Oh I do so love a theme … and since I had visitors popping over yesterday afternoon, I thought I’d serve a feast of Mexican-inspired nibbles.
It probably wasn’t the wisest decision, considering it felt like I was walking under water in the wake of my 10-day flu. But I resolved the floors could stay dirty … and the youngest was a trouper as my sous chef. She LOVED making the empanadas.
As for the company, the world keeps its reputation for being very, very small: DD went to university with one the attendees. They stared at each other and said “I know you from somewhere” at 50 paces.
And then DD wanted to know how I knew the bloke and a mutual friend explained that – among other things – I’d dated his cousin in the ’90s. DD looked a bit confused because I’d told him I’d only had two boyfriends in my whoooooooole life … poor, sheltered little me. So I explained that I don’t count his cousin.
It’s a long story … for another time.
Anyways, here’s what was on the menu (I also made a cheese and chorizo dip but it was TERRIBLE because I couldn’t get Mexican cheese and thought Coon would be a good substitute – it wasn’t – so no recipe for that one):
Recipe: Pulled pork taquitos
250g pkt pulled pork
18 small tortillas
Grated tasty cheese
Chilli sauce of choice
Method: roll pulled pork and grated cheese into tortillas and drizzle with a little salsa. Bake in oven. Serve with ranch dressing mixed with chilli sauce to taste. I used chipotle powder.
Recipe: Creamy Mexican dip
- 2 cups leftover taco mince (basically just mince mixed with taco seasoning)
- ½ block reduced-fat cream cheese
- ½ cup mild salsa
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup grated tasty cheese
- corn chips
Method: Preheat oven to 180C. Spray a small Pyrex dish with cooking spray. Add meat, cream cheese, and salsa to a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Stir frequently until cream cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Stir in sour cream. Spread meat mixture evenly into prepared baking dish, and sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve with corn chips for dipping.
- 2 ripe avocadoes
- 1/4 minced red onion
- Tabasco to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- salt to taste
METHOD: Mash the avocadoes, stir in the minced red onion and Tabasco. Add a few splashes of lemon juice and a few grinds of sea salt. Taste. Add more lemon juice or sea salt until the desired level of nirvana is achieved.
Recipe: Chilli beef empanadas
OK, this one is a bit of a two-nighter. Cook it for dinner on the Friday night, then turn the leftovers into empanadas the next day. They’re not empanadas because I just used puff pastry as a shortcut.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5kg chuck steak, cut into 2cm cubes
- Sea salt
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (Masterfoods usually has it)
- 2 dried chipolte chillies (I ordered mine from www.herbies.com.au)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
- Wheat tortillas, grated cheese, sour cream and rice to serve
- 5 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- salsa to serve
METHOD: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Cook beef in batches until browned. Place in slow cooker. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in pan and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add to slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, dried spices, tomato paste and salt. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Serve with tortillas, cheese, sour cream and rice.
Day two: place tablespoons of meat mixture on circles of puff pastry, brush edges with beaten egg then fold over and seal. Brush with egg, bake in 180C oven until golden. Serve with mild salsa.
Recipe: Dulce de leche muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 100g butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 5 tbsp Top N Fill (for the batter)
- 6 tsp Top N Fill (for the filling)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tray with patty cases. Beat together eggs, vanilla, Top N Fill, milk and butter. Add flour and gently combine. If batter is too stiff, add more milk. Place a tablespoon of batter in each patty case. Add a dollop of caramel. Cover with another tablespoon of batter. Bake until golden.
(NB This isn’t a very sweet recipe, aside from the dollop of caramel in the middle. If you prefer a sweeter muffin, add 1/2 cup of caster sugar to the mixture.)
Song of the day: Wall of Voodoo “Mexican Radio”