Saturday, January 09, 2016

O, Amherst, Where Art Thou?

My friend Jamie is a real renaissance man. Besides being an amazing musician, he's a fabulous cook and gardener. His specialty is his homemade hot sauces (with chilies he grows himself) that are delicious, but might actually blow your head off. Tee hee.

But to the matter at hand, we used to have this great little burrito shop in our town that made many different kinds of interesting burritos, all charmingly named after different cities. But unfortunately, they have changed locations and owners a couple of times, and the joint is just not what it used to be. The menu has changed, too, and a lot former favorites are no longer available. One of Jamie's hobbies, like mine, is to try an retro-engineer restaurant items to be made at home. So Jamie decided to try and replicate his favorite burrito known as "The Amherst." Then he posted about it on Facebook, and though I had never tried that one, it looked and sounded so good, that I wanted to make my own version.

On the old restaurant menu, "The Amherst" had chicken salad, cheddar jack cheese, cucumber-dill cream cheese, and tomatoes, and then it was grilled, panini-style. Jamie leaves off the tomatoes, adds rice and bacon and, of course, some of his special hot sauce. As for the one I made, I started by mixing softened cream cheese (8 oz.) with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, two small dill pickles (instead of raw cucumbers), 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, and black pepper, to taste. I spread some of this on a large flour tortilla, then added a handful of shredded colby jack, and about a quarter cup of black Japonica rice (1 1/2 cups of rice in a scant two cups of water with a good pinch of salt for 24 minutes on Manual/high in the Instant Pot), Next came prepared chicken salad (Sam's Club makes a decent one with white meat--or you can make your own, of course) and chopped tomatoes. I chose not to grill mine, but I did drizzle it with sriracha. YUM and YUM!

No comments: