Posts Tagged ‘Mexican’

Mexican food “Chipotle” style

May 21, 2010

Corn tortilla with spicy mexican beans

In 2006 I went to the USA for the first time. Bizarrely I had no interest in going but Adam and I were invited to a wedding in San Francisco. To make the most of it I booked a round the world trip and decided to visit friends and family on the way.

First stop was Scotland to see the family then on to New York. How good is New York! Honestly I absolutely loved it.

I was pretty lucky as one of my friends lives in Brooklyn, he was my guide for the whole time I was there. We went to funky hole in the wall “speak easy” bars, private roof top parties in Time Square, swanky restaurants and cocktail bars. I had a ball.

I love New York!!!

Then I was off to Denver to visit my favourite friends Liz and Nick. After I had caught up on my sleep I managed to soak up the slights and sounds of Denver and Breckenridge. Colorado is my kind of city, the people are LOVELY, it’s beautiful, the weather is great and it is a hop skip and a jump from the mountains!

My lovely friend Liz introduced me to Chipotle which is a great chain of Mexican restaurants, great and chain general does not go in the same sentence I know. But believe me they are GREAT. Super fresh food, healthy and really tasty. Nothing like the Tex Mex rubbish I have been used to.

Since my first Chipotle meal I have become rather obsessed with Mexican food.

When I returned home I tried to replicate the taste sensations from Chipotle and managed to come up with some easy tasty dishes.

My favourite creation is corn tortilla with spicy pinto beans, fresh corn salsa, guacamole and fresh tomato salsa.

It sounds like a bit of a fart to prepare but I have some excellent short cuts to make things a lot easier.


Soft corn tortilla
2 medium red onions
1 kg very tasty ripe fresh tomatoes
Coriander (optional for those who HATE it – like my mum and Kate)
2 ripe avocados
2 fresh limes
2 cobs of fresh corn
1 tin pinto beans (or borlotti if you can’t find pinto)
1 tin of peeled tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
Kecap Manis (if you have it)
Ground cummin
Sweet paprika
Dried oregano

Mexican Beans

Finely chop onion and garlic

Finely chop 1 red onion and 4 garlic cloves, add to a heavy based pot with a large glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt saute on a low to medium heat until soft and sweet. Add 3 teaspoons of ground cummin, 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1 teaspoon of oregano, saute for a minute or so to release the aromatics of the spices.

Cummin paprika and oregano added to sauted onion and garlic

Add 1 tin of peeled tomatoes and simmer.

Beans being added to sauted onion garlic with spices

Once tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened (approx 15 – 20 mins) add the tin of beans making sure that they have been drained and rinsed.

You may need to add a little bit of water to prevent the sauce sticking.

Add Kecap Manis

If you have Kecap Manis add a splash (about 1 table-spoon) to the sauce, if you do not have Kecap Manis you can add a little sugar if you feel that the sauce needs it.

Mexican beans

Leave the sauce to cook until the beans have started to break down (but not fully) this should take about another 15 – 20 mins. Season with salt and pepper and add some finely sliced coriander (optional).

Fresh tomato salsa

Finely chop tomatoes

Dice fresh tomatoes and add to a bowl. Very finely dice 1 red onion and crush one clove of garlic with a pinch of salt. Add onion and garlic to tomatoes. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime and add to the tomatoes. (add some finely sliced coriander – optional) and season with salt and pepper.

Add chopped onion and crushed garlic

Fresh tomato salsa

Fresh corn salsa

Boil corn

Strip off the husk and wash corn add to a pot of boiling water and cook until tender (5 – 8 mins). Do not add salt at this stage as it can make the corn tough.

Cutting kernels from cob

Cut the corn kernels off and add them to a bowl, take a couple of spoons of the salsa and add to the corn. Season with salt and pepper and add a little more lime juice.

Fresh corn salsa


Mashed avocado

Mash avocado and add a couple of spoons of the tomato salsa, season and add a little more lime to taste.

Tomato salsa added to avocado


Basically that is it….easy!

Serve with crumbled feta and warmed tortilla.

Crumbled feta

Corn tortilla with corn salsa, tomato salsa, guacamole and feta

BTW please don’t microwave the tortilla I recommend you pop the tortilla into a piping hot frying pan and lightly toast. The tortilla will taste so much better.


Roasted veg, Mexican beans and tahini sauce (a fridge scrape)

April 26, 2010

Can I just say how ridiculously good roasted veg is!!!!

Tonight was a fridge scraper dinner – not much in the fridge. So you end up cooking up a totally random selection of things.

I am a little bit of a saddo as I actually really enjoy the challenge.

My random selection consisted of:

1 bunch of baby beetroot
1 bulb of celeriac
2 small carrots
4 red potatoes
2 courgettes
1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes
Red onion

I also had whatever the store cupboard had to offer which was tinned tomatoes and a selection of tinned beans (chick peas, pinto, etc etc).

The most sensible thing to do in a situation like this is bung it all into the oven to roast!!!!

I chopped up the potatoes (skins on), celeriac and carrots into approx 1″ pieces and put them in a large ceramic dish, tossed in some chopped up fresh thyme and rosemary and good pinch of sea salt and a good whack of course ground black pepper. Then good glug of olive oil and tossed it to cover all the veg in the tasty herby oil.

I popped it in the oven at about 200 – 210 degrees centigrade.

In another ceramic dish I put the beetroot which had been scrubbed and cut into wedges. I put a little oil in, some salt and pepper and a splash of water. Then covered with aluminium foil. Into the oven too.

Every 20 mins of so I stirred the veg to stop it burning and so that it would cook evenly, After about 45 mins I added thick rings of courgette and the whole cherry tomatoes (and stirred them through so that they would coat in tasty oil).

The beetroot was also checked, tossed about a wee bit more water here and there then a wee splash of red wine vinegar to balance the sweetness.

In total I baked both veg and beetroot for 1 – 1 1/2 hrs until the beetroot was cooked but still firm and the veg was golden and cooked through The carrots still had a wee bit of a bite to them though.

I also cooked up some spicy Mexican beans.

1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tin of tomatoes
dried wild oregano
sweet paprika
Kecap Manis
Tinned mixed beans (pinto, kidney, black)

Sauteed the chopped onion and garlic in some olive oil and a pinch of salt until soft, added in the cummin and cooked for another minute. Added in the tomatoes, a large teaspoon of oregano and a level teaspoon of paprika. I also added a large dash of Kecap Manis which is a sweet soy. This is EXCELLENT for giving spicy sauces a little bit of depth and sweetness. Sometimes tinned toms can be a little acidic.

Cooked the sauce for about 15 mins then added the beans. Cooked beans on a low simmer for about 1 hour then added seasoning to taste. (Throughout cooking I kept adding little splashes of water to keep the beans moist).

I served the spicy mexican beans on top of a pile of the roasted veg and beetroot – gave it a good squeeze of lemon and topped it off with some freshly picked and chopped Italian parsley and tahini and yogurt sauce (1 table-spoon or tahini mixed into about 2/3 cup of natural yogurt).


*Sorry this is not in proper recipe format but I think it is a “bung it in” affair and not really a follow the recipe kind of thing.