Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mexico - Huaraches

I already love Mexican food so I had to have a good look around the internet for something I haven't tried from Mexico. I decided on Huaraches because street food is always a great choice and these seem so versatile. I picked two different recipes to try as the choice of toppings is so diverse.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbls oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of warm water
  •  chorizo
  • black beans
  • salsa
  • parmesan
  • radishes
  • tomato puree
  • refried beans
  • red onion
  • goats cheese
  • avocado 








Start off by mixing the corn flour, salt, oil and warm water in a bowl.





Mix it until everything is well combined and starting to clump together.





 At this point the recipe calls for a tortilla press but I don't have one. After looking around the kitchen for something suitable I used a casserole dish with clingfilm on it's base to flatten the dough into a circle shape. The mixture was really hard to keep together though and kept cracking. Also when I tried to transfer it to the pan it broke up several times so I had to start again -.- I eventually got them how I wanted and put them one at a time into a hot frying pan with a bit of spray oil.






Fry on each side for a minute or so until cooked through.





Now start chopping up and opening the cans of the various toppings so you can begin assembling the huaraches. Make sure the onion and radish are quite thinly sliced. Brown off the chorizo in a lightly oiled pan.  Here is my helpful assistant cutting up the chorizo.





I started with the refried beans one first and spread the beans over two of the four bases.


Then I added the tomato paste and onions.





Next,  the chorizo and avocado.




Then finish them off with goats cheese and dollops of salsa. They look really good!





The black beans need slightly mashing in a bowl before you can spread them on the bases.






Add the radishes and chorizo.


Then the sliced tomato, salsa and parmesan.






I served ours with some tortilla chips.




I'm not sure what I think of this food. I really enjoyed some of the elements of the dish. The chorizo, salsa and goats cheese all worked well together. The tomato and parmesan also combined well. The corn flour base was very filling and made the whole thing too heavy. The radishes didn't really add to the overall taste. I think I'd try them again but with less toppings that maybe went better together than these ingredients did. A bit disappointing really!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guatemala - Jocón

I've been looking forward to making this dish all week. It's got pumpkin seeds in it and I've never had them before. I'm curious what my family will think of it as it's a bit different to food we usually eat.

This recipe usually includes tomatillos but I couldn't find any so had to leave them out. Not much of a shame since I'm not too keen on tomatoes, haha :)

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (I used 3 breasts for 4 people and it was plenty)
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Sesame seeds
  • Corn tortillas - 4-6 small ones
  • Coriander
  • Spring onions






Cut the chicken breasts in half and boil in the water for about 20 minutes. Take out the chicken when done and save the water for later.






While the chicken cooks you can toast the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds in a slightly oiled pan. They smell really good while they cook!






Next, some stuff needs chopping so chop up the coriander, corn tortillas and spring onions.






The recipe calls for a coffee grinder to grind up the toasted seeds but I don't have one. It seemed to work well enough in my pestle & mortar though. Bizarrely the toasted seeds together smell exactly like pork scratchings! O_o



Put the seeds and other chopped stuff in a pan with the saved chicken water.



Also, this bit of the recipe should be done in a food processor but I don't have one of those either. So, I blitzed it with a hand blender instead :)







Now to add the chicken, woo! Shred up the chicken by hand and add it to the sauce.



Then stir it in and cook on medium for a few minutes to heat it through properly. It's ready to serve up!




The sauce was really thick and creamy. I was surprised how well the corn tortillas had thickened it. The taste was like nothing I've had before and I wasn't quite sure if I liked it or not. The chicken was delicious and together with the sauce made the whole dish a lovely texture in my mouth. The kids weren't too impressed but JD loved it and polished off the rest of it. I think the tomatillos would have made it less thick so I'm glad I left them out. Overall a nice change from our usual food :)