I love Mexican food with its bold flavours, the heat combined with the hearty meatiness and the creaminess of avocado or sour cream. It makes a wonderful combination. I do not always like the Mexican food you get in (at least) Dutch Mexican restaurants. They like to cover all their dishes in cheese and eveything basically tastes the same - like slightly spicy tomato sauce with cheese.
What I do always like are the black beans - I really love their soft but slightly crunchy texture and their rich flavour. Luckily you can hardly screw those up. This Black bean and chocolate chilli from the Vegan Society sounds amazing:
Mole Poblano de Caraotas Negras
500g/1lb 2oz black turtle beans
2 cloves garlic
400g/14oz tinned tomatoes
25g/1oz flaked almonds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
25g/1oz dark chocolate
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cloves
¼ tsp star anise
¼ tsp cinnamon
10g mulato chilli
10g ancho chilli
7g pasilla chilli
salt, pepper and sugar to taste
1 litre/1¾ pint water
1. Soak the beans overnight, then cook them in fresh water for about 1 hour until soft. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Fry the onions and garlic in some oil until soft.
3. Add the cornflour, chillis, almonds, raisins, sesame seeds and freshly ground spices.
4. Shortly after add the tomatoes and water.
5. Add the beans and broken up chocolate, stirring all the time.
6. Cook for a further 10 minutes adding more water if necessary.
7. Serve with rice and salad.
Tonight we were invited to eat at my sister in law’s she suggested a “create your own meal” taco fest. That I love. You just fry some minced beef with a taco seasoning mix, you heat up taco shells, or what we just discovered: mini taco tubs! An amazing find - you are actually able to eat them after you filled them! My sister in law had chopped some onions, tomatoes and cucumber, grated cheese and made lovely quacamole. Topped with a dollop of creme fraiche it made a lovely Mexican inspired feast. The picture above is from the Casa Fiesta website and shows the taco tubs, the recipe pictured is for a Ceviche - a salad traditionally consisting of lime-marinated salmon with sliced onion, salt and pepper.
400 g salmon filet, it must have been frozen for 48 hours before preparing this dish
1 1/2 cucumber, sliced (peeled and seedless)
2 tomatoes, sliced and deseeded 1 jalapeno pepper, finely sliced and deseeded
3 limes (1 dl juice)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Mini taco tubs :-)
1. Cut the salmon, cucumber, pineapple and avocado into 1 cm cubes.
2. Marinate the salmon for 2 hours in garlic and lime juice, make sure it’s well coated and stir occasionally.
3. Mix the salmon with chopped tomatoes, pineapple, avocado, cucumber and sliced jalapeno’s, add a tablespoon of olive oil and mix well. Garnish with some fresh coriander before serving.
This weekend we will be visiting my family and going to Brussels to see the Moomins exhibition. My mother will make some cozy, comforting, straightforward and old fashioned family dishes. I will share her lovely traditional sour beef stew soon. It’s a traditional Dutch dish in general, but the version my mother makes is very common in the south of the Netherlands, where I come from.