Mermelada de Papaya (Papaya Marmalade)

After a long walk this morning I came home to have a yummy breakfast with my nice home made papaya marmalade. This is a very easy recipe to make and delicious, if you want to make it a bit extra special, you can add 3 arbol chilli flakes to give a bit of a punch to it, I like my marmalade to have that punch as I can eat it for breakfast with some fresh papaya and cream cheese or for lunch in a sandwich with some fresh cheese and spinach leaves or you can even have it in a cheese board with some hard cheeses.

Makes 4 jars of 250 ml

Prep 10  min

Cook 1 hr approx

Ingredients 

  • 1 Kg ripe papaya cut in chunks
  • 800 gr jam sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1/2 dried arbol chilli (optional)
  • 4 sterilized jam jars

Method 

  1. Heat the papaya, water and lemon juice in a large sauce pan, once it has been cooking for around 10 min, mash it very well to get a pure consistency.
  2. Then add the jam sugar and stir continuously until dissolve then let it simmer, stir from time to time, once the sugar has dissolve, let it cook for around 15 min. and turn it off.
  3. Put it hot in the sterilize jars and seal them, let the cool at room temperature and then store them in the fridge.

To sterilize the bottles

  1. Turn the oven to gas mark 1.
  2. Wash them in soapy water and rinse very well.
  3. Place them in an oven tray and put them in the oven to dry.
  4. If you are using Kilner jars, sterilize their lids in boiling water.

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Sopa Tarasca (Tarasca Soup)

It is Monday, after a nice relaxing weekend I finally sit down to write some of the recipes I have done last week, but I haven’t found the time to share them with you. Today I am sharing this lovely soup from the state of Michoacan, it is called “Sopa Tarasca” (Tarasca Soup), it was created by Don Felipe Oseguera in 1966, when he opened his restaurant in Michoacan, he wanted to make a very special menu and this soup was created by him and his family and because they were talking about Janitzio, a town in Michoacan and people from there are called “tarascos”, that is why they gave this name to this beautiful and delicious soup.

The main ingredients for this soup are the ancho chillies, beans and tomatoes, all this ingredients give this soup a wonderful taste, perfect for a winter day like today, it is so easy to make that it won’t take you long to prepare it and enjoy it. Traditionally this soup has to look a bit more red than the one I made, because of the tomatoes, but I love ancho chillies, so I decided to use two, so that is why my soup looks a bit brown.

Michoacan is a lovely state in western Mexico, the most famous town I think is Patzcuaro, famous for its lake and the fishermen that has a special way to catch fish, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Mexico, I highly recommend you to visit Michoacan.

Serves 4

Prep 10 min

Cook 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg fresh tomatoes cut in chunks
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 cup black or pinto beans
  • 1 dried ancho chilli cleaned and deseeded
  • 1 corn tortilla slightly fried and cut
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried epazote or fresh if you have
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 bayleaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil

To garnish

  • Fresh or feta cheese
  • Fried tortillas cut in julienne
  • Fried ancho chilli strings

Method 

  1. In a large casserole dish heat the oil and add the onion and garlic, once the onion has been fried for 3-5 min add the tomatoes and cook for 10 min.
  2. In the meantime, put the dried ancho chillie in hot boiling water for 5 min to soften, then put it in a blender together with the beans, fried tortilla, some of the chicken stock and blend until getting a nice smooth sauce and reserve.
  3. Do the same with the tomatoes, onion and garlic, once everything is blended, put all the ingredients back to the casserole, add the rest of the stock and make a bouquet garni with all the herbs and add it to the soup.
  4. Cook for 15 min. Check the seasoning before turning the heating off.
  5. Serve with fresh or feta cheese, fried tortilla and ancho chillli cut in julienne and enjoy it with some warm corn tortillas and fresh avocado slices.

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Sopa de Pasta con Kale, Chicharos y Chile Ancho (Pasta Soup with Kale, Peas and Ancho Chilli)

 
Today I was feeling a bit down, it wasn’t a good day, so I didn’t have the energy of cooking a proper meal, in fact, I didn’t want to cook at all, but as a mother I can’t just say “I’m not cooking”, but I can make quick and easy recipes like this one.

So I went into the kitchen and my first thought was, yes! you guessed! pasta the saviour ingredient for all the mothers out there, but I did’t want pasta with a sauce from a jar, so I started to look around my kitchen and I had an idea, “I will do a pasta bake with a Mexican touch”, but again, another but!, I’m trying to eat healthy, so I thought “Pasta soup with kale and peas!, yes, that is a good combination, ah! and for the Mexican touch? my last dried ancho chillie” (yes, I thought all that in a split of a second). So this is the outcome of my thoughts!

Serves 4

Prep 10 min

Cook 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried macaroni  
  • 1 Kg fresh kale leaves washed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 dried ancho chilli 
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 spring onion
  • 2 pints chicken or vegetable stock 
  • Fresh or feta cheese
  • 10 gr fresh chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole, add the kale and cook for 5 min, then add the pasta, peas, chicken or vegetable stock, salt and pepper and continue cooking for around 10 min.
  2. Then add the dried ancho chilli to the soup to soften.
  3. Once soften transfer it to the blender and add the fresh tomato, spring onion and some of the liquid from the soup. Blend well until smooth.
  4. Sieve the salsa and add it to the soup.
  5. Cook for 10 more min and serve with fresh or fetta cheese and chopped coriander.

Tips

  • You can use any other small pasta you fancy like stars, alphabet, shells.
  • Add more green vegetables like courgettes, spinach, green beans. 

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Guisado de Res en Salsa de Chile Ancho (Beef Guisado in an Ancho Chilli Sauce)

There is nothing more satisfying after a long tiring day than eating a nice comforting meal at dinner time and that was the case for me when I made this scrumbscious beef guisado. The recipe is basically the filling my family makes when we do tamales, but I take it to the next level of yumminess adding more vegetables and olives. Continue reading “Guisado de Res en Salsa de Chile Ancho (Beef Guisado in an Ancho Chilli Sauce)”

Sopa de Tomate con Chipotle en Adobo y Salsa Bandera (Tomato Soup with Chipotle in Adobo and Mexican Fresh Salsa)

 

Today I decided to make a tomato soup, an old English classic and one of my hubby’s favourite soup, but I put a little Mexican twist to it to make it more interesting, deliciuous and yes! you guessed, spicy! 

So here is the quick recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as my son Emilio and I did.

Serves 2

Prep 15 min

Cook 1 hr approx

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg tomatoes cut in halves (different types)
  • 1 chipotle chilli in adobo
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 shallot sliced and fried in oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 1 pint vegetable stock

For the Salsa Bandera to garnish

  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small ripe avocado thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C degrees or gas mark 6.
  2. Place the tomatoes on a tray and sprikle some garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and oil, then place it in the oven and bake for 45 min approx
  3. In the meantime prepare the salsa bandera, mix the chopped tomato, shallot and jalapeño pepper, add the coriander, salt and pepper to taste and squeeze some lemon to give more flavour.
  4. Once the tomatoes are roasted place them in a blender with the shallot, vegetable stock and chipotle chilli and blend until smooth, then sieve it and put it in a saucepan. Cook for 10 more min.
  5. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the salsa bandera and the avocado slices.

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Mole de Olla (Beef Mole de Olla)

  

Mole de Olla is nothing else than a scrumptious beef mexican chilli broth, it is a very different from the thick mole poblano sauce you all probably know or have heard, this dish is very healthy because it has lots of vegetables and packed with beautiful flavour given by the epazote and chillies.

The mole de Olla can be made with beef or pork and different types of chillies, depending how hot you like your food, in this ocassion I only used guajillo and ancho chillies because I didn’t want it to be too spicy as this is going to be eaten by my children as well, but if you can habdle heat then add 3 arbol chillies.

One of the ingredients that characterised this dish is fresh epazote, a mexican herb, its flavour is quite difficult to describe, but it gives a uniqueness to this recipe, I don’t have fresh one, so I am using dry epazote, another ingredient that is used is the xoconostle, which is a type of prickly pear, similar to the tuna, but if you can’t find some here, don’t worry.

This recipe is so good, healthy and very easy to make that you will see yourself making it very often.

Serves 4

Prep 15 min

Cook 2 hr 30 min approx

Ingredients

  • 2 large beef osso bucco cut in chunks
  • Dried epazote to taste
  • 2 tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 pepper corns
  • 3 dried guajillo chillies, cleaned, deseeded.
  • 1 ancho chilli, cleaned, deseeded
  • 2 arbol chillies if you want more heat (optional)

Vegetables

  • 2 large carrots peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 large courgettes cut in chunks
  • 3 large potatoes peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 Chayote cut in chunks (vegetable fruit) optional
  • 2 corn on cob cut in pieces
  • 75 gr green beans cut

Method

  1. Put the meat, tomatoes, onion, garlic, epazote in a large casserole dish covering everything with enough water and put in to cook first at high heat and once it is boiling, low the heat down and let simmer until the meat is almost falling apart, this takes aroung 1 hr 45 min.
  2. Once the onion, tomato and garlic have given the flavour, remove them from the broth and keep it aside to use with the chillies to make the sauce.
  3. To make the chilli sauce put the chillies to boil with water for 10 min. Then blend them together with the tomato, onion and one garlic, all these vegetables from the broth, then sieve it and add it to the meat.
  4. Just 30 min before the meat is done, start adding the vegetables in this order: carrots, after 10 min add thr potatoes, then corn, after the chayote, courgettes and green beans.
  5. When everything is cooked, serve it in a bowl with some lime wedges.

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Pescado Zarandeado (Zarandeado Style Fish)

One of the things that my family know how to do very well is a BBQ, beef, seafood, fish, you name it, we’ll do it in a BBQ. My dad was a complete and utter fun of them and he used to put so much effort into them, if we were going to have a BBQ with beef, he used to prepare everything so thoroughly and if we were going to have a “Mariscada”, well, it was just wonderful! and this recipe, Zarandeado Style fish, has been always in our seafood/fish BBQs. Traditionally this recipe is done on a charcoal grill in the garden, but I did mine in the oven or you can also do it on a frying pan and as I said, this is my family’s recipe, so it changes slightly from the traditional Zarandeado fish recipe.

For this recipe I used two whole sea bass, but if you are catering for a larger crowd, you can always use any larger white meat fish, like a large cod or haddock, I also add a bit of coriander to mine and a slice of lemon, but it is  not necessary as my family recipe only goes with tomato, onion and green pepper.

The Zarandeado Style fish is a recipe from the north of Mexico, a place call, Nayarit, but Sinaloa, another state in the north of Mexico, has adopted the recipe as well, so my recipe comes from Sinaloa because my mum was born there, but in my family we tent to add white wine to make the fish even more tastier and also because in Baja California, the state where I am from, we have one of the most important wine regions in Mexico, Valle de Guadalupe.

The fish you see below was made last summer by my brother-in-law when we went to Ensenada for our summer holidays. That day we had a Mariscada and one of the dishes was Pescado Zarandeado.

Serves 4

Prep 15 min

Cook 20 min

Ingredients 

  • 4 whole sea bass, descaled, gut, no heads and butterfly
  • 2 large tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper julienne
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp butter
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Method

  1. Ask your fishmonger to clean and butterfly your fish, then stuff the fish one by one with the vegetables.
  2. Add 1 tbsp butter and mustard to each fish and a splash of dry white wine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Wrap them individually in aluminium foil and add a splash of dry white wine.
  4. Place them in a preheat oven to 190 ℃, 170 ℃ fan or gas mark 5 or place the parcels on a preheat frying pan. Cook for around 15 to 20 min.
  5. Have them with some Mexican rice or potatoes.

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Ensalada Caliente de Calabazitas y Frijoles Negros (Courgette and Black Bean Warm Salad)

There is no rule that says that you have to starve yourself and eat boring food in order to loose those pounds you put on during Christmas. Here is an example that eating healthy can be very delicious without compromising flavour, my warm courgette and black bean salad ticks all the boxes, it is healthy, packed with nice flavours, easy and it will help you to eat clean.

This is my own recipe, it is inspired by the famous Mexican dish “Calabazitas a la Mexicana” (Mexican Style Courgettes), I really hope you like it as much as I do, normally I would add some fresh courgette flowers, but I couldn’t find this time, so if you have the opportunity to get some, add them to the salad and it will taste even better. Have a very nice evening and enjoy the nice salad.

Serves 2

Prep 15 min

Cook 20 min

Ingredients 

For the salad

  • 3 courgettes, washed and cut in quaters
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, cored, minced
  • 1 large corn on the cob or 100 g frozen sweetcorn
  • 100 g freshly cooked black beans or organic canned ones
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil

To garnish

  • 20 g chopped coriander
  • 4 spring onions minced
  • 20 g fresh cheese or feta cheese crumbled
  • 6 chiltepin chillies minced or 3 arbol chillies

For the coriander vinaigrette

  • 70 g fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic peeled
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 50 ml rapeseed oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees or gas mark 7.
  2. Place the courgettes, tomatoes and sweetcorn on a baking tray, add salt and pepper to taste and the 4 tbsp rapeseed oil and put the tray in the oven for around 20 min or until the vegetables are cooked.
  3. In the meantime make the vinaigrette. Put the coriander, garlic, oil, the lime juice, salt and pepper into a blender and blend until all the ingredients have mix very well. Keep aside.
  4. Prepared the rest of the ingredients to garnish the salad: Cheese, coriander, spring onions and chiltepin.
  5. Once the vegetables are cooked, serve some in a plate, garnish with the cheese, coriander, spring onions and chiltepin and add some coriander vinaigrette for more flavour.

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Provecho!

 

  
  

Rosca de Reyes (Kings’ Ring Cake) 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

First of all I wish you all a wonderful year and I hope you continue following me in my Mexican Food Memories adventures, this year will be full of great recipes, travels and more! Here is the first recipe of the year.

It is January, I am sure you are all thinking about starting to get fit and eat healthier after all that Christmas and New Year’s dinner and drinks, well, good! that is the most sensible thing to do when you start a new year, but if you were Mexican, you were all be thinking about eating the Rosca de Reyes on January 6th. Rosca de Reyes or Roscón de Reyes is a Spanish and Latin America King’s cake pastry traditionally eaten to celebrate the arrival of the three wise men during Epyphany, traditionally the cake is made in a round or oval shape and decorated with dried or candied fruit and quince and a little plastic doll, representing baby Jesus, the little doll is placed inside the cake and in Mexico whoever finds the little doll has the “Tamales duty”, it means that that person will have to make tamales on February 2nd (Día de la Candelaría) and invite everyone who were that day eating Rosca.

On the same day, in most of Spain and some countries in Latin America, children get presents, which are attributed to the Three Wise Men. In Mexico children usually leave their shoes by the door with a note for the Three Wise Men. In my family we used to get some money in our shoe, I used to love Kings’ Day very much, it was like another day to have fun, get together with family and friends and eat the nice and delicious cake with a nice hot Mexican chocolate.

Today I am sharing this recipe with you, it is not my recipe and I didn’t make this rosca, I bought it in Barcelona in a very nice bakery and the guy there kindly share with me this recipe. I really hope you give this recipe a try, because you do not have to be religious to eat this lovely cake and it is a nice tradition, which is what I love.

Serves 6

Time 1 hour 30 min approx

Ingredients 

  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 200 gr butter to room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 orange blossom water
  • 15 g easy bake yeast

To decorate

  • 4 red glace cherries
  • 3 glace orange slices
  • 3 slices green cheese quince
  • 2 tsp white rock sugar
  • 150 white marzipan
  • 1 little doll

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4. Then have all your ingredients ready to use on the surface you are going to work on.
  2. Place the 500 g flour on the surface that you are going to work, make a little hole in the middle so you can place the other ingredients.
  3. Add half of the sugar, butter, salt, 3 eggs and the orange blossom water and start mixing the ingredients, once they are mix, add the egg yolk, the rest of the sugar and the 15 g of easy bake yeast and start working the dough.
  4. Work the dough until all the ingredients come together and the dough feels flexible, usually this takes around 15 to 20 min.
  5. Oil a bowl and place the dough in there, cover it with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place until it double its size.
  6. Take the dough out of the bowl and make a long piece like a long worm, then place the marzipan in the middle of the dough and give it a round ring shape.
  7. Whisk an egg and using a baking brush, egg brush the dough.
  8. Decorate the cake with all the dry fruits and green quince placing them on top. Hide the little doll inside the dough. Let it rest again so it rises a bit more, around 10 to 15 min.
  9. Place it in the oven for around 20 min or until is brown and cooked.
  10. Sprinkle some white rock sugar to give it a nice finish. Have a slice with a nice  hot cup of Mexican chocolate.

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Provecho!