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Food of Mexico

Spicy crab noodles; Chicken fajita taco dorado; Beef enchiladas with salsa roja; Mexican chicken stew; Bean chilli tacos; Coconut and sea bass ceviche;

  food-of-mexico.jpg The food of Mexico is heavily influenced by a whole range of cooking from different traditions, to deliver a massive choice of cuisine ranging from the a Spanish heritage of half a millenium, to la cocina nueva, Mexico`s nouvelle cuisine. We have gathered together a varied mixture of dishes which will tempt you back into the kitchen to prepare some meals for your family and friends. Please experiment and let us know your views on our suggestions.
  1. In a heavy-bottomed frying pan or paella dish, fry the vermicelli in the olive oil, stirring from time to time, for a few minutes until they turn a rich golden colour.
  2. Transfer to a sieve, draining the vermicelli on kitchen paper and putting the oil back into the pan.
  3. Over a medium heat, sweat the shallots and chillies for about 10 minutes until the shallots are translucent and starting to break down,
  4. Then add the tomatoes, allspice, capers, bay leaves and half the stock, season with salt, pepper and a good pinch of sugar, chipotle paste and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, pour the rest of the stock into the tomato sauce. Stir the noodles into the sauce and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed and the noodles are tender.
  6. Serve on plates with the crab, wedges of lime, a dollop of sour cream, a spinkle of paprika and lots of coriander.

200g vermicelli (or angel hair pasta)
50ml olive oil
2 baby shallots, finely chopped
2 serrano or other fresh green chillies, finely chopped
1 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
a good pinch of ground allspice
1 tablespoon baby capers
1 bay leaf
sea salt and black pepper
a good pinch of sugar
250ml chicken or fish stock
2-3 tablespoons sweet chipotle paste

To serve

150g dressed crab (I love Dorset crab towards the end of the summer)
lime wedges
small tub of sour cream
a handful of chopped coriander




1. Cut the chicken into small strips.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook the chicken through while regularly stirring. Use half the salt as seasoning.
3. Turn up the heat and add the onion, fresh peppers, crushed red chilies, oregano and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly until the vegetables are ready. Season with the rest of the salt.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice, chopped cilantro and tequila.
5. Heat a corn tortilla in a large frying pan with a knob of butter and scatter grated cheese over the top, and cook until it melts. Then fill the taco with the warm chicken fajitas, folding it in half, and cooking for a short time on each side until the tortilla is semi crisp.
6. Serve immediately with the cilantro sprigs, jalapenos, pico de gallo, and more cheese if required.


12 oz of chicken breast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 cloves of peeled and sliced garlic
½ red onion, peeled and cut into strips
1 Anaheim chili charred, peeled and seeded and diced
1 red pepper cored and diced
½ tsp crushed red chilies
½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tbsp blanco Tequila
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Corn tortillas
1 cup grated cheese
Garnish of cilantro sprigs; pickled jalapeno slices; pico de gallo.




1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6
2. Place the diced rump steak in a pan with the onions and garlic. Cover with water and cook for about 10-15 minutes until tender.
3. Drain off any remaining water. Shred the steak with two forks.
4. To make the salsa roja: place the tomato quarters on a baking tray and drizzle over the oil. Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until soft.
5. Allow to cool slightly, then remove the skins and spoon out the seeds. The seeds can be discarded if a smooth sauce is preferred.
6. Remove the stalks from the soaked chillies, slit and remove the seeds by scraping gently with a small sharp knife.
7. Dry roast the garlic in a frying pan until golden.
8. Place the tomatoes, chilies and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. Add the sugar, paprika, lime juice, spring onion and oregano. Process for a few seconds. Taste and add salt as required. This paste will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.
9. Rip 1 corn tortilla into small pieces in a pan, add the salsa roja and heat through till it thickens slightly.
10. Warm the remaining corn tortillas by wrapping them in a polythene bag and placing in a microwave oven for 1 minute. Alternatively, wrap in foil and place in a steamer over boiling water for 5 minutes to make them more malleable - if you are in Mexico and they are freshly made this may not be necessary.
11. Preheat a grill to medium.
12. Divide the beef mixture between the tortillas and roll up to make long tubes.
13. Pack the tortillas together tightly in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the salsa and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Place under the grill for 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the sauce begins to bubble.
14. To serve: garnish with onions and coriander. Drizzle with soured cream and serve refried beans on the side


For the Tortilla filling

500 gm rump steak diced

1 onion chopped, 2 garlic cloves

7 corn tortillas

75gm cheddar or mozarella grated

For the Salsa Roja

3 large tomatoes cut into quarters

1 tbsp olive oil

3 ancho chillies and 2 Pasilla chillies soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

2 cloves of garlic

2 tsp soft dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp of paprika

1 lime juice only

2 spring onions finely chopped

1/2 tsp dried oregano

To serve

100 gm onion rings

50 gm coriander

300 ml soured cream

refried beans



  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins or until softened and starting to turn golden, adding the garlic for the final min. Stir in the sugar, chipotle paste and tomatoes. Put the chicken into the pan, spoon over the sauce, and simmer gently for 20 mins until the chicken has cooked (add a splash of water if the sauce gets too dry).
  2. Remove the chicken from the pan and shred with 2 forks, then stir back into the sauce. Scatter with a little red onion, the coriander, and serve with remaining red onion, tortillas or rice.
  3. Chipotle chillies - smoked Mexican jalapeño chillies - add an authentic smoky flavour to this stew.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion , finely chopped
3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
½tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle paste (we used Discovery)
400g can chopped tomatoes
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 small red onion , sliced into rings
a few coriander leaves
cheddar cornbread, or rice to serve

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and chilli until soft. Add the garlic and chilli powder and cook for a few more minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until thick.
  2. Heat the taco shells according to pack instructions. Stir the coriander through the chilli and serve in the tacos with a little lime juice and soured cream if using.

Recipe extra

Use other tinned beans such as haricot, borlotti or butter beans. Try serving with avocado salsa and grated cheese.

  • oil for frying
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 1 red chilli , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 410g tin black-eyed beans , drained and rinsed
  • 410g tin red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 12 taco shells
  • a small handful coriander , roughly chopped
  • 1 lime , cut into wedges
  • soured cream for serving (optional)
    • Cover the tomatoes with boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain and pierce them with a knife so that the skins slip off easily. De-seed and dice the tomatoes into small cubes.
    • Put the fish in a glass bowl. Add the lime juice, coconut milk, olive oil, salt, onion, garlic and chilli.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour for a light marinade, or 4 hours in total if you want the fish to be completely `cooked`. The flesh of the bass will turn from translucent to opaque and white when it is completely cooked.  
    • Drain the fish of the marinade, keeping it aside. Add the tomato and coriander to the fish and gently mix together, adding some of the marinade back into the fish if it looks dry.
    • Spoon the ceviche onto small starter plates, and sprinkle over the chopped coriander, sliced radishes and diced avocado. Hand out tortilla chips to scoop up the ceviche.

1-2 plum tomatoes
113g sea bass, skinned and diced into 1cm cubes
juice of 2-3 limes
2 tablespoons coconut milk
½tablespoon olive oil
a pinch of sea salt
¼small red onion, finely diced
½clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ habanero (Scotch bonnet) chilli, finely diced
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped

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