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Fiesta Pita Pockets Recipe by Jesse Bluma

Fiesta Pita Pockets Recipe

Enjoy this pleasantly sharp and flavorsome stuffed pita.  Tangy beef, fresh vegetables, and toasted pita (Greek origins, meaning “bread”) are the enticing features of this dish.  Kids, adults, families, and friends will enjoy these filled pitas for lunch, dinner, at picnics, and more.

Cooking and preparing food is a powerful skill.  Some readers are at an advanced level and will prepare this recipe with ease.  Some will experiment with other ingredients.  While others may be too intrepid to begin.  Achievements in the kitchen, and life in general, are no small task.  Hard work and completion of learning a new recipe, for example, boost self-confidence and the way we feel about ourselves.  The recipe for being more confident and feeling better is hard work.  That may sound counter-intuitive, yet the life of ease is simply not enriching.

If you are unsure of your way around the kitchen, then make this recipe your one goal this week.  Stop the overthinking and start with this recipe.  Read the directions a few times, make annotations, and plan the preparation.  Once you conquer this recipe you will be more inspired to make other recipes and create ones of your own.  Getting into the flow of cooking, taking on new challenges in the kitchen, and applying the knowledge you learn get you into the flow of confidence and feeling good as a cook.

Here is where expert knowledge of cooking and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  Let an enjoyable experience with this recipe be your start.  If you are a more advanced cook, then come back and share your pita pockets and other versions you create.

Preparation time:  2 days


Braised short ribs with ancho sauce (Click here for the ingredients.)
White beans (cannellini beans)
Garbanzo beans (chickpea)
red bell pepper, organic
Olive oil (California Olive Ranch)

Shopping Tip:  buy organic to avoid pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients.  Also, if utilizing canned beans then choose low sodium products.  Using low sodium beans will allow for more control over the salt content and flavor of the completed pita pocket.


Day 1

Prepare the short ribs with ancho sauce.  (Click here for the directions.)

Day 2

Rinse broccoli florets and red pepper.  
Pat dry with a clean dish towel.

Dice the red pepper.  
Cut the pepper on a cutting board, hold the chef’s knife parallel to the cutting board and slice between the ribs and flesh of the pepper.  (Slice the pepper in half, and then into four flat pieces.)
Trim the stem, pith, and remove the seeds if less spice is desired.
Throw away or compost the stem, pith, and seeds.  
Place the four sections of the pepper skin side down, and cut into thin strips (“Julienne”).
Then dice into even square shapes. 

Use a small sharp knife to chop broccoli from the stem upward, separating the head into smaller stems. 
Then cut the florets from their stems, about an inch below where they start.
Peel the lower part of the main stem, and cut into bite sizes.  
Set aside.

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium.
After the oil is heated, add the diced bell peppers into the skillet.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until diced peppers are tender.  (Check the tenderness with a fork, when easily pierced remove from heat and place in a large bowl.)

Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil in the large nonstick skillet over medium.
After the oil is heated, add in the broccoli florets.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli florets are tender.  (Check the tenderness with a fork, when easily pierced remove from heat and place in a large bowl.)

For Canned Beans
Rinse the can tops of the white, kidney, and garbanzo beans.  
Open with a can opener and pour into a strainer or colander in a sink.  
Rinse the beans with cold water.
Leave draining until ready to use.

Or for Dried Beans
Follow package directions for the white, kidney, and garbanzo beans.

*Cooking Check:  for the novice cook the steps may seem more complicated than to pick up fast, mass-produced food.  Remember to pause and enjoy the process or make it enjoyable by cooking with someone or turning on your favorite music.  For the more advanced cooks these steps are familiar and you can be creative within logic.

Carefully stir in the white, kidney, and garbanzo beans into the large bowl with the broccoli florets.  
Next stir in the diced red pepper.  
Lightly season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (204.4° Celsius).
Cut each pita bread in half.  
Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the pita halves in a single layer on the lined sheet pan.
Lightly brush each side of each pita half with olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Bake for approximately 5 minutes.
Turn pita pockets over and bake for another 3-5 minutes, until golden brown.

Dice the braised short rib meat with ancho sauce.

Fill the pita pockets with diced short ribs in ancho sauce and the mix of vegetables from the large bowl.

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Credit:, Kyle Killam, Vishang Soni,

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