Mexican Fiesta!

May 5, 2016

Think of Mexico and what images are conjured up? Vivid colours, vibrant mariachi music, passionate people, exotically-costumed wrestlers, the bloody Aztec history, the spectacular Day of the Dead. Probably all of the above, but then of course, there’s the food. If you think Mexican food is all about stodgy refried beans, heavy, gut-busting plates of mush showered in cheese and blow-your-head-off heat, think again.

SALSA_GUCAMOLE_LAKE8743_021Mexican food is full of variety and makes great use of fresh ingredients: smoky spices, fiery salsas, slow-cooked meats left to stew in rich, intensely satisfying sauces.  The Mexicans are a food-loving people with a rich culinary history and specialities vary from region to region. A  quesadilla can change its name, shape and filling and even be made with a different type of corn depending on which part of the country you find yourself in. All over the Mexico, you’ll find street markets piled high with colourful, fresh local produce ready to be turned into a huge variety of dishes packed with flavour and interest.

Year-round sunshine ensures that the key ingredients that make Mexican food so glorious are in season all the time: red and green tomatoes, chillies, courgettes, corn, avocado, beans and, of course, chillies, herbs and limes.  Cooking techniques are simple, layers of flavour are built up by combining fresh ingredients and each dish is very much the sum of its parts; leave any element out and its absence is felt keenly.

 Chillies

Mexico is home to more than 200 varieties of chilli ranging from subtly warm to inferno hot and each region grows its own to be used fresh or dried. More and more are now available here in specialist delis and grocers so it’s becoming easier to add authenticity to your home-made Mexican dishes.

A chilli’s heat is measured according to its Capsaicin level and given a Scoville heat unit number (SHU) – the higher the number, the hotter the chilli. The Scoville scale was devised in 1912 by a pharmacologist named Wilbur Scoville.

Jalapeno

Commonly available, the Jalapeno is a fiery fellow, but the heat doesn’t last. It’s great for adding a kick to salsas and salads. Left to ripen further, it will eventually turn red and generate a higher SHU. When smoked and dried, it is known as a chipotle and becomes a key ingredient in sauces, particularly a sweetly-spiced sauce called an adobo, and is also widely used in slow-cooked stews and salad dressings.

Scotch Bonnet

Also known as a habanero, these colourful little bulbous fruits may look attractive but they pack an extremely powerful punch, which gives way to a lovely fruit flavour if you can stand the initial heat. They vary in colour due to which stage of maturity they are at and are commonly used in hot sauces and condiments.

Birds Eye

Extremely hot, this Scoville scorcher is small, thin, red or green and should be used sparingly to add intense heat to dishes. It’s also very common in Thai and Indian curries.

Finger

Finger chillies are long and slim with a rippled surface and are very hot. They are also called cayenne peppers and are often used for sauces and salsas but can be dried and ground to make cayenne pepper. Finely ground cayenne is the main ingredient in chilli powder. Green fingers are milder than red

A few of our favourite Mexican inspired recipes…

r80795_1Mexican-Style Fish With Chilli & Lime

View recipe here

A light, fresh meal with a spicy twist!

Made using Lakeland Parchment Lined Foil

 

 

r80423_1Mexican Pull-Apart Pork 

View recipe here

Melt in the mouth pork, perfectly paired with sour cream.

Recipe taken from our Lakeland More Slow Cooking book

 

 

Tequila Sunrise

View recipe here

A tall glass of sunshine for summer days. 

Mix cocktails like a pro with Perfect Drink

 

 

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Chipotle Chicken Tortillas 

View recipe here

From Real Mexican Food by Felipe Fuentes Cruz & Ben Fordham

 

 

r80848_1Baked Tortilla Wedges with Fresh Summer Salsa 

 View recipe here

 

 

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Chilli, Cheddar and Cornbread Waffles 

View recipe here

Made using the Cuisinart® Waffle Maker

 

 

 

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Gran Luchito’s Breakfast Burrito 

View recipe here

 

 

 

 

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  • http://kan-kun.com/ KANKUN® Sauce

    Love your article amigos! Mexican food is so full of colour, life and music. it is like a piñata exploding in your mouth”