A Homemade Mexican Feast

Since trying proper Mexican street food in Brighton (or as proper as you can get without flying to Mexico!) I have been dying to try out some Mexican recipes for myself. After planning a date and purchasing nearly all of Sainsbury’s stock of chillies it was time to don the apron, put on some salsa tunes and get chopping.

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The menu for the night was coming from the cookery book Wahaca. See my previous blog post to get an idea of what the dining experience is like! It is to every Wahaca fan’s delight that this cook book has been created. Having lived in Mexico, run cocktail bars in Mexico, cooked with the best Mexican chefs and having WON Masterchef, Thomasina knows what she is talking about and you know that the recipes will be sure to turn out well and taste amazing. The book also has guides on how to eat tortillas in all their various guises (tacos, tostada, burritos etc) as well as guides to all the different kinds of chillies.

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The cookery book is split up into sections: Breakfast, In the Cantina and Fiesta with everything from light snacks and nibbles to full blown dinners! You really should invest in the book but in the meantime read below to try out a few of the recipes from my Mexican feast night.

  • Cucumber, chilli, beetroot and ricotta salad
  • Fresh salsa verde
  • Fresh tomato salsa
  • Easy Peasy Flour Tortillas
  • Summery spinach and feta tacos
  • Chilorio (pulled pork)

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The Salad

I chose this salad, not because I thought it would be the tastiest but because there was a bag-full of beetroot from the allotment which needed consuming even after trying to give most of it away to neighbours. This salad is really simple to make and requires 3 beetroot, olive oil, salt ‘n pepper, 250g ricotta, fresh mint (mine was from the garden but a plant from the supermarket is fine), 1 chilli, 1 garlic clove, 2tbsp red wine vinegar and juice of a lime (lime goes into pretty much everything!)

After chopping up a handful of mint, the chilli, garlic and 3tbsp of olive oil you mush it into the ricotta (sounds grim but turns out well!). At the same time plonk chopped and skinned beetroot (she suggests skinning after cooking but you can do it either way) in a tin with olive oil and roast at 180 degrees for 25mins. Once this is out of the oven and as cooled a bit you pile it on top of the fiery ricotta and then top that off with half-moon shaped slices of cucumber and drizzle with dressing (from the lime, red wine vinegar and some olive oil).

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It tastes deliciously fresh and very healthy! The ricotta has a real kick to it so don’t be fooled that it is just a quiet boring salad. Whilst the taste is amazing, the best bit is probably that the ricotta turns an amazing shade of pink! Definitely give this recipe a try.

Salsas

Salsa is probably the easiest thing to make on the menu so there’s no excuse!

For the green salsa you need a bunch of coriander (again mine was from the garden but it’s available in supermarkets in little pots), 6 medium tomatillos, 1 white onion, 1 jalapeño or 2 green chilles, several pinches of sea salt and juice of a lime. I couldn’t get tomatillos so I had to use tomatoes instead. This worked fine but it means that your green salsa actually turns out green and red! But it’s the taste that matters right?! You whizz everything (minus stalks) in a blender (or chop finely by hand), mix it up and there you go! It’s ready! It really is that simple.

For the fresh tomato salsa it is pretty similar to above but has a bit of extra rocket fuel for those dinner party guests who like their food to have a real kick and lots of chilli. You will need 6 very ripe plum tomatoes (but scoop out all of the seeds so you don’t get a watery salsa), 1 small red onion, 2 jalapeños or more if you’re very daring, 1 tbsp of olive oil, juice of 2 limes, 1 tbsp of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of soft brown sugar. Again, whizz everything up and it’s done.

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These salsas taste great on their own or added to tacos.

Stay tuned…the next few recipes from the feast will be posted the day after tomorrow!!

But between now and then checking out the Wahaca website is an absolute must because it’s just so fun and colourful and there’s tonnes more information on there. Click here to take a look.

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