A collection of my favourite recipes & remedies from Mexico and around the world.

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Word of the Week – Escabeche & How To Make Pickled Jalapeño & Habanero Chilies

habanero jalapeno onion carrot

Word of the Week – Escabeche & How To Make Pickled Jalapeño & Habanero Chilies

I thought escabeche was the Mexican name for anything pickled as you find jalapeños en escabeche everywhere and they appear to be just pickled in vinegar with slices of carrot and onion chucked in. Now I’m checking it all out I am finding that there is a bit more (but not that much) to this preserving method than just throwing jalapeños, onion and carrot in a jar with vingear.

The word escabeche is derived from a Persian word sikbaj, which sounds like “iskabech” which then transformed to the Catalan word eskabetx (“x” = “ch” in Catalan). The Persian dish of al sikbaj was a meat dish cooked with vinegar and honey or molasses. During the Moorish conquest the Arabs brought it to Spain and the Mediterranean, from there the Spanish took it with them on their conquests. It is common throughout Europe, Latin America and in the Philippines in its various forms.

jalapeños en escabeche

So what is it here in Mexico? Well it is a method of preserving vegetables, usually chilies with carrot and onion in vinegar with herbs. The bit I had been doing wrong, or missing out altogether is that before putting all those things in a clean jar and leaving them to absorb the flavours for a period of time, the Mexican way is to fry them in oil first, then add the vinegar after and boil it. So I was totally incorrect in my efforts to make my jalapeños en escabeche, oh well, ni modo, I will give you my method for pickling chilies – they still taste great in tacos, sandwiches, cold meat or whatever you fancy spicing up.

I will make a batch of ‘proper’ escabeche another day and post the recipe and photos once its done.

Pickled Jalapeños and Habaneros

You Need:

Clean glass jars with lids
Wax paper cut in circles an inch (2.5cm) bigger than the jar-lids

Ingredients:

Jalapeño chillies
Habanero chilies
White Onion
Carrots
White vinegar

Sterilise the glass jars and lids by filling them with boiled water and leaving at least 10 mins.
Slice jalapeños, habaneros and carrots into rounds.
Cut the onion in half and then into thin slices.
Cut the habaneros in half lengthways then into thin slices -take care as the juice is extremly hot and will burn your skin! You may want to wear rubber gloves, but you definaltly want to wash your hands thoroughly after touching the chiles to avoid any burning skin/eyes etc.

Stuff the jars with the veggies – keeping the habs and the jalapeños in separate jars, once full pour in the vinegar to the top. Place a circular piece of wax paper over the opening of the jar and seal with the lid.

habanero jalapeno pickled chilies

Mark the jars with the date you made them and leave around 4 weeks -stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened keep them in the fridge. They last almost forever with all that vinegar, however i live in the tropics so keep almost everything in the fridge!

They are HOT so eat with caution!

¡A huevo! Word of the Week and a Healthy Breakfast

Poached Egg Over Baby Spinach, Drizzled with Olive Oil and Lime Juice

Poached Egg Over Baby Spinach, Drizzled with Olive Oil and Lime Juice

¡A huevo! Word of the Week and a Healthy Breakfast

Ok, so this weeks Mexican Word of the Week is more of an expression than a word. If you have ever  spent any time in Mexico it is likely you have heard someone exclaim “¡A huevo!” at some point. In Spanish huevo translates to “egg” but “a huevo” is nothing to do with our favourite breakfast staple, however, i decided to throw in a tasty, healthy breakfast idea along with this weeks’ Mexican word of the week as it’s almost the weekend and it’s going to be busy!
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Strange Local Delicacies: Cucarachas del Mar – would you eat them?

Cucarachas del Mar - Sea Cockroaches - would you eat them?

Cucarachas del Mar – Sea Cockroaches – would you eat them?

Strange Local Delicacies: Cucarachas del Mar – would you eat them?

There is a myriad of odd and unrecognizable fare in Mexico that i had never seen or heard of before living here, some less appetising than others. I find a lot of the time when trying new food it is better to try it before asking what it is to avoid immediate rejection!

That could be the case with the recipe i am going to share with you today, Ceviche de Cucarachas del Mar.  Ceviche or cebiche is any kind of seafood “cooked” in lime juice and mixed with diced tomato, onion, chili and cilantro – there are many regional variations. Cucarachas del mar are what they sound like, sea cockroaches aka chitons or sea cradles.. would you eat them?

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Quick, Easy and Delicious Home-made Tomato & Basil Soup, Topped with Crispy Fried Longaniza

tomato basil soup

Quick, delicious and healthy, how many more reasons to try this Home-made Tomato & Basil Soup, Topped with Crispy Fried Longaniza.

Basil from my gardenThis is very quick to make and very tasty. It is healthy and bursting with flavour from the fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden, do you really need more convincing? Just try it and I know you will love it too. (more…)

Winter fruits are Here! Juicy, Moist and very More-ish: Blackberry Buns Recipe.

blackberry bun view

Winter fruits are Here! Juicy, Moist and very More-ish: Blackberry Buns Recipe.

Very simple to make and as pretty as they are tasty, these beautifully coloured Blackberry Buns are the perfect mid-morning snack, lunch box filler or anytime treat. (more…)

Winter Warmer: Cheesy Curried Broccoli Soup

Winter warmer: Creamy, Cheesy Curried Broccoli Soup. Silky Smooth Velvet in a Bowl

It may be winter everywhere else but here in Manzanillo the temperature is still in the 30’s, which makes the day your fridge decides to stop working a pretty bad day. Luckily the day this happened I didn’t have too much in there. A large head of broccoli, onion, garlic, half an avocado, some left over boiled potato, half a package of Philadelphia cheese and some other random bits. So, I turned the annoyance of a lifeless fridge into a delicious pot of steaming, velvety soup. (more…)

A Quick Fix: Oatmeal, Honey, Amaranth Shake

A Quick Fix: Oatmeal, Honey, Amaranth Shake

A great snack or quick breakfast if you are on the go and don’t have time to prepare or cook something more substantial. I often have it around lunch time when there is nothing that i fancy in the fridge. It is filling, tasty and full of goodness. (more…)

How to Make the Perfect Poached Egg on Toast, A Very British Breakfast.

How to Make the Perfect Poached Egg on Toast, a very British Breakfast.

Poached egg on toast is one of my absolute favourite breakfasts. The creaminess of the salt and peppered egg on top of crunchy buttered toast, all washed down with a cup of freshly made tea of course, immediately transports me back to the steamy windowed kitchen in England on a cold morning. It’s funny, I was never really a morning person until the last few years, and I hardly ever ate eggs for breakfast, usually opting for a grapefruit and / or Marmite on toast. Lately though I can’t get enough of poached egg on toast. The simple combination of eggs and bread is another one for my list of nostalgia provoking comfort foods along with things like Mashed Potato, Pickled Onions and Pickled Beetroot.. mmm! Oh and poaching is one of the healthier ways to cook eggs too, no oil necessary! (more…)

Vegetarian Bean Burgers with Salsa Roja and Yogurt, Lime, Cilantro Salsa (and a wee moan)

<img src=http://"dscn7273-902x1024.jpg"?w=540&h=613 alt="Vegetarian Bean Burger with Salsa Roja and Yogurt, Lime, Cilantro Salsa">

Vegetarian Bean Burgers with Salsa Roja and Yogurt, Lime, Cilantro Salsa: A vegetarian meal even a carnivore will love..

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Classic Mexican Salsa Roja

<img src=http://"salsa-roja.jpg"?w=540&h=405 alt="Classic Mexican Salsa Roja">

Classic Mexican Salsa Roja

A typical tomato based salsa that you will find at almost every taco stand, restaurant and home in Mexico. A must if you are doing carne asada, a bbq beef taco is just not the same with out it! (more…)

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