Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Red Burritos

These were so delicious when we had them last night that we plan to make them often. Perhaps it was the fact that we ate them sitting in front of a fragrant pecan wood fire that made the experience so wonderful.

There has been a little problem in getting our new gas range hooked up. The burners work, but we need a visit from an electrician to add an outlet so that the oven and timers all can function. Darned fancy stoves! Having no regular oven, we did the baking of this casserole in the microwave as follows: 10 minutes at 40% power; and 5 minutes at 30%. It worked out just fine.

1/3 to 1/2 lb. boneless pork, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbl. olive oil

Beef bouillon cube
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 generous tbl. red chile powder (this is the powder made from grinding dried red chiles, with no additives)
Water as needed

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch cubes

8 tortillas, corn or wheat (your choice)
Grated monterey jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Sour cream as garnish

Brown the pork cubes, onion, and garlic in the oil. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, cumin, and chile powder. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer.

After the first 15 minutes, stir and add more water, if necessary. Cover and continue to cook.

After another 15 minutes of simmering, add the cubed potatoes and more water, if needed. Simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. (Note: Your total cooking time should equal 45 minutes).

Assemble the burritos: Spoon the meat mixture into each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, fold and place in a greased casserole dish. Pour over the top of all the burritos any sauce you may have left and sprinkle with more cheese.

Cover the casserole and bake at 350〫for 30 minutes, removing the lid of the casserole for the last few minutes. Serve with a little sour cream on the side.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Orange Yeast Bread

What we see while drinking our morning coffee

Well, it took more than a few moments to change kitchens during our recent move from New Mexico's High Plains to its spectacular city in the Chihuahuan Desert, Las Cruces. However, the kitchen is finally unpacked, and every once in a while we are able to tear ourselves away from the magificent views we see out of every window to do a little cooking.

This recipe has been under development for a while and I think that it is ready to share with you. It makes a deliciously fragrant toast to have with your morning coffee.

1 heaping tbl. yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water, to which you have added a tiny pinch of sugar

1 whole orange (seeds removed), ground up, juice, rind and all
1 cup warm water (may be part additional orange juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, optional

6 to 8 cups of flour, or however much it takes to make a nice bread dough

I do the whole process using the Kitchenaid mixer, grinding up the orange first, then mixing the cup of warm water, the yeast mixture, the orange, sugar, salt, oil, eggs, and optional cardamom together and beating well.

Add 3 cups of flour and beat at medium speed for several minutes. Change to the dough hook and add flour, a cup at a time, until you have a nice dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing it for a few minutes to get it really well kneaded.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand until no longer sticky. Let rise, covered, in a greased bowl in a warm place until the dough is doubled. Until we get a better heater installed in this little adobe house, we've been setting the bowl of dough on the raised hearth of the kiva fireplace, which keeps it nice and warm.

Bread dough rising in front of the kiva fireplace

Turn out dough onto a floured surface again, punch down, knead a few times, and divide into thirds. Shape each third into a loaf, put each into a greased bread pan, cover, and let rise again until almost doubled.

Bake at 375〫for 45 minutes. Cool on racks, slice, and freeze (if you wish). Delicious as toast, or in sandwiches. We would have loved it with sliced turkey and leftover cranberry sauce. Well, that was the plan, anyway, but the Thanksgiving leftovers got eaten up too soon!