Tex-Mex Pr0n – Grilled Burritos

DSC_6886 [1600x1060]Bean and cheese burritos are hard to beat.  Add roast pork and you win.  Dip them with some sweet and fiery habanero peach sauce and they are right over the top.  I have a few of the pickled cherry tomatoes from last year’s garden with them on the platter.  DSC_6887 [1600x1060]I had them again today.  These have cheddar cheese, yesterday’s were made with Monterey jack.  I need to start eating down all the jalapenos I put up last year.  These were packed with carrot sticks and sliced onions with a clove of garlic.  I am really liking this habanero sauce, there are more ripening on the bush so I’ll get at least one more batch.  I may sub papayas or mangoes for the peaches this time.


DSC_6560 [1600x1060]We have an excellent crop of cayenne peppers, this is the third picking from the bush we have in a container out front.  The habaneros are coming along.  I waited a good while to see if they were going to turn red but a few fell off the plant on their own while still orange so I went ahead and pulled all of those with color.  I’ll dry all of these – the cayennes are good for the basic red pepper flakes and the habs should work the same way, only more so.DSC_6565 [1600x1060]This is, for sure this time, the last of the smoked brisket.  Those orange slices are not the habaneros, they are from the mini sweet peppers.  Not sure I’m ready to nosh on the fresh habs quite yet.  Mrs J came back from the garden with several pounds of tomatillos that we are turning into salsa this afternoon.  More on that later.

Beef Brisket Burritos

DSC_6558 [1600x1060]I got the mowing done for another week but was too tired to do much in the kitchen.  Burritos are a great go to for when you don’t want to do much.  I thought I was finished with the smoked brisket but found another portion in the freezer.   These have Monterey jack cheese and various peppers, both sweet and hot, and some store bought guacamole.


DSC_3968 [1600x1200]I haven’t mentioned Katie for a while.  She is still jumpy and shy, spending most of the day by herself.  She readily accepts the leash when Mrs J calls for a walk, running to the door and eager to go.  In this photo she shares the sofa with Annie, having been spooked out of her usual spot by the vacuum running nearby.  Mrs J has finally made contact with the initial foster of Katie and has a little more info on Katie’s previous life.  She was picked up as a stray in Oklahoma and had just had a litter of puppies.  They surmise she was a “barn dog” and was about half wild.  US Dept of Ag regs require two weeks of fostering (quarantine?) and proof of vaccinations before they can be shipped across state lines.  The whole rescue was arranged via Facebook.DSC_3974 [1600x1200]This spring I saw some mini sweet pepper sets at the local big box parking lot garden display and bought three of them.  I planted them in my biggest container and was gratified to see that they were just what I thought they were:DSC_3973 [1600x1200]Pretty little peppers, and by some stroke of fortune I got all three colors.  Each plant has one color of mature pepper, they all start out green, of course.  This was a stab at stuffing them with cheese but my method needs work.  I did eat them all.  The farmer’s cheese was good, I used it in lieu of cream cheese, baking the blanched and stuffed halves.  Alas, I overstuffed them and thus refuted the “more is always better” canard.  Good thing I lined the tray with foil.DSC_6477 [1600x1200]Leftover pork and beans?  Everything is better in a burrito!  These were filled with the beans and the pork from yesterday and were fortified with cheddar and doused with salsa and Cholula.IMG_2411 (1600x1200)Post needs moar kittehs!  Here are a few kittens ready for adoption from St Francis.  And a puppeh!IMG_2424 (1600x1200)

Friday Recipe Exchange: Grilled Herbed Steak for Tacos or Burritos

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JeffreyW’s Smoked Pork Tacos

I’m travelling this week, so this will be quick. Grilled steak wrapped in a warm tortilla is a surefire winner for dinner at my house. Adding an herb paste takes it up a notch and makes a lesser cut of beef perfect for a taco or burrito meal.

Some additional ideas for other tacos/ burritos/fajitas:

Fresh from JeffreyW’s patio garden, Smoked Pork Tacos (pictured above and recipe here)

I made Homemade Fajita Seasoning to season either chicken or steak fajitas (recipe here)

And if you’re looking for something a little lighter, how about Naked Burritos? (click here)  And the first person who goes for the easy joke has to do the dishes.

Also, in case you missed it, I have once again started posting a weekly dinner menu, complete with recipes and shopping lists on Mondays. First one is here.

With that I leave you to the comments. Tacos, burritos or fajitas, what’s your favorite? And what’s on your weekend menu? Also, I would love to know what you like to grill on, as we move full speed into grilling season, I could use some recommendations for the perfect grill.

Now for the featured recipe:

Grilled Herbed Steak for Tacos or Burritos

Notes: Serve with either corn or flour tortillas and stuff with fresh garden items, such as tomatoes, lettuce, diced zucchini, grilled corn, and top with Fresh Garden Salsa (recipe here). And if you don’t like cilantro, there are alternatives offered at the bottom of the recipe.

Herb Paste

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves*
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 medium jalapeno, quartered – remove veins and seeds for milder, otherwise, use it all
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh limejuice

Pulse in a food processor or blender, cilantro, garlic, scallions, jalapeño, and cumin until finely chopped. Add oil and process until mixture is smooth and resembles pesto. Transfer 2 tbsps of the herb paste to medium bowl; whisk in lime juice and set aside.


  • 2 lbs flank steak – cut lengthwise (with grain) into 4 equal pieces (cooks quicker this way)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Using dinner fork or tenderizer, poke each piece of steak 10 to 12 times on each side. Place in large baking dish; rub all sides of steak pieces with salt and then coat with remaining herb paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator 5-10 minutes before cooking.

To cook: Scrape excess herb paste off steak and sprinkle all sides of pieces evenly with sugar and pepper. Sear steak pieces on the grill for 3 minutes, then turn and grill the other side for 3 minutes. Continue to cook (don’t turn more than one more time) until internal temperature registers 125 to 130 degrees, usually an additional 2 to 7 minutes. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

To Serve: Using a carving knife, slice steak pieces across grain into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Transfer sliced steak to bowl with herb paste-limejuice mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with tortillas and choice of vegetables, shredded cheese and salsa, etc. Garnish with additional limejuice if desired.

*If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute celery leaves or fresh basil, or try a mixture of both.

That’s if for this week. Have fun!


Burritos, Tacos, Kitty

DSC_6419 [1600x1200]I grilled several ears of corn and decided to try the elote recipe “off the cob”.  The mayo, crema, and cotija are all there along with lime juice and just a taste of Cholula hot sauce.  I mixed in halved cherry tomatoes and chopped peppers.  The burritos are made with flour tortillas, thin sliced flat iron steak, shredded cabbage, Monterey jack cheese, and chopped Anaheim peppers.  DSC_6407 [1600x1200]These tacos are pork, cheddar cheese, and cabbage with my first ripe jalapeno of the season.  The veggies are made into a slaw with crema and lime juice.  Everything is in corn tortillas.20130711_074619 [1600x1200]Here’s Kitty!  My camera phone makes a fair “stealth camera”, I took this by poking it around the chair back and watching the big display to center it and to check the auto focus was working before I told it to capture the shot.  Bea doesn’t like being in the center of my attention when I’m looking at her through the view finder of my DSLRs.  I actually had to call her name to get her to look up for this one.

Dinner Menu: Greek Chicken Wraps

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I’ve decided to begin the full dinner menus and shopping lists again. I’m shooting for every Monday night. I’ll pull from the old Thursday Menu series and add new ones as I go. Most menus are seasonal, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding ingredients, but if you need additional information, just ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.

Tonight has an international flair, three distinctly different locales, but flavors that complement each other. Full of garden fresh items.

I am partial to pitas, but it can be difficult in my area to find good, fresh pita bread.  So tortillas make a great substitute.  For the main course you can use spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps to really kick things up.  Whether you use pita bread or tortillas, these are easy and quite flavorful wraps.

To save time, chicken can be grilled the night before when you’re grilling another meal, and cut up for a quick dinner on a busy, hot day.

On the menu tonight:

  1. Greek Chicken Wraps
  2. Avocado-Tomato Salad
  3. Persian Apples

Greek Chicken Wraps

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 4 oz plain yogurt
  • ¼ tsp dill
  • 2 oz crumbled feta
  • 2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
  • 4 burrito size flour tortillas, spinach tortillas are a fun choice
  • ½ head of green leaf lettuce, shredded

skillet  & bowl

Mix together chicken, lemon juice, mustard, 1 tsp garlic, oregano & pepper in bowl, coating chicken thoroughly, let sit for 30 minutes. Prepare cucumbers, add yogurt, dill and remaining garlic and mix well. Refrigerate until served.  OPT: Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, turn oven off and let them stay warm until served.

To cook:  Grill over medium heat, turning  at least once, until cooked through. Usually 20 minutes, depending on thickness of breasts. Or stove top: Heat oil in skillet on medium-high and add chicken and marinade. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about  20 minutes. Let chicken rest 10 minutes and cut into 1″ pieces.

To serve, add chicken mixture, yogurt mixture, feta, olives and lettuce to each tortilla and roll up. Use any remaining yogurt mixture to dip tortillas in.

Avocado & Tomato Salad:

  • 2 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp limejuice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 to 5 drops Cajun hot sauce
  • 2 medium avocados, pitted & cubed*
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 6 green onions, chopped

large serving bowl

Mix oil, limejuice, salt, pepper and Cajun sauce.  Add avocados, tomatoes and onion to serving bowl and toss with dressing.  Add bacon and refrigerate until serving.

*Easiest way to cube an avocado is to halve it, remove the pit, score it with a knife and then run the knife along the edges to loosen flesh from the skin and turn the skin inside out.

Persian Apples

add to a blender:

  • 4 small apples, cored & quartered,
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice,
  • 1 tbsp orange juice,
  • 1 tbsp water


chopped walnuts as garnish (opt)

Blend until coarsely chopped. Add chopped walnuts if desired. Serve in bowls, over vanilla ice cream if desired.

Shopping List:

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 small cucumber
4 oz plain yogurt
2 oz crumbled feta
2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
4 burrito size flour tortillas, spinach lor sun-dried tomato tortillas are a fun choice
1 head green leaf lettuce (you’ll use half)
2 slices bacon,
Cajun hot sauce
2 medium avocados
2 large tomatoes
6 green onions
4 small apples

Also: lemon juice, orange juice, limejuice, chopped walnuts, olive oil, dill, oregano, garlic, stone ground or Dijon mustard