J has been all over the place recently – literally. Having been home once in the last week, and scheduled to be away for another week, our time together has been rather limited. I was fortunate enough to steal away with him for a night recently when he had a flight to a nearby community, Deline, about 40 minutes flight away. It was wonderful to see the towns from above, the surrounding landscape and the culture of a more native community.
The culture here is wonderful, but needs to be understood to be appreciated. Arriving as an arrogant westerner, one is sure to be disappointed by such a small, quiet community. We have been learning about the culture in the North so we kept our eyes open for opportunities to learn and experience as the locals do during our stay. We were made very welcome by our new, very hospitable, native friend who has since taken J out and about to experience local cuisine, ice fishing, bridge mending, quad biking on the not-quite-so frozen lake (yikes!) and hunting. Every backyard in Deline has a teepee. It’s like the New Zealand BBQ for Native Northern Canadians! For cooking fresh fish from the huge lake (Great Bear – the largest in Canada), grilling bannock and hunted caribou, and drying hide for sewing into shoes and clothes.
I love that J gets to experience all of this, meanwhile doing the exact type of flying he has been dreaming of. I love that he arrives home from work physically exhausted from loading cargo, cleaning his Caravan (Cessna 208) and doing general work around the aircraft. I love that his shirts no longer stay crisp white as they were when he worked in a ‘cockpit office’. I love that he wears hiking boots to work everyday, rather than polished leather shoes. I love working with him during the day, booking his flights, checking in his passengers, helping sort his cargo, and bringing him fresh bread during our shared lunch break.
But more than this, I love when he is finally home!
Finding out last minute that he will be home for the night calls for a quick, easy, fresh summer meal to share together beneath the warm evening sun, glass of lime water in hand.
Lime, Black Bean and Chicken Fajitas
For the tortillas:
Roti, divided into 12 rather than 8 (to make small, taco-like tortillas). This recipe calls for 4, the remainder can be frozen.
For the chicken:
1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
a squeeze of lime juice
1 finely chopped fresh chilli (or hot chilli powder)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic
1 red onion, sliced thinly
Mix together lime juice and spices and toss with the chicken. Leave to marinate for an hour or so while rolling out the roti and making the beans.
Stir fry the garlic in a little oil. Add onion and lightly brown. Add marinated chicken, brown over medium heat until cooked through.
For the beans:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 mix of fajita seasoning
1/2 cup frozen corn
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno to the pan and saute for 1 minute more. Add the black beans to the pan and cook for a few minutes until warmed through. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Season with fajita seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to simmer until most of the liquid has reduced. Stir in the frozen corn and cook 2-3 minutes more.
Divide the bean mixture between the four tortillas and top with the chicken, a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt and diced tomatoes. Garnish with lime wedges and fresh coriander.