Saturday, November 13, 2010

cheesy pumpkin burritos

frequenters of supper at my house are well-familiar with this recipe as it's one of my seasonal favourites. adapted from the rebar cookbook, (referred to as the "three sisters burritos") i look forward to my garden pumpkins as the main attraction of this recipe. of course, i use my pumpkins for cookies, pies and soups as well, but there's just something special about these burritos. 

on the topic of pumpkins, i have always said that squash (especially pumpkins) are an underrated food. native to the americas, this vegetable thrives in canada, even in the cooler climates of northern BC. yes, i do start them early in soil blocks and put them in the greenhouse for a few weeks before planting, but it's not necessary. i've brought up amazing pumpkins with seeds sewn directly into the ground. squashes have a natural sweetness that is irresistible and can satisfy a yam or sweet potato craving (in my opinion anyway). roasted with butter and honey, they make an amazing side dish (or main course if you're in the mood for simplicity). 

anyway, here's the adapted recipe that i look forward to every year, with garden pumpkins. i harvested my pumpkins about 6 weeks ago, and are still doing great in my basement. i brought one up today for this amazing dish. 

cheesy pumpkin burritos

- one small cooking pumpkin (mine was a sugar variety)

   cut out the seeds and pulp of pumpkin (save seeds if desired). cut into    manageable pieces and, with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the skin. once peeled, cut into approximate 1/2 inch cubes. no need to be precise. toss in a bowl with a glug of oil, a tablespoon or so of local honey, salt and about a tablespoon of hot chili powder. place in preheated oven (400 degrees or so) for 20-25 minutes. remove from oven and set aside.


- 2 cups or so of cooked beans of your choice (at the end of summer i used scarlet runner beans from my garden along with black beans but any bean will do). if you don't feel like cooking them, a standard size can of drained canned beans works great.

- a cup or so of corn (at the end of summer i used fresh corn from the garden as well but in the later months, frozen is the next best thing but canned will do)

- half bunch of cilantro

- at least 3-4 cups of grated cheese of your choice (a mix of sharp cheddar and jack is nice, but anything really will do).

- 1/4 cup or so of BBQ sauce and an equal or less amount of mayo mixed together, with a 1-3 teaspoons of pureed chipotles (i used canned chipotles found in the mexican aisle of the grocery store that i then pureed with a food processor). you may need more or less sauce, depending on how saucy you want your burritos.

- 6-8 whole wheat tortillas

- taco sauce

- sour cream and other burrito fixins.

toss together pumpkin, beans, corn and cilantro in a large bowl. have tortilla shells ready and spread with desired amount of bbq/chipotle mayo sauce. put 1/4-1/3 cups of pumpkin mix on shell, and sprinkle small handful of cheese. wrap up the burrito and place in large greased casserole dish. repeat until you can no longer fit burritos in dish. this means you could make anywhere from 6-8, depending on the size of dish. any remaining mix can be place in fridge for a few days and used later. 

once you have tightly packed the burritos in the dish, pour taco sauce all over them. use however much or little you like; however, i like mine completely covered in red sauce. then, top with cheeses. use at least a cup of cheese on top of the whole dish. 

lightly cover with tinfoil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes or so.

voila...a lovely garden dish. 

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