Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mexican/ South American styles of cooking

I've never given much thought to Mexican cooking before. It hasn't really excited me, but then the standard supermarket Mexican offerings don't tend to produce fantastic results. Once I learnt that the ready made guacamole sold in supermarkets didn't always contain avocado (often cream cheese and green food colouring) I dismissed the cuisine without much thought.

As these things happen I was yet to be exposed to a decent experience of the cuisine. Last Saturday night that changed. Very good friends of mine were back in the country last week so food and celebration were high priorities. Dinner last Saturday was hosted by a friend who lived for six months in South America. She recently discovered that it was possible to buy proper cornmeal for tortillas now, and these made a delicious base to the meal.

You mix the cornmeal with water until it comes together, very briefly knead it then separate it into balls.  You squish the ball flat (I just used my hands) then cook on a cast iron pan for a couple of minutes.  The bread is delicious, with a genuine corn taste and made a brilliant addition to the meal.  I managed to make them (from opening the pack to eating the first one) in about seven minutes.  The cornmeal is the Tio Pablo brand and found in the gluten free section of my local supermarket.

We accompanied the meal with freshly made guacamole.  I love searching the internet using search terms like 'authentic recipe for xxx.'  Blogs can be the best for this kind of thing because the comments sections are so valuable.  I particularly enjoyed the lime juice/ lemon juice debate in the guacamole recipes I read!  We also had refried beans and a small amount of chicken thigh meat diced with a Mexican Seasoning Mix from the same range mentioned above.  I was quite taken with the ingredients in the mix, including dried plum, cinnamon and citrus!  Too yummy.

I'm keen to try some more examples of food from Mexico or South America, particularly using beans - can anyone suggest any?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I offer to come and eat it? I occasionally make a terribly unauthentic "mexican lasgne" using corn tacos instead of lasagne sheets and putting chile con carne between the layers (I google for appropriate spices). It's so wrong and yet so delicious... Also GF if using GF tacos.

  2. I'll have to make it for you! The authentic tortillas are great for a creche or playcentre to make - they are very easy, gluten free and cook rapidly.