Some Like It Hot

Did I mention I spent a few days in Mexico, learning about traditional Pueblan cuisine? No? It was glorious, as you might guess, and I am now going to proceed to rub it in just that little bit more by showing all the yummy things I made and ate and the beautiful place I stayed. If you are interested, the course was run by the lovely Jon and Estela of Mexican Home Cooking.

Tamales, with various fillings

Tamales, with various fillings

Crema de Chile Poblano (Cream of Poblano Chile Soup)

Crema de Chile Poblano (Cream of Poblano Chile Soup)

Puerco en Chile Pasilla (Pork in Chile Pasilla Sauce)

Puerco en Chile Pasilla (Pork in Chile Pasilla Sauce)

The view from my patio in the mornings

The view from my patio in the mornings

Ensalata de Nopalitos (Nopal Salad)

Ensalata de Nopalitos (Nopal Salad)

Potato Pancakes with Shrimp and Spinach, served with Nopal Salad

Potato Pancakes with Shrimp and Spinach, served with Nopal Salad

Salsa

Salsa

Tortas de Papas con Espinaca (Potato Pancakes with Shrimp and Spinach)

Tortas de Papas con Espinaca (Potato Pancakes with Shrimp and Spinach)

Pato Almendradro (Almond Duck)

Pato Almendradro (Almond Duck)

Sopa de Hongo (Mushroom Soup)

Sopa de Hongo (Mushroom Soup)

Buñuelos

Buñuelos

Breakfast: mango and papaya with lime

Breakfast: mango and papaya with lime

A furry friend

A furry friend

A furry friend

A furry friend

A furry friend

A furry friend

Crema de Flor de Calbacitas (Cream of Squash Blossom Soup)

Crema de Flor de Calbacitas (Cream of Squash Blossom Soup)

Pipian Rojo (Red Sauce)

Pipian Rojo (Red Sauce)

Frijoles Negros (Black Beans)

Frijoles Negros (Black Beans)

Chipotles en Conserva (Preserved Chipotles)

Chipotles en Conserva (Preserved Chipotles)

Tinga (Shredded Skirt Steak)

Tinga (Shredded Skirt Steak)

Sopes

Sopes

Gelatinas de Fruta (Fruit Gelatin)

Gelatinas de Fruta (Fruit Gelatin)

Sopes

Sopes

Guacamole

Guacamole

Suspiros de Novia (Sighs of the Bride)

Suspiros de Novia (Sighs of the Bride)

Chiles en Nogada (Battered Chiles in Walnut Sauce)

Chiles en Nogada (Battered Chiles in Walnut Sauce)

Chiles Rellenos (Battered Chiles Stuffed with Cheese)

Chiles Rellenos (Battered Chiles Stuffed with Cheese)

Stuffing for Chiles n Nogada

Stuffing for Chiles n Nogada

Walnut Sauce for Chiles en Nogada

Walnut Sauce for Chiles en Nogada

Eat Your Greens!

My goodness, it has been a while since I’ve posted anything tasty! It’s not that I haven’t been eating, but being in a different country has changed my cooking habits somewhat. Either way, this is pretty tasty: pasta with artichokes, spinach and pesto.

DSC06237

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Coffee Cake for Coffee Lovers

I’ve been craving a really good coffee and walnut cake for a while, but all the recipes I see don’t seem to taste very much like coffee and come with that horrible, over-sweet butter-cream icing. Not my idea of tasty. So, armed with a large pot of coffee, I went to work on my own version, which went down equally well at teatime as for dessert. I used the Leiths recipe to make the actual cake, so use whichever recipe you would usually.

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A Seasonal Pasta Sauce

If you grow asparagus, you are probably at the same point as we are at home where it is trying desperately to escape the vegetable patch. I looked in the fridge the other night and there was some fresh pasta and not much else, but I knew we were desperate to get rid of some asparagus. So, this is how I fed three hungry people on a Friday night: we could have done a lot worse xx

P.S. the idea for this was stolen from Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/) and I reckon my portions would serve 3 very hungry people or 4 people who are not my relatives!

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

I have no idea why, but I was really craving BBQ sauce today. Although I am tempted to blame my housemates, one of whom made BBQ fajitas a few nights ago and another who keeps buying BBQ sauce and flaunting it! So, in order to prevent some seriously out of order condiment theft, I whipped this up. Use it for dunking, or try marinating some meat in it before cooking, either on the barbecue or in the oven xx

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Indian Potato Wedges

You know when you have a glut of something? Well, for me recently it has been potatoes. I keep forgetting I have them and start making something before I realise I should really use them up and try to figure out how I can fit them in to whatever I have started on. Usually it doesn’t work at all and I give up and tell myself I will use them tomorrow, but the other day I got lucky. I’d already defrosted a curry I’d made a while back and I thought about those horrible, fluorescent yellow potatoes, dripping in oil that sometimes accompany curry in school dining rooms. Then I thought about lime pickle and how I never have anything to eat with it. A short leap of the imagination took me to Indian-spiced potato wedges with lime pickle and curry for supper and I am so glad it did. Delicious.

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Easter Egg Hunt

It’s been a while, but I am back to cooking just for me and hence back to making sometimes experimental but always tasty things on a more regular basis. I hope you’ll think this was worth a bit of a wait.

Ingredients

Salad

Quinoa

Paprika

Dried sage

Dried oregano

Chorizo – about a 2-3 inch chunk

1 egg

1 red onion

Balsamic vinegar

White wine vinegar

Olive oil

Pepper

Method

Cook 1 portion of quinoa according to the pack instructions (although I tend to use a bit less water as I prefer a bit of crunch), adding paprika, sage, oregano and pepper as it simmers. Meanwhile dice the onion and sauté it in a little oil. Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer and add a splash of white wine vinegar.

Once the quinoa is cooked, set aside to cook a little. Poach the egg in the simmering water (about 3-4 minutes for a fairly soft poach). Arrange some salad leaves on a plate and add the chorizo to the onions. Pile the quinoa onto the plate, and top with the poached egg and chorizo & onion mix. If you aim well, you can pretty much entirely conceal the egg! Finish with a grind of black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar xx