The fires in Arizona continue to burn, and the smoke and ash continue to fill our skies. The Wallow fire in Arizona has yet to be contained and tragically has burned over 400 miles of forest land. This is a horrible fire; and the weather pattern is not helping the fire fighters or us. The air is very dry and the winds are blowing with some vigor out of the southwest, making it hard to fight the fire and easy to spread the smoke and ash over large areas of our country. So what has that got to do with cooking?
We have had special air quality advisories for the last week. The air quality is so bad you can’t be outside so grilling is out of the question. And now the Environmental Health department is warning against cooking inside with a gas stove. Can’t figure that out except perhaps because there is so much fine ash particulant in the air they don’t want you to add any more into your house. And, because it is hot here – temperatures in the nineties – and we can’t run our coolers (brings the ash into the house) you need a meal that doesn’t add any more heat in the kitchen! So I have been doing cold food or food baked in the convection oven. Tonight we are having wraps. I make mine with a protein, several different veggies, a sauce compatible with the meat, and Boston Leaf lettuce. The ingredients for the wraps we’ll be eating at dinner are as follows:
- Leftover beef cut into narrow strips about 2 inches long
- Julienned carrot cut on my mandoline
- Sliced mushrooms
- Bean Sprouts
- Sliced Water Chestnuts
- Thinly sliced Green Onion – white and green parts
- General Tsao Sauce
- Boston Leaf Lettuce leaves
I slice all of the ingredients and mix them together with the sauce. I let the ingredients sit in the sauce in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. I wash the lettuce leaves and allow them to drain dry. Everything comes to the table and we wrap and eat.
I’ll add some sliced tomatoes on the side for a perfect no cook dinner. Oh, and home made apricot sorbet for dessert!