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Food Bytes PG Cookbook The Food Chain
Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Wraps an ethnic fusion quickie

Thursday, March 25, 1999


This week's Countdown to Dinner dish has an ethnic identity crisis - but that's a good thing. "It's like half Mexican and half Chinese," my husband said when he tasted it. The unlikely combination of salsa and black beans with soy sauce and rice is very tasty - and it's quick, too.

We used boil-in-a-bag rice, which takes 10 minutes to cook, and we still finished preparing the dish in less than 20 minutes.

The recipe calls for already-cooked chicken, so we used shredded chicken which we'd boiled in a Crock Pot over the weekend.

Another quick option would be to pan-fry boneless chicken chunks in a little oil while your boil-in-a-bag rice is cooking. You could still finish in less than a half-hour with a fresher chicken taste than our concoction had. (Ours was still plenty good, mind you.)

Terri Lucas of Mt. Lebanon submitted the recipe, which is popular with her whole family: husband Blaine, a Downtown attorney; and children Brendan, 13; Katie, 10; and Keenan, 51/2.

Lucas used to work for PNC Bank, but after Keenan's birth, she switched to working in marketing consulting part-time from home.

Not that the pace of life has slowed.

"We're constantly running to practices and piano lessons, and nobody's here at the same time.

"This is something you can wrap as they come in the door. You can keep it in the pot and it still tastes good for the last person two hours later."

We'll second that.

- Tested by Rebecca Sodergren

Burrito Chicken Wraps

3 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cut in- to strips
1 cup mild salsa with garden vegetables
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons soy sauce
8-burrito-sized flour tortillas
Sour cream, lettuce and extra salsa for garnish, optional

Combine first five ingredients in large skillet, heat through.

Warm tortillas in microwave.

Put lettuce leaf on tortilla, spoon on generous serving of filling, dab with sour cream and extra salsa if desired.

Roll up and serve, 1 to 2 per person depending upon appetite size.

Tester's note: We used light soy sauce and sour cream, which worked just fine.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer(not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@Post-Gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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