Category Archives: Mexican

Tomatillo Taste

What does a Tomatillo taste like to you?

I have only tried it when I have been on holiday in Mexico & Miami, with it being served as Salsa Verde but now I am growing my own I have taken to trying any that fall off or get ripped off by the dogs.

So to me they taste like…… STATIC! Yes I know strange..

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Guacamole en Molcajete

I was all set to throw the Avocado, Chilli & Coriander in my mini blender last night for Guacamole A la Lazy Jay when i remembered the delicious green dip we recently ate at a Mexican restaurant & felt inspired to make Guacamole A la Rosa Mexicano instead!

At Rosa Mexicano a waiter prepares your Guacamole en Molcajete (Mexican versian of Pestle & Mortar) tableside & it only takes him a few minutes but it really was the nicest we have tried..  They say the reason theirs tastes so special is the chilli paste that creates the ‘layering of flavours’ .. So try the recipe & see how it compares to your usual Guacamole!

Making our Guacamole!

Makes 4 servings

Chilli Paste Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion
  • 1 firmly packed tablespoon chopped fresh Coriander
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or as needed

Additional Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe but firm Hass avocados (about 8 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons diced tomato
  • 2 firmly packed tablespoons chopped fresh Coriander
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion
  • Salt if necessary
  • Tortilla chips and/or fresh corn tortillas

Make the chile paste: Grind the onion, coriander, jalapeño, and salt together in a Pestle & Mortar (or a Molcajete if you have one!) until all the ingredients are very finely ground. Alternatively, use a fork to mash all the ingredients to a paste in a wide hardwood bowl.

Cut each avocado in half, working the knife blade around the stone. Twist the halves to separate them and flick out the stone with the tip of the knife. Fold a kitchen towel in quarters and hold it in the palm of your “non-knife” hand. Rest an avocado half cut side up in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through the avocado flesh down to the skin, without cutting through it. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same way. Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the Mortar. Repeat with the remaining avocado halves.

Finally lightly mash the avocado with the chilli paste & then add tomatoes, onions & coriander. Stir to combine, Season to taste & Serve!

NB I like a squeeze of  fresh lime in mine and it keeps the mix from turning brown if you are making it ahead of time- I know Lime is hard (impossible) to find in Northern Cyprus unless you are lucky enough to have a tree (any offers?) but I have found the squeezy lime juice in the shop before & lemon works equally well as a substitute.. Or if you are going to the Greek Side (i’m hiding now) they have plenty in the supermarkets so stock up 🙂

Who needs YOU mini blender!


Tinga de Pollo

 

With Rice, Guacamole & Yoghurt

A while ago I had the brain wave that if I started making MR Jay a ‘healthy lunch’ box for work then he would escape the evil clutches of Alesta- The Demon Kebab King who force feeds people in the vicinity with Doner Kebab & the like for lunch every day without fail (or so I hear..)

So I’ve been buying a packet of chicken breasts at the beginning of each week and poaching them ready to turn into Pasta Salads etc but as I only got round to making one lunch last week (rubbish Fiance! Tsk!) I had four cooked chicken breasts left- Tinga de Pollo seemed the perfect solution.

Tinga is a typical Mexican dish made with shredded meat (chicken, beef or pork) and a sauce made from tomatoes, onion, garlic & chillies. It is typically used as a topping for Soups or in Tostadas (more about these later).

This dish comes from a state called Puebla which my Sis, R spent some time in during her travels so I will be awaiting the verdict on the authenticity of my recipe!

 

Ingredients; Serves 4
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts (poached & finely shredded)

1 Large White Onion OR 1 Small White Onion & 1 Small Red Onion (chopped)

10 Large Ripe Tomatoes (diced- you can de seed them but I don’t like to!)

3 Garlic Cloves (roughly chopped)

2 Tbs Chipotle in Adobo * (more if you like it HOT)

1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme

1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano

1/2 Cup Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful Fresh Coriander (chopped)

Instructions;
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium/high heat.

Add Onions, Garlic & Tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes (turn down the heat if the garlic is browning)

Add Chipotle & stir well

Add Chicken Stock, Shredded Chicken & Herbs.

Simmer over a low heat until the liquid has reduced & thickened (it should be thick enough to wrap in a Tortilla- with a nice thick gravy, not watery)

Taste & Season with Salt & Pepper

Garnish with Coriander & Serve!

Tips;
When poaching your Chicken Breasts place them in a saucepan with enough Water to cover, 1 Carrot (snapped in half), 1 Celery Stick (snapped in half), 1 Onion (quartered), a few Fresh Parsley Sprigs, 8 Black Peppercorns (whole), 1 Bay Leaf & a generous pinch of Rock Salt.

Reserve this poaching liquor to use as Chicken Stock. Any excess liquor can be boiled rapidly to reduce & then frozen in portions (such as ice cube trays) for future use!

Notes;
Chipotle in Adobo*- Chipotle chiles (smoked Jalapeno chiles) are canned in a red sauce that typically contains tomato puree, paprika, salt, onions, oil, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and oregano. Used for making sauces, chipotle mayonaise, rubs as well as other recipes.
Now unless you know something I don’t (?) these aren’t available in Northern Cyprus, however, what IS available is Jalapeno chillies- I found them in Tempo supermarket under the name of Meksika Biber and set about Smoke Drying them & ‘canning them’ in Adobo Sauce myself (more on this later)!

How I Look!

I’m guessing you probably aren’t a Smoking aficionado OR so keen to go down my ‘experimental’ (Nutty Professor) route to obtaining Smoked Chipotles, in which case I recommend you replace the 2 Tbs Chipotle in Adobo with 2 Tbs of Chilli Sauce & 2 Tsps of Smoked Papika.

If you are making a Chilli Sauce try dry frying (don’t lean in & sniff the pan!) your Chillies & Tomatoes till they are blackened & then blend these to create the ‘smoky’ flavour necessary in this dish

Serve with Rice, Soured Cream/Yoghurt (with dash of lemon) & Guacamole (see next post)
NB If you are observant you might notice the white beans in the picture- I had 1/4 of a can left in the fridge so the got thrown in at end! Waste not want not..