Mexican madness 

Thought I’d throw back to our dinner party the other week whilst I’m still in the holiday mood. The theme was Mexican (see title) and the food was a selection of dishes from different recipes. Our lovely guests bought lists of Mexican drinks including mojitoes, margaritas and tequila punch 🍸🍹.

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For the starter, I adapted a shrimp and black bean quesedilla recipe from August’s Jamie Oliver magazine. These were made up the night before and gently reheated in the oven wrapped in foil when the guests arrived. To start, toss a 300g box of cooked prawns in a bowl with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Whilst there are marinating, sprinkle a generous amount of grated mature cheddar over two large tortilla wraps. Then, divide a tin of mixed beans over each (I used ones in a spicy tomato sauce for extra flavour). Dot around a few jalapeño peppers before throwing on the prawns and some freshly chopped coriander. Finish off with some more chedds and lay another tortilla on top of each. This is when the tricky bit starts. Heat some vegetable oil in a non stick frying pan on a low to medium heat. One at a time, pop the quesadillas in the pan for a few minutes each. This should be enough to melt the cheese and merge filling whilst giving the crusts a nice golden colour. Gently slide them out of the pan and leave aside to cool. If you are serving straight away, then simply cut into pizza like slices and serve 🍤.

The main is super easy. These ‘carnitas tacos‘ are a recipe from August edition of Waitrose magazine. Cut up about 1.4kg of pork shoulder steaks into half finger sized strips. Just about cover with water in a large pan and salt well.  Bring the whole lot to a boil and then lower the heat. Allow this to simmer until the meat is cooked and the water has evaporated. Mine took around an hour and a half and then a reheated for another half hour the next day for the guests. I saved the juices in a cup and added as and when needed if the meat needed some more moisture. Serve this to the table in a pan and spoon onto small flatbreads 🌮.
To accompany the above, I made a selection of Mexican sides. The salsa is a twis on the classic and is an adaptation from Jamie’s 15 minute meals. The Avocado is a Joe Wicks lean in 15 one.
For the fresh corn salsa, char two corn on the cobs on a griddle pan until cooked through. Meanwhile, chop a large selection of ripe tomatoes (I used large, vine, cherry and plum). Salt them to withdraw moisture and concentrate their lovely flavour whilst in a colander. Chop a large handful of fresh coriander, one red chilli and a handful of trimmed spring onions. Cut the corn off the cobs and mix in with all of the above, plus salt, lime juice and some extra virgin olive oil 

For the ‘worlds best guacamole’, mix the juice of a two limes to two diced onions and let this sit and reduce their onion-ness. Scoop out six to eight avocados and mush them up into a bowl with a chopped chilli, a large handful of freshly chopped coriander, seasoning and lime juice.  Sieve the soaked onion and mix in with the rest to create a lucsious guac 🌶.
Dollop the guacamole and salsa as you please on both the quesadilla and the tacos. You’ll be surprised at how tasty and tender the pork meat is 😋. Add a nice big bowl of salad and sour cream for your guess to enjoy alongside.
To accompany the Mexican themed menu, I made my own version of the ‘boozy Brazilian lemonade’ also from Jamie’s August issue. For this, blitz a can of coconut milk with a few tablespoons of caster sugar. When this is smooth, set aside. In the same processer, whizz up five limes cut in to chunks (yes, skin on) and add to the of coconut milk. Sieve this mixture and add to a large jug, along with as much Malibu as you like, soda water, and the juice of five lemons. Give this a good mix and add a load of ice. Serve in glasses rimmed with the following sugar mixture: Demerara sugar, lime zest and mint muddled in a pestle and mortar. Rub fresh lime along the edge to create a sticky surface and twizzle away 🍨.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Mexican special. Big Love Amigos ! C x


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