Way, way back in 1949 a man named Jim Knudson and his wife, Margaret, were served tacos for dinner at a friend’s home. What made this experience unique is that neither had eaten a taco before. Jim Knudson was experienced in the food industry and thought offering tacos to the American public was a good idea. After perfecting his recipe that included a dusting of canned Parmesan Cheese, Jim introduced the “Tayco” to the menu of his Grass Valley restaurant. Much to his surprise, customers were not enthusiastic about the new menu item. The taco was not a hit, but Jim Knudson was not about to give up.
One Sunday, I made what I consider the perfect Sunday supper, at least when I was growing up, and that’s Buttermilk Pan-Fried Chicken. Of course, you can’t have buttermilk chicken without a big pot of mashed potatoes, plenty of gravy, sweet corn and fluffy biscuits.
As you know, most dinners and it’s just the three of us. While Hubby and Kiddo both have healthy appetites, left overs are to be expected. And so it was with all that delicious chicken. I put the chicken into a gallon zip-lock bag and stuck it in the refrigerator for future use. There it sat, next to two Tupperware containers of left over soups.
Hubby and I had talked about how both the inside and outside refrigerator were beginning to fill with left overs, and that there were only so many lunches to be made. It’s the slow season in the Event business, the lull after the holidays. Kiddo only works a few days a week, so it’s just Hubby turning left overs into hot lunches at the office. While there was a big Chuck Roast in the outside refrigerator just waiting to be transformed into my wonderful Mexican Roast Beef with Chipotle Cream Sauce, such a delicious meal was bound to render more left overs.
It was time to get creative. As I stood in front of the open refrigerator door and stared at all the containers, a thought came to mind. We had plenty of tortillas on hand, always do. Portuguese Liguica Sausage wouldn’t take long to thaw. We had cheese, and sour cream and several cans of fire roasted tomatoes. It wasn’t long before a delicious stuffed tortilla recipe began to form in my mind. Kiddo had the day off. He joined me in the kitchen as we piled ingredients on the counter and bounced ideas back and forth. His input as far as seasonings and extras was of great help. Kiddo’s been working so much, I’ve missed these creative sessions we once enjoyed. One taste and between the two of us, we knew we had a hit on our hands.
Portuguese Grilled Burritos
2 Cups Cooked Chicken Meat
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Mexican Chili Powder
1 Link Liguica Sausage, diced
1 Can Ro-Tel Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies
2 roasted Jalapeno Peppers
6 Large Flour Tortillas
6 tablespoons Sour Cream
1 cup Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
Chop chicken into small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.
Season chopped chicken with Cumin, Cayenne Pepper and Chili Powder. Work seasoning into the meat with your fingers. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Dice Liguica into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sausage to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot.
Add chopped chicken to the skillet. Stir and let heat through.
Open canned tomatoes, and pour into the skillet with the sausage-chicken mixture. Lower heat and let simmer.
Roast jalapeno peppers in a small cast iron skillet until just beginning to blacken and blister.
Stem peppers, dice and add to sausage-chicken mixture. Include seeds for more heat, discard pepper seeds if looking for a filling that is more to the mild side.
Heat a flat griddle over medium heat. Spray griddle with a little cooking spray.
Heat tortillas, spraying with cooking spray as needed to make tortillas pliable.
Stack warmed tortillas on a plate.
Spread sour cream inside tortilla, one at a time. Pile cheese down the center of the tortilla. Be generous. The cheese is going to add gooie deliciousness to every bite.
Spread several spoonfuls of filling over the top of the cheese. Fold in the ends, then fold/roll tortilla tightly.
Place filled tortilla on the griddle and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Repeat until all the tortillas have been filled, grilled and ready to serve.
Enjoy with a side of refried beans and a few more roasted jalapenos, if desired.
A while back, while Hubby was out-of-town on business, leaving me to enjoy a good old-fashion sleep-over with a good friend of mine from work. We talked all night, went for coffee and pastries in the mornings and just had a great time. For dinner, we picked up some Mexican food (tacos and refried beans) from a little strip-mall taco shop. It was one of those really out-of-the-way joints tucked under an elevated section of freeway. One of the best things about their refried beans is that it contained chorizo – adding both texture and flavor to the beans. Since then, I’ve made it a point whenever possible to throw a little chorizo into my refried pinto beans. Yum!