I have written before about the surprising south-of-the-border food influence on traditional Amish cooking. The Hispanic influence on Amish food has really increased over the past 20 years. Homemade jalapeno bread, anyone? It's surprising because at first blush Amish and Latina cooking wouldn't seem to have any commonality. Several factors are driving this new"spicy" streak in Amish cooking. The photo above is of a hand-written recipe for beef-bean burritos from an Amish cook in Colorado where there is both an increase in Plain and Hispanic population. Several factors are driving this "spicy" streak in Amish cooking.
First, you have a huge Hispanic population increase in rural America, which also tends to be where the Amish live. The two groups do interact and that can result in recipe exchanges and introduction of traditionally spicy veggies like jalapenos into the gardens.
Secondly, you have a large Mennonite presence in Mexico and South America. There is a lot of cross-over between Mennonites and the Amish so this has provided a culinary exchange also.
The third and perhaps biggest reason for the Latina influence in Amish cooking is pop culture itself. Restaurants like Taco Bell and "breakfast burritos" on the menu at McDonalds have created an appetite for tacos and haystacks and other similar dishes in Amish kitchens.
There's a natural affinity between the two cooking styles. Salsas are, of course, made from tomatoes which are plentiful in Amish gardens. Jalapenos and banana peppers are easy to grow and add flavor to food so Amish gardeners and cooks have grown fond of these tastes. Above is a picture of the finished burritos in all their hearty goodness, below is the recipe and more process shots. I always thought a burrito was a burrito but the ingredient proportions in this just make for an amazingly flavorful hearty supper experience. Enjoy!
- 1 pound lean ground beef, cooked and drained
- salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 /8 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 tablespoon diced green pepper
- 8 ounce can refried beans
- 6 flour tortillas
- In a skillet, heat cooked meat and season
- Add onion and green pepper.
- Cook until green pepper is tender.
- Heat refried beans.
- Use a small amount of water to make cooking easier
- Warm tortillas.
- Combine beans and ground beef mixture.
- Cook until fully heated.
- Place bean/meat mixture on tortilla and wrap into burritos.
- Serve with salsa.
- Makes six.