As we head into Ontario's Local Food Week, beginning Monday, we're sharing some of our favourite recipes that feature local ingredients. Toronto-area blogger Heather of The Tasty Gardener was kind enough her to share her thoughts on what local means to her. Be sure to try her recipe below for mouthwatering Beef and Mushroom Taquitos, made using fresh crimini mushrooms and locally sourced Ontario Beef.
“Eating and buying local for me means I know where my food is coming from. I know it hasn't sat on a truck for days driving across the country. I know that it was been grown under the same environmental conditions that I enjoy every time I walk out my front door.
As a food blogger I have been fortunate enough to have met many local growers whether it’s been visiting their farms or talking with them at my neighbourhood farmer’s market. With my background as a trained horticulturist I can understand the passion each one of these local growers have for the food they produce and their importance in our society.
And every time I pick up juicy strawberries in June or Crisp apples in the fall I know that they may have been just picked that morning, in the height of flavour. They may not be the biggest or prettiest but by supporting local I know I will always have continuous access to best foods; the healthiest foods I can put into my body.”
- Heather Lang, The Tasty Gardener
Beef and Mushroom Taquitos
Add some Mexican flavours to your weekend entertaining with these Beef and Mushroom Taquitos with Chili Lime Avocado Crema.
For the Taquitos
1/2 lb extra lean ground Ontario beef
1/2 lb fresh Ontario cremini mushrooms
1 red pepper, seeds and stem removed
1 jalapeno pepper. seeds removed
1 medium onion, peeled
1 large tomato
5 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup cojito cheese (or monterey jack), grated
24 corn tortillas
oil or chicken broth
For the Avocado Crema
3 avocados, skin and pit removed
1 cup sour cream
2 (2oz) jars of chopped green chilis
2 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the taquito filling:
1. In a food processor chop the mushroom until fine.
2. In a large skillet over medium high heat brown the ground beef and chopped onion together until beef is cooked through and liquid is almost gone from the mushrooms. Make sure to break up the beef into small pieces while cooking.
3. In the same food processor pulse together the red pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic and tomatoes.
4. Stir the vegetable puree into the beef and mushroom mixture and cook until all liquid is evaporated and vegetable are heated through. Season by taste with salt and pepper.
5. Remove filling from the pan and into a large bowl. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Once cool stir in the cheese.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. In a small skillet over medium heat add about 1/2 inch of either chicken stock or oil.
8. Working one taquito at a time place a tortilla into the hot liquid for no more than a couple seconds. This is to make them pliable for rolling.
9. Remove tortilla from liquid, place on work surface and add approximately 2 tbsp’s of filling along the length of the tortilla. Tightly roll up into the shape of a cigar and place seam side down on your cookie sheet. (I like to cover the taquitos with a wet cloth on the cookie sheet while I’m working to keep them from drying out.)
10.Repeat one tortilla at a time until all the filling has been used. Based on how full you fill them you will end up with anywhere from 18-24 taquitos.
11. Place in preheated oven and bake for 15-20 or until browned.
To Make the Crema
1. In your food processor blend together the avocado, sour cream, lime juice and green chilis. Season by taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with baked taquitos.
What does 'local' mean to you? Show your love for #loveONTfood