Tag Archives: meat and dried fruit

Fruity Meat: Baked Burritos & Skillet Cornbread & Salted Guinness Shakes

22 Aug

Burritos with dried fruit? Oh, yes

Adding fruit to meat still seems sacrilegious to me. Fruit and meat are glorious, lovely, delicious things that just don’t seem to go together, like Kim Kardashian and subtlety, or Iran and justice.

Growing up, I was somberly informed that eating the occasional bowl of fruit-flecked Muesli was as zany, immoderate and exorbitantly indulgent as being allowed to stay up to watch Dallas; it was a wonderful thing that could be indulged in occasionally, but it was not an example upon which a pattern of behavior should be established. Fresh fruit was to be cut up and put in pies or eaten alone, and sauces that weren’t direct descendants of stock, butter and herb-based gravies were regarded with the darkest of suspicion. Raisins were, quite clearly, grapes that had failed, and until I was of voting age, I spurned them with the same knee-jerk repulsion reserved for fat, hairy green spiders that happened to cross my path.

Sprinkling cookies, sweet sauces or even sundaes with sea salt? Preposterous! I’d be just as likely to throw on a mink coat and head out to a Greenpeace rally.

Then college happened. I lived with Amy and Beth, free-thinking ladies who systematically hypnotized and enchanted me with their bean-soaking, tofu-frying, mosh-pit of Mediterranean flavor ways. Tahini, hummus, quinoa, pomegranates, kale all began to appear in my mini-fridge. They even tricked me into liking raisin bread (I assumed the shriveled fruit husks were chocolate chips, it was dark, there may have been a few beers involved), which opened up an entirely new section of the health food market they dragged me too – dried produce! Raisins were the gateway pome, but before long I was indulging in dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries, even figs and dates when I really needed to hit the flavor motherlode.

While I still fail to subscribe to all of their vegan, yeast-harvesting, herb-pot-as-a-medicine-cabinet conventions, I no longer think it’s frothing-at-the-mouth crazy talk to serve duck with a tart little cherry sauce or to throw some dried apricots in with my braised lamb. While I still can’t help but feel like I’m somehow transgressing when I mix up my sweet and savory courses, the results are too delicious to be denied.

This weekend, Stephen and I made raisin-flecked Baked Burritos with Walnut Sauce and Skillet Cornbread, with just a touch of sugar (I know, I know – sugar and cornbread is technically a no-no, but I’ve built up a tolerance for dried fruit and I have to get my kicks somehow, see? ) We also committed another delicious sin against common culinary sense: beer milkshakes!

Dig in, below.

Continue reading