A Mexican extravaganza

Summery weather makes me call for a good old bowl of guacamole. Recently I made guacamole in desperation with a not-so-ripe avocado—I don’t recommend it as in this case, the longer one can wait the better the reward. Mexican food is getting more and more trendy—similar to Nordic cooking, Mexican has recently emerged as one of those ‘it’ foodie trends. Thomasina Miers’ book, Mexican Food: made simple is an ingenious collection that just shows the diversity of Mexican food, and the recipes are extremely easy to make hence the title. We’re regulars at Wahaca and try to go there every time we are in London. The atmosphere at Wahaca is great, and the food is not only tasty but also a bargain, plus they have amazing mojitos. The introductory section of Mexican food is really informative and describes the chillies used. What’s more is that it is really accessible and dishes can be mind-blowingly good, the perfect reward after a hard day at work. The other day I made a quesadilla and literally only added one pinch of habanero chilli (dried) but my quesadilla was really spicy and almost made me vomit because it was so spicy! but it turned out okay, I added sugar which I find helps balance over-spicy food and then I lathered the quesidilla in guacamole. For the Mexican extravaganza, I tried to make my own tortillas out of maize flour. That was all I could find in Oxford! But it didn’t quite work out. I have now been to Borough market and have successfully bought some masa harina so I will have to have another go. I thought maize and corn were the same thing but for some reason this tortilla didn’t work well at all. The best discovery that has come out of this book so far has been the ceviche. It is now on my list of top ten best dishes ever. I couldn’t believe that lime juice could ‘cook’ fish. Basically the fish is marinated in lime juice (in the fridge), if you prefer your fish more cooked, marinate it for longer. I like mine half-raw and half-cooked as the result is a very tender but also sashimi-like texture. Made with wild sea bass it was absolutely amazing.

Coconut ceviche

2 tomatoes

225g sea bass fillet, skinned and diced into 1cm cubes

Juice of 5 limes

4 Tablespoons coconut milk

1 Tablespoon olive oil

pinch of sea salt

2 shallots or 1/2 small red onion finely diced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 habanero chilli finely chopped (I used less as this is a tad too spicy for me)

a large handful of coriander leaves

To serve

avocado, peeled, diced

4 radishes, finely sliced

tortilla chips

Cover the tomatoes with boiling water and leave for 1 minute. Drain and pierce with a knife and skin the tomatoes. Deseed and dice. In a bowl, add fish, lime juice, coconut milk, olive oil, salt, onion, garlic and chilli. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or 4 hours if you want the fish to be completely cooked. Drain the fish from the marinade but keep it aside. Add the tomato and coriander to the fish and mix whilst adding some of the marinade back into the fish if it looks dry.

Sprinkle with coriander and radishes and diced avocado.

Recipe from Mexican Food: Made Simple (Hodder & Stoughton).

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