The Orient Express goes south of the border for burritos

FAST & FRESH GR. COLOR PHOTO

April 20, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

One of my favorite recipe collections is "Chopstix," by Hugh Carpenter, which blends American cuisine so simply with Chinese, Thai and even Mexican flavors. This dish, Oriental burritos, marries the most classic Chinese flavorings with south-of-the-border style. Since it can be eaten by hand, it makes for a casual, friendly meal.

To round out the main dish, serve a simple salad of shredded lettuce and quickly steamed snow peas (or buy frozen, stemmed snow peas and thaw before tossing) and a peeled, sliced fresh orange. A splash of lime with a few drops of oil makes an easy toss.

For a sweet treat at the end, toast about 1/2 cup coconut in the oven while you're heating the tortillas (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle toasted coconut on frozen yogurt as you're serving dessert.

Items you should have as staples are: Oriental sesame oil, garlic, onion, chicken broth, dry sherry, red wine vinegar, cornstarch, cooking and salad oil, lettuce, orange, lime, frozen yogurt, coconut.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list: ground pork or turkey, avocado, corn, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, Chinese chili sauce, snow peas.

Oriental burritos

Serves 4

1 pound ground pork (or turkey)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil

5 gloves garlic, finely minced

1 medium onion, finely minced

2 ears fresh corn

1 avocado, sliced

8 flour tortillas (8-inch diameter)

SAUCE:

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese chili sauce

1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon cooking oil

First, combine the meat, oyster sauce and sesame oil, Mix well and set aside. Mix garlic and onion and set aside. Shuck corn and cut off kernels. Stack tortillas and wrap in aluminum foil. In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients and mix well. Peel, pit and slice the avocado.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. You will need to heat the tortillas for 10 minutes.

Place a wok or large skillet over very high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon oil to the center. Tilt to coat the bottom and sides of pan. Add the pork and stir-fry, pressing the meat against the sides of the wok, until it loses all of its raw color and breaks apart into little grains, about 5 minutes. Remove meat and reserve. Pour off excess fat and return wok to the heat.

Add onion and garlic and stir-fry until onion becomes translucent, about 2 minutes. With slotted spoon, return pork to pan; add corn and sauce and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Cook for one more minute and turn into a serving dish.

Arrange meat filling, sliced avocado and heated tortillas on the table and let diners assemble their own burritos by placing about cup of the filling across the bottom third of a tortilla and adding a few slices of avocado.

Burritos should be rolled into cylinders and eaten with the fingers.

MENU

Oriental burritos

with shredded lettuce,

snow peas & oranges

Frozen yogurt

$ with toasted coconut

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