrito bowl provides the fillings without the tortilla. Photo courtesy Simply Recipes. [8] Trendy and vegan: a kale burrito with black beans and avocado. Here’s the recipe from Cookie and Kate.

     

    GOURMET BURRITO INGREDIENTS

    We’re not the type to put gold leaf, foie gras and sturgeon caviar on food just to create the world’s most expensive [fill in the blank]. But we do enjoy the luxury of playing with top-drawer ingredients.

    Rice and beans are fillers. You can make a burrito without them, or can serve them on the side.

    Or, you can take them up a notch with fancier rice and beans.

    Here are typical burrito ingredients and their upscale variations. If you don’t like our ingredients, tell us what you’d use instead.

  • Beans (kidney, pinto, refried) > heirloom beans: cranberry, scarlet runner, yellow Indian woman…or lentils.
  • Carnitas (braised pork) > pork belly.
  • Cheese (cheddar or jack) > gruyère.
  • Diced tomatoes > heirloom tomatoes, marinated yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh tomato sauce (diced tomatoes with seasonings), tomato jam.
  • Chicken (thigh meat): ditto, with the skin removed, crisped and tossed into the burrito (cracklings).
  • Cilantro > cilantro plus basil and parsley.
  • Diced onions > Caramelized onions, onion preserves.
  • Fried fish > roasted or grilled salmon.
  • Garlic > roast garlic cloves, whole or mashed.
  • Iceberg or romaine lettuce > butter lettuce, curly leaf lettuce, mesclun mix with baby arugula, red endive or radicchio, red leaf lettuce, watercress.
  • Lime wedge > lime zest sprinkled on top before rolling.
  • Rice > jasmine rice, multigrain rice, saffron rice, wild rice, other grain (barley, quinoa, e.g.).
  • Exotic rice > Bhutanese red rice, black rice (forbidden rice), Kalijira rice from Bangladesh (considered the finest tiny aromatic rice in the world) (types of rice)
  • Shrimp the same (it’s hard to improve on grilled shrimp).
  • Steak (skirt or hanger) > filet mignon, roast lamb.
  •  
    For lunch today, we’re having:

  • Filet mignon and wild rice burritos with shredded gruyère and [leftover] beluga lentils.
  • Grilled shrimp burritos with romaine and arugula, green rice (parsley), gruyère and dilled sour cream.
  • Grilled salmon, with dilled rice, sour cream, salmon caviar and [leftover] yellow lentils.
  •  
    Have whatever burrito you like, but definitely have a burrito. Where would be be without them?

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Get Creative With A Basic Recipe

    Causa Morada Recipe

    Causa Morada Recipe

    Causa Morada Recipe

    Causa Morada Croquettes

    Causa Morada Appetizer

    [1] Glamorizing potatoes and chicken salad. Here’s the recipe from Potato Goodness. [2] Don’t feel like stacking? Just place the ingredients on a plate, as in this recipe from Live Naturally Magazine. Or, layer them in a glass dish. [3] At Raymi Peruvian restaurant in New York City, a Japanese accent is added via julienned nori (dried seaweed sheets), togarashi mayo for the chicken salad, and ponzu syrup. Here’s the recipe via Star Chefs [4] Croquettes: the chicken is inside! See the recipe at Sweet Cakes Toronto. [5] Turned into an appetizer with a pretzel stick, at Piscomar restaurant in Madrid.

     

    Causa morada is a South American classic, a layered dish of potato-and-chicken salad. (The fancy layering in Photo #1 is restaurant style. At home, layering is more casual.)

    It is served cold (room temperature) as an appetizer or as a lunch entrée.

    Make the mashed potatoes with Purple Peruvians, and you’ve got a dish that screams “Easter week!”

    You can substitute other salads (crab, egg, shrimp, tuna) and add other touches as you wish. We’ve included some variations below.

    The name of the dish comes from the Quechua* word kausay, which means “life” or “sustenance of life.” Potatoes originated in Peru and number hundreds of cultivars. They were the sustenance of life in pre-Hispanic Peru, as rice was in China.

    Morada means purple, referring to the purple potatoes. As you can see in Photo #7 below, there are also blue potatoes.

    The original dish was simply boiled potatoes eaten with slices of aji amarillo (the principal Peruvian chili). Meat was scarce in the Andes Mountains. Much of the cuisine was vegetarian.

    This most basic recipe of boiled potatoes illustrates today’s tip: The simplest foods can be made more flavorful and appealing, with a few twists.

    The recipe below is Adina, a modern Peruvian restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Peruvian cuisine is an interesting fusion, not just of Spanish and Inca cuisines, but of Japanese cuisine, from the immigration of Japanese laborers at the turn of the [20th] century. You’ll see how Japanese touches grace some of the variations.

    This recipe came to us via Potato Goodness, the recipe website of Potatoes USA, the nation’s potato marketing and research organization.
     
    RECIPE: CAUSA MORADA, PERUVIAN CHICKEN SALAD

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 2 pounds purple potatoes
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup aji amarillo purée†
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-ripe avocados, thinly sliced
  • Garnish: spicy sprouts, such as daikon (radish) or clover
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

    2. PEEL the potatoes and pass through a food mill or ricer (or simply mash very finely) into a large bowl. Knead lightly with gloved‡ hands, slowly drizzling in oil, as needed, to a dough-like consistency. Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 2 hours.

    3. PLACE the chicken, onion, carrot and mint into a large saucepan, adding just enough water to cover. Bring to a slow boil. Cook until the chicken is fork tender and can be pulled apart, about 20 minutes.

    4. TRANSFER the chicken to a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, shred with fingers or a fork. Mix in the mayonnaise, aji amarillo, celery, and red onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

    5a. For individual servings, layer ring molds with potato mixture, then chicken mixture, then potato mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

    5b: For a single dish, use a 2-quart glass casserole. Layer the ingredients, as above. Refrigerate until ready to serve; let warm to room temperature first, as desired.

     

    HOW TO CHANGE IT

    Color: Purple or blue potatoes add so much more punch to Causa Morada than white varieties. As another example, how about a yellow gazpacho, using yellow tomatoes and bell peppers instead of the conventional red?

    Size: Turn a full dish or side into an appetizer: Causa Morada bites (chicken salad stuffed into baby potatoes) or gazpacho shots? Or gazpacho sorbet?

    Format: Change the shape and purpose, like the plated Causa Morada in photo #2, the croquettes in Photo #4, and the appetizers in Photo #5. Can you turn it into a drink? You can make a Caprese Cocktail by reformatting the ingredients of Caprese Salad: a mix of tomato and lettuce juices, with a garnish of mozzarella balls on a pick.

    Another ingredient: The avocado in Photo #1 adds new personality to the dish. What about a surf and turf variation, adding something from the sea (scallops? shrimp?).

    Crunch: If the dish has no crunch, add some. Anything from a side of jicama batons or radish slices, to an artisan cracker or potato plantain chip on top, will do the trick. One of our secrets: Japanese rice cracker snack mix, which is also one of our favorite things to serve with wine and cocktails.

    Sweetness: Add some fruit, minced into the chicken salad, grilled as an extra layer or garnish, or pureéd into a sauce.

    Salty: Blend in olives or capers, for example.

    Condiments: Add chutney; cornichons or gherkins; pickled vegetables; or relish to the plate.

    Vegetables: For Causa Morada, some red color cherry or grape tomatoes, or some texture a bit of frisée or arugula salad.

    Sauce: There are countless types of sauces for every dish. Sweet, savory, herbal, matching, contrasting.

    Bread: Could bread or crackers enhance the dish? For example, Causa Morada could be served with toasts or flatbread on which to spread the soft layers. Consider what would enhance your recipe: anything from garlic crostini (garlic bread) to sesame breadsticks to

    Garnish: Garnish can change the personality of a dish. Imagine Causa Morada topped julienned nori (photo #3), honey peanuts, diced melon, shoestring fried onions. For fun: a few Goldfish?

    ________________

    *Quechua is the language of the Incas. It is still spoken by their ancestors in the Andes Mountains.

    †You can substitute other fresh chile. If you don’t want to take the time to purée the chile, just add minced pieces to the chicken salad.

     

    Purple Peruvian Potatoes

    Blue Peruvian Potatoes

    Aji Amarillo Chile

    [6] Purple Peruvian potatoes. [7] Blue Peruvian potatoes. [8] Aji amarillo, the chile of Peru.

     

      

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