Monday, November 9

A lovely weekend......ole!

Spent mostly puttering in the kitchen. Such classic study avoidance behaviour resulted in some lovely oatcakes to have with cheese (square as my cookie cutter is in a box packed away somewhere....), a very delicious Mousakka, nine jars of spicy apple and walnut chutney (the best chutney recipe ever. Really), and a whole lots of mexican taco type things complete with refried beans. The last dish was the most challnging in terms of presentation, I'm not sure it is possible to make frijoles refritos look like anything other than brown sludge, but it sure tastes good.......the following recipe is based on one from Jake Tilson's lovely book "A Tale of Twelve Kitchens"
Frijoles Refritos

Put one cup of dried black Turtle Beans(no need to soak) in a saucepan with a couple of large cloves of garlic, a large sprig of fresh oragano (or 1/2 teaspoon of dried), a dried or canned chille (I used a chipotle chilli in adobo sauce from a can, it had a lovely smoky taste and a bit of heat, great with the bland beans) and a chopped onion. Cover with a couple of cups of cold water & boil for 30-40 mins. When your beans are soft add salt to taste. Mush the beans up a bit with a potato masher, then chuck the whole sludgy mess into a frypan containing a chopped tomato, a little more adobo sauce to taste, another half an onion and a couple more cloves of garlic, all softened in a tablespoon or so of oil.......stir until most of the liquid has evaporated and you have a pasty mix to smear on the bottom of some freshly cooked corn totillas, so much yummier than it looks........

I served this with some marinated fish in lime and chilli, fried prawns and sizzled beef which I had marinated in more of the canned chilli, some oil, some chopped coriander and some fresh chilli. Fresh guacamole, tomato and sour cream added another layer of flavour, and I topped the lot with a couple of fresh sauces , one sesame, and one chilli, both utterly addictive.

I get these from the fantastic Mexican Specialities here in Ellerslie (on Celtic Crescent, just off Marua Road, go there, it's proper Mexican, not Tex-Mex). They also make the fresh tortillas, I just love that corny slightly lime smell....... They are only open for lunch Thursday through Saturday, Mr PK had an incredible Chiles en Nogada there this weekend. It  is a poblano chilli stuffed with a really fragrent intriging meat/fruit mix , spiced and cooked, then covered with a cold creamy walnut sauce, spinkled with pomegranet seeds and parsley. It looks amazing and tastes even better. Jose, the chef (and along with his wife Maria the owner) are orginally from Mexico, where he expained this is a really traditional celebratory dish. I immediatly went home and tried to find the recipe, it is pretty labour intensive, but I am planning on having a bash this weekend. I thought I should try shelling my own walnuts as apparently this will really improve the sauce, so I must remember to buy a nut cracker.......if it tastes anywhere near as good as Jose's I will be muy feliz.......

I forgot to take my camera to Mum & Dads so I dont have any pics of my Mexican feast, instead please admire one of my roses, I will be sad to leave them when we move.......I have no idea what variety it is, but I love the colour. Pretty

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