Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Defying Expectations

Like many places, San Diego has different areas where certain ethnicities are more prevalent than other areas. Last week on our Farmer's Market exploration Thatbaby and I headed to a part of the town that I usually consider to be very Mexican.

So you can imagine my surprise when we pulled into the parking lot of a large Asian market. It started to make a little more sense to me when I thought about it, after all, my favorite Thai restaurant was almost literally across the street.

This farmer's market was different than the typical markets I've been too. Of course they had the usual suspects - oranges, apples, eggs, etc. But there were also stands and stands of atypical farmer's market finds like bitter melon, daikon radishes, and lots of Asian greens. Not that you would know that by looking at my haul.

My $16 haul included:
  • 1 ginormous bag of oranges (which is still in the trunk of my car. Hey - you try lugging around a baby and bags of groceries!)
  • strawberries
  • figs - totally wasn't expecting these! It's been a couple of weeks since I've seen them in the markets, but they're impossible to resist.
  • eggplants
  • onions
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • string beans
Given the amount of produce I brought home, you would expect to see some of it featured in the recipe I'm posting. But there you'd be wrong. Because aside from the strawberries and fruit, most of the produce is actually sitting around waiting for Thanksgiving to be over. For when I've eaten my fill of mashed potatoes and heavy starchy sides. Instead I'll give you one of those impossibly quick and easy meals that is perfect for when your kitchen has become overrun with all the Thanksgiving prep. It's equally fabulous for when you too are sick and tired of turkey and stuffing.

Thatboy and I made a meal of these little taco bites - ground beef cooked with my own personal "taco seasoning". The kick of the ground chipotle powder and the extra kick from the salsa over go over well in Thathouse. But these little finger-friendly treats work well as appetizers for guests or snacks for kids. And, between you and I, they're the perfect way to use up leftover wonton wrappers you may have hanging around your home.

Taco Bites
20 won ton wrappers
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Press won ton wrappers into a muffin tin so that they form little cups.
  2. Brown ground beef in pan over medium heat.
  3. Add cumin, onion powder, chipotle chili powder, and garlic powder to ground beef and continue to cook until cooked through.
  4. Divide ground beef between muffin tins.
  5. Top each with scant Tbsp of salsa. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle each taco bite with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.


  1. Ot's definitely fun to explore new farmers markets. I would be doing just that if everything were not covered with a blanket of snow...wink.

  2. It's always wonderful to go on a shopping adventure. Better still when you are happily surprised. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary

  3. Our Farmers Market has a bunch of stands with Asian vegetables, including lots of Filipino stuff I've never heard of.
    I love your plan of visiting all those different markets! I should have thought about that at the beginning of my maternity leave. Oh well...summer project next year?

  4. I love stumbling onto a new fun market find! They're so few and far between in Manhattan.

  5. Oooh. Taco bites are genius. My family would go crazy for these.

  6. After days of cooking traditional and eating traditional - I want some taco bites!

  7. I'm behind on my blog reader! I like the look of these. I keep meaning to try using wonton wrappers in more recipes.