Thursday, June 30, 2016

Beef and Pork mince, Olive, and Raisin Taco filling recipe (Tacos de picadillo)

This recipe is adapted from "Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside Kitchens of Mexico" by Roberto Santibanez with JJ Goode.

Enough for 24 tacos


  • olive or vegetable oil, 3 tbsp
  • white onions, diced, 2 cups
  • salt, 2 tsp
  • garlic cloves, 3, finely chopped
  • ripe tomatoes, 1kg (2 1/4 lb), cored and chopped
  • dried bay leaves, 2
  • dried thyme, 1/2 tsp
  • sugar, 1 tsp
  • apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp
  • beef mince, 450g (1 lb)
  • pork mince, 450g (1 lb)
  • ground black pepper
  • pimento-stuff manzanilla olives, 1/2 cup, halved (or sliced, if large)
  • raisins, 1/4 cup
  • pickled jalapeno chilies, finely chopped, 3 tbsp - including a little of their liquid
  • capers, drained, 1 tbsp
  • slivered almonds, 1/4 cup
  • chopped coriander, 1/4 cup
  • flat leaf parsley, chopped, 2 tbsp
  • fresh spearmint, chopped, 2 tbsp
  • for serving

  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, sugar, vinegar, and 1 tsp of the salt.
  • Let the mixture come to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  • Wipe out the pot, set it over high heat, and when it's hot, add the beef and pork mince without any oil.
  • Season with black pepper and 3/4 tsp of salt.
  • Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is cooked through, then add the oilves, raisins, pickled jalapenos, and capers.
  • Cook until the liquid from the meat has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato mixture and lower the heat to medium.
  • Cover and cook until the flavours have melded, about 5 minutes, then stir in the almonds and herbs.
  • Serve alongside warm corn tortillas and top with sliced canned pickled jalapeno chilies, crumbled queso fresco, and slices of avocado.

Also a good filling for tortas, enchiladas, chilies rellenos, or for on top of rice.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Roasted Poblanos and Cream taco filling recipe

This recipe is adapted from "Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside Kitchens of Mexico" by Roberto Santibanez with JJ Goode.

 Enough for 8 tacos

  • poblano chilies, 570g (1.25lb - ~3 large)
    • substitution: green capsicums + 1 jalapeno chilli
  • olive or vegetable oil, 1 tbsp
  • white onion, 1/2 medium, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • salt, 1/2 tsp
  • black pepper, 1/8 tsp
  • garlic, 1 clove, finely chopped
  • mexican crema, 1/2 cup
    • subsitution: creme fraiche
  • epazote leaves, 1 tbsp, finely chopped
    • substitution: dried Mexican (or european) oregano, 1/2 tsp
  • for serving

  • Roast then prepare the poblanos
    • Turn two stove-top burners to high and roast the poblano chilies (or capsicums and jalapeno) on the racks of the burners (or directly on the element of an electric stove), turning frequently with tongs, until they are blistered and charred all over, 4 to 6 minutes.
      • or, grill them under a hot element, turning them once they're blacked on one side, till they're blackened all over
    • Put the poblanos in a bowl and cover with a plate to sweat for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Rub off the skin from the roasted poblanos with a paper towel or your fingers (do not run the poblanos under water)
    • Cut the chilies open lengthwise.
    • Cut out the stems, seed pods, and veins, and lay the chilies flat.
    • Wipe the chilies clean of seeds, discard the seeds, and slice the chilies into long 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • Fry onions
    • Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium heat until the oil shimmers, then add the onion, 1/4 tsp of the salt, and the pepper, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic then poblanos
    • Add the garlic, cook for a minute.
    • Then add the poblanos along with the remaining 1/4 tsp of salt.
    • Cook for 3 minutes or so.
  • Add crema and epazote
    • Then add the crema (or creme fraiche) and epazote (or oregano).
  • Simmer
    • Let it come to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the crema thickens slightly and coats the poblanos, about 3 minutes.
    • Season to taste with salt.
Serve alongside 8 warm corn tortillas, and top with crumbled queso fresco and (optionally) a fried chili salsa or smoky tomato salsa.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Bourbon chicken recipe

This recipe is adapted from the one found on the Tide and Thyme blog.

It creates a rich, caramelised sauce.  Very tasty. 


  • chicken thighs, ~900g, cut into bite-size pieces
  • olive oil, 2 tbsp
  • garlic cloves, 4, minced
  • ginger (ground or fresh), 1 tsp
  • red chilli flakes, 1 tsp
  • apple juice, 1/4 cup
  • light brown sugar, 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
    • dark brown sugar will also work fine
  • tomato sauce (ketchup), 1/4 cup
  • cider vinegar, 2 tbsp
  • water, 1/3 cup
  • bourbon, 1/3 cup
  • low-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 cup
    • if you've got regular soy sauce, use a bit less
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • white or brown rice
  • fresh coriander, for garnish

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.
Add chicken pieces and cook until nicely browned.
Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add remaining ingredients to pan, and whisk to combine.
Return chicken to pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced somewhat and thick.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over white or brown rice.
Garnish with roughly chopped fresh coriander.