Tag Archives: Mexican

Mexican rice and beans with tomatillo sauce

15 Mar

Man Woman has never been to Mexico. Nevertheless, we feel sufficiently informed to say that what passes as Mexican cuisine in a good part of the Anglo-Saxon world is not really Mexican food. We’re really hoping that in no country does crisps covered in cheese, covered in sour cream actually pass as food.

When in Sydney, we managed to get ourselves to Flying Fajita Sisters on Glebe Point Rd before a serendipitous Friday night at the dogs. Really. At the dogs. This was our first encounter with green sauce. My word. Sweet but tangy, gooey but refreshing – this is good shit. We’ve got big plans to go back to Casa Mexico in Bethnal Green for more Mexican supplies. Our horizons are expanded.

Mexican beans

  • 1 tin kidney beans (or 1/2 C uncooked beans, soaked overnight then cooked)
  • 1/2 capsicum diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/4 C corn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small dried ancho chili
  • lemon or lime juice

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, followed by onions and capsicum. Once these have softened, add the beans, tomato remaining spices and the ancho chili. Cook for probably another 5 or 10 minutes or until warmed through, adding lemon or lime to taste.

Tomatillo sauce

  • 10 tomatillos (1.5 cups tinned)
  • 2 tsp chopped jalepeno chillies
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 spring onion

In a small fry pan with just a tiny dash of oil, throw in halved tomatillos and cook until softened and saucy. Just before serving, add jalepenos, coriander and chopped spring onion.

Serve with guacamole and rice. Cheese not really necessary, although Man did still add substantial amounts and four kinds of chili sauce (see below).

Estimated cost: £4.10 (with guacamole and rice)

Musical accompaniment: AfroCubism


Chocolate chickpea chilli in jacket sweet potato

28 Feb

Putting cocoa powder into foods counter-intuitively is so much fun. It’s a little bit like playing the mad scientist on a dreary Thursday night. It kinda proves the hypothesis that chocolate makes everything good. Everything.

The cocoa in this does give the dish a suggestion of cocoa, but mostly it makes it all luscious in glossy darkness and provides depth. Also, it helps chip away at the box of Cadbury’s we’ve had in the cupboard since August 2009. Let’s not look at expiry dates, eh? Let’s not.

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, cut in half lengthways

Chile chocolate chickpea

  • 1 tin of chickpea
  • 2/3 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 one ancho chile
  • 1 small chipotle chile
  • 3/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • chili flakes
  • oregano
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

Pre-heat oven to 200C. When hot chuck sweet potato halves, wrapped in foil or baking paper, in there for 40 minutes – or until easily pierced with a toothpick.

Soak dried ancho and chipotle chiles in hot water for about 1o minutes.

Meanwhile (it’s always meanwhile), heat oil in a pan and add cumin.

Mash up chickpeas slightly, leaving about half un-smashed, and then throw them in the hot cumin oil. Add tomatoes, chili flakes, oregano and cook for 15 minutes.

Once thickened, add whole dried chiles and cocoa powder and about a tablespoon of chile soaking water.

Add a dash of lemon juice and salt to taste.

This here chocolate chickpea chile (aside from being swathed in glorious alliteration) is really versatile. We chucked it into our very first jacket potato eaten in England – true –  but I imagine it could be great as ‘beans on toast’ for brekkie, or just in Mexican dishes like enchiladas or burritos.

Estimated cost: £2.50

Musical accompaniment: Traditional Moroccan music on BBC Three

The biggest burrito mix ever made in North London

8 Dec

This recipe says a lot about Man Woman. It speaks of our interest in feeding the world. In having cocktail parties and requiring people to dress up in odd themes (Frida Kahlo this time). But mostly, it speaks of our kitchenaliaphilia. This is how I have come to term our undying and shameful interest in the kitchen departments of the world. We cannot visit a city without ducking into department stores or giggling with unabashed excitement if we happen across a catering shop. When backpacking around Europe for 7 months in 2006, we did so with two types of coffee maker picked up in Bosnia and Portugal and stock from Croatia. We’re so infintely lame.

So, naturally, on our last trip to Madrid last year we bought a gigantic paella pan from El Rastro market. We’d never put it to good use. So we invited 20-odd of our nearest and dearest ’round to finally put it through its paces. Added to this was 60 white corn tortilla breads we picked up from a far more painful trip to Casa Mexico in Bethnal Green in the freezing cold, and we managed to feed the freezing and festive quite sufficiently.

Mexican bean mix (Serves 20 – 30)

  • 2 – 2.5kg kidney, cannelli and black-eyed beans (cooked weight)
  • 5 tins of whole tomatoes
  • 1 C corn
  • 1.5 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 TBSP cayenne pepper
  • lots of lemon juice
  • coriander to serve

This is massive. Do simply what you have to  do.

Estimated cost: Around £30 including cheese, shredded lettuce, grated carrot and guacamole

Fajitas, we think

28 Jul

Man Woman gets confused by the different Mexican dishes involving the flat tortilla bread. Usually we’ll just Googlechat each other at work suggesting we make ‘nachos’ for dinner, knowing full well it’s probably going to be a fajita, enchilada, quesadilla or something along those lines. Don’t tell the Mexicans.

Anyway, we’re pretty sure these are fajitas. In any case, these are quick, delicious and cheap mid-week meal.

Bean fajitas

(Writing this recipe feels like teaching grandma to suck eggs. If you already know how to do this, share)

  • Tortilla breads
  • Grated veg – carrot, shredded lettuce/spinach and/or julienned capsicum (that’s peppers to you, love)
  • Greek yoghurt – because there is no place for sour cream in a world that is home to Greek yoghurt
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapeno peppers – or anything else that’ll allow spice heads to heat things up
  • Bean mix

Bean mix

  • Two cans of beans – preferably kidney or black eyed (our el-cheapo tinned beans were about 2/3 full, thus the 2 cans)
  • One can of tomatoes
  • Lemon juice
  • Cumin
  • Dried chili
  • Fresh coriander and/or parsley
  • Spring onions
  • Corn (optional)

I mean, how easy is this?

Oil the pan, adding the dried cumin and drained beans, letting them heat up for a bit. When the pan gets a bit dry, chuck in about half of the tinned tomatoes. Then get potato masher or fork to crush down the beans so that most of the beans are mashed up a little – it’ll allow them to get more flavour and also thicken up the mix so that it won’t go runny in your tortilla. Keep adding the rest of the tomatoes, and corn or diced carrots, if they float your boat. You’ll probably want to chuck in some more cumin and throw the chili in at this point. Just before serving mix in the spring onions and fresh herbs and woop, there it is.

Estimated meal cost (and Laurie was stuffed): £3.50

Musical accompaniment: The Cave Singers

Celina’s dad’s best ever guacamole

28 Jul


Basically, if there’s one universally undoubted truth in this world of infinite realities, it is this: Celina’s dad makes the best guacamole.

What it is about this Portuguese migrant living in Sydney that means he  makes the best guacamole ever is unclear. There have been times in the past, when avocado prices were perhaps prohibitively high, during which the good man secretly mashed a banana in the mix, prompting an exchange along the lines of this:

Celina: Dad

Dad: (busying himself) Hmmm

Celina: Dad, is there banana in the guacamole?

Dad: (leaves room)

After I stopped eating meat and moved out of home, I would find carefully cling-filmed bowls of guacamole and hummus in the fridge every week when I’d visit my parents. A fork carefully evening out each’s isthmus, both for aesthetic value and for the purposes of being able to identify if either of my meat-eating siblings had eaten my special meal.

The recipe that follows (and the picture is bad – blame it on avocados that were left purpose-less for one too many days) is my version of my dad’s. But given there’s about four ingredients, it probably is exactly my dad’s – or potentially anyone else who has ever made guacamole.


  • Two avocados  – ripe or even brown if need be
  • At least a whole lemon or go crazy and put in about 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Finely diced pepper or tomato (or both – go wild)
  • Good chunk of chopped coriander

Now mix it woman.

You might think guacamole belongs solely to the realm of vegetable crudites or fajitas (as above), but you’d be wrong. So wrong. One of Man Woman’s favourite breakfasts is some nice sourdoughy bread, slathered with this lemony guaca and topped with either grilled mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, rocket or chunks of some fresh white cheese.

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