S moky chicken burritos is the type of food well suited to a casual meal with family or friends.
It is fun to set up a sort of buffet and let everyone assemble their own burritos and the quantities can be easily multiplied if you have a large group to cater for. If you're lucky enough to be able to get chipotle (smoked chilli powder) by all means use it in place of the paprika and chilli powder, otherwise the smoked paprika gives a hint of smokiness.
SMOKY CHICKEN BURRITOS
1 Tbsp canola (or other vegetable) oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
500-600g skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup water
400g can diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 tsp salt
about 1/2 a medium lettuce, finely shredded
1 medium-large carrot, grated
100-150g cheese, grated
12-16 soft flour tortillas
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. While the oil heats, quarter and slice the onion and crush, peel and chop the garlic. Add these to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until soft.
Slice or dice the chicken and add to the pan. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until it has lost its pink colour. Stir in the spices and cook for about a minute longer.
Add the water, tomatoes (and juice) and salt and sugar. Stir and allow the mixture to come to the boil, then reduce the heat to a fairly gentle simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes longer, until the thickest pieces of chicken are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients. It's fun to arrange them on a platter or in separate bowls and allow everyone to assemble their own burritos at the table, but obviously you can pre assemble them if you prefer.
Warm the tortillas according to package instructions (or place them in a loosely sealed plastic bag and microwave for about a minute).
To assemble, lie a soft tortilla on a plate, spread a spoonful of the chicken and sauce across the middle, then sprinkle on some lettuce, carrot and cheese. Finish with some coriander and a blob of sour cream, then roll up (you can do this any way you like), wrap in a napkin to prevent spillage, and enjoy!
SIMPLE ASPARAGUS SOUP
Asparagus is one of the greatest treats of spring. Each year we await the asparagus season with impatience, not only because it means the weather is improving, but because it can form the basis for many meals.
As well as just enjoying lightly cooked asparagus, with a squeeze of lemon juice, and a little butter or olive oil (try tucking a few spears into split French bread for a quick and delicious lunch), you can get a little more elaborate and try adding a hollandaise (or even cheese) sauce or use it as the basis for quick and tasty stir-fries.
If these simple dishes don't grab you, how about trying an asparagus risotto, flan or souffle, or, as we have here, turn it into delicious soup. This has an amazing asparagus flavour, and it is an excellent way to preserve a little asparagus magic for an out of season treat, because it freezes very well.
For 6-8 servings:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup flour
500g tender asparagus
2 cups water
1 cup cream (or 1/2 cup cream plus 1/2 cup milk)
1/2-3/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan, over moderate heat, add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, without browning. Stir in the flour, then remove from the heat.
Grate the raw asparagus, using a food processor grater, or a hand grater. (Hold the bunch of asparagus at right-angles to the grater).
Bring the asparagus and the water to the boil in another pot, and boil for 2 minutes. When cooked, the asparagus should be bright green, and barely tender.
Drain the asparagus cooking liquid into the butter and flour mixture, and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Stir in the cream (or cream and milk). Bring to the boil, add the cooked asparagus, and return to the boil again.
If serving immediately, thin to desired consistency with milk, chicken stock, or water. If freezing, do not thin, but cool the thick soup as soon as possible, so that the asparagus stays bright green. The fastest way to cool it is to stand the saucepan in a large container of icy water, changing the water as it gets warm.
Freeze in covered containers, leaving head space. Use within six months.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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