Grab your straw hat, your sunglasses, some sun block (or sun tan lotion if you please) and all the books you have yet to budge on your reading list. We are going to Mexico!
Where is the plane ticket? No need. Break out the entertainment system and put on some Mariachi music or Carlos Santana, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass or even a little Buena Vista Social Club. While you are it, shuffle your feet to the beat of the drums because during the time you save up for the actual plane fare, you and I are going to get our salsa on in the kitchen!
We are children of the Caribbean. When it comes to the magic of the place, we who grew up there have fond memories of our childhood and are still children at heart. The Caribbean and Latin American region provided a fun and exciting backdrop to summers and holidays spent climbing trees, picking and eating fresh fruit and even veggies. For those more inclined to adventure and who had greater freedom, fishing by the many rivers or even at the sea in coastal areas was the perfect way to spend a summer day.
Life in the region is a colourful and eclectic mix of colours, heat, spiciness, sea and mountain breeze, sun, rain, and just general excitement. We make the most of what we have and find creative ways to add our own touch to everything. We are a colourful people, we get lost in our music and dance and we talk with much animation. This is reflected in our ‘sing-song’ accents, or music, and of course, our food.
It is a multicultural grouping of nations spanning the languages (and derivatives thereof) of the Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, English and Native American Indians. The Caribbean and Latin American region span Mexico and Central America, South America and the islands from Trinidad & Tobago in the Lesser Antilles all the way to Puerto Rico, Hispanola and Jamaica in the Greater Antilles. They are a varied bunch but all have one thing in common- a love for tasty food and taking simple ingredients and as Chef Emeril would say, “Kicking things up a notch!”
This week we will draw inspiration from the Spanish-speaking nations of Latin America. May 5, is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, and what better time to feast?
We are making a squid ceviche, tomato salsa, and a beef burrito that will make you want to join a Latin dancing class. Salsa and ceviche dishes are all popular throughout the Latin American/Hispanic states but will vary from one to another with additional ingredients. Burritos are inherently Mexican. We have compiled the simplest recipes with the easily available ingredients so that you can get a good taste of Mexico. So there you have it, three very tasty and spicy dishes Mexican style…
MEXICAN BEEF BURRITO
Ingredients : 400-500g minced beef, 1 large red onion 2, medium tomatoes, 4 cloves garlic, 1 Serrano chili (seed if desired to make less spicy), 1 ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp chili paste or chili powder, A handful chopped coriander, 1tbsp sunflower oil, Salt and pepper to taste, 1 pack of tortillas.
Tomato Salsa , Monterey Jack/Asiago cheese, fresh coriander
Remove tortillas from fridge and bring to room temperature.
In a hot pot, sauté onions, cumin, garlic and chilli. Add beef and brown.
Add other ingredients except chilli powder and coriander. Taste. Add chilli pepper if desired. Keep stirring until cooked in about 15 minutes.
Place a tortilla on flat surface. In centre of tortilla, place tbsp sour cream in a line. Add about 2-3 tbsp of meat (or more) along same line. Add shredded cheese on top. Add 1tbsp of your fresh homemade salsa. Top with fresh coriander and or green onions. Fold the front of the tortilla over the filling then tuck in both sides and fold again. Roll over the tortilla on its belly so that the folded side is tucked underneath. You may secure with a toothpick. Makes about 6 tortillas. You may also add shredded lettuce if you so desire.
Get the recipe for our popular Reggae Salsa
Get the recipe for our Squid Ceviche that will make you the talk of the town!