Smoky Chipotle Mock Duck Burrito

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“That was the best meal I’ve had in a decade,” Jeff hailed with a quick kiss on the cheek before hauling a box of can lights up to the attic for the remodel. I smiled to myself as I thought, This is a meal for a woman who needs something done around the house! (Not that he wouldn’t do it anyway, but some guys may need a little extra push!) My husband, vegetarian for nearly seventeen years, still craves the satisfying texture and richness of protein, and despite not wanting to consume meat, he doesn’t mind the similarities to meat that plant protein substitutes like veggie burgers and mock duck have.

Burritos and Enchiladas have always been our favorite foods, and many years ago, when we were working on starting a restaurant, Mock Duck Stuffed Burritos were to be on the menu. The restaurant was to be in a quiet neighborhood in Minneapolis and would serve vegetarian Latino Fusion. The old corner store we were hoping to convert didn’t have any parking, and the neighbors didn’t want a restaurant in the location, so our plan died and so did the Mock Duck Stuffed Burrito…until today!

Mock duck prepared this way is a little like red chile stew made with slow cooked pork roast – a great meal to help prove to our fellow carnivores that vegetarian food isn’t hard to palate. Not only do these burritos have this amazingly flavorful mock duck, but I whipped up a batch of tomatillo salsa, some wicked delicious guacamole and a rice dish that will send you on a Soma holiday (Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932)! This meal has many pieces and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

To prepare the burritos, we heat the tortillas on a skillet until they begin to toast slightly. As the tortilla warms, I like to add grated cheddar cheese first so it melts, then top it with rice and mock duck. Then I fold my burritos in half more like a quesadilla and toast them on both sides. Once it lands on the plate, the fun begins. I am all about the garnishes when it comes to Latin American food. I load on salsa, chopped cilantro, guacamole and some kind of cheese – either crema, cotija or crumbled feta. Oh, so satisfying!

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Mock Duck Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced so onion breaks apart in half-circles
  • 1/2 head roasted garlic, pureed in food processor
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, pureed in food processor
  • 4 cans mock duck, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chipotle powder

Directions:

Saute the onions in the oil on low heat until they begin to caramelize. Next add the mashed garlic and chipotles. Mix in the shredded mock duck and spices. Cook on low heat for just a few minutes until the flavors have combined. I have found that if you cook mock duck too long, it breaks down and gets soft and mushy, so you really want to simply warm it.

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