I recently had my family over for dinner, and like most, I have my usual favorites that they term the ‘usual’, so as a bit of a surprise I decided that I would change that up a bit. I know the focus of the blog has primarily been on sweet treat indulgence, but I have been so busy lately that I have had very little opportunity to enjoy some good baking. I also thought that I would share the idea of taking a bit of risk and changing things up, for both the savory and sweet platforms. You know trying new things often enhances your love for the things you do often and is a fun way of introducing new recipes to your raptor.
So this was my Mexican evening….
The Menu for the evening was as follows:
Starter: Cheesy Nachos
Main: Chicken Burrito/Wrap
Dessert: Canned peach slices, vanilla custard, jelly and instant pudding
Filter Coffee and/or an assortment of Tea
Nachos are a popular food of Mexican origin associated with Tex-Mex cuisine that can be either made quickly to serve as a snack or prepared with more ingredients to make a full meal. In Mexico, they are called “Totopos”. In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips (totopos) covered in nacho cheese or shredded cheese and/or salsa.
Poncho’s in Observatory do as close to authentic as I have ever had and you can really mix it up with your toppings and degree of Spice… but Spur’s are great as well and come in plan or spicy. However you don’t have to wait for your next take-out date to enjoy this cheesy delight as they do the Tortilla chips in stores in a variety of flavours; so you can bring the taste and flavour of Mexico to your home…. Dorito’s are also a great alternative to the tortilla chips and provide a nice flavour – I prefer to do a mix of the 2.
You will need the following for the starter I served
1 Pack Tortilla chips (plain or spiced)
1 Pack of Dorito’s chips (your choice of flavour)
Block or more of Mature Cheddar
Block or more of good Mozzarella
Ripe Avo’s for the guacamole
Ripe tomatoes for the salsa
Get yourself a nice bowl, either a size for an individual serving or to share or to accommodate your filling and layers. To make your Salsa you can be as creative as you want, I usually just grate my tomatoes, add some spices of my choice, but very importantly garlic and ginger, some mixed herbs and a little Mrs. Balls Chutney to taste and brown sugar. You are welcome to add chili’s as well if you would like it spicy. For the guacamole peel and de-pip your avo and mash it till it’s nice and creamy and smooth – again you can add some spices to that or even some chili if you want. For both the salsa and the guacamole you can purchase pre-packed ready-made variants at Pick n Pay, Checkers or Woolworths, but I always love to make my own.
Ok so I usually make two layers for my Nacho’s…. Place a layer of chips in your bowl, cover that with a dripping of your salsa, in this layer you can also add chicken, beans, chickpeas or anything you want really… but because this is just a starter I’m serving it stock standard and plain. Now put a generous handful of a mixture of grated mature cheddar and mozzarella over that, add another layer of chips and some more cheese. Pop this into the oven at 180 ͦ for about 20min or less, depending on your oven. Once the cheese has melted and it’s golden brown you can place a dollop of guacamole and sour cream on the top.
A burrito, or as we commonly refer to it as a tortilla wrap is a type of Mexican food that consists of a floppy wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded into a roughly cylindrical shape to completely enclose a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In Mexico, it is traditionally filled with beans or meat, however the wraps we are more familiar with are filled with fillings that include a combination of ingredients such as Mexican-style rice or plain rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, meat, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream, and size varies. I know there are some health chains that even do a breakfast burrito with your choice of common breakfast varieties (bacon and egg…).
You will need the following for the burrito I served
1 or more bag of tortilla wraps
The tortilla wraps you can purchase off the shelf in a variety of brands and you can also get it in whole-wheat. You can freeze these packs as well, but ensure that they are thawed and room temperature before placing in a pan to heat slightly for use… this also makes it more pliable for wrapping. What I really enjoy is that this meal can be very interactive – I don’t pre-make any of the wraps, instead all the ingredients or options are laid out on the table and you can mix and match it to your taste. My family love strong spicy foods so I made a chili chicken as well as a mild mustard and BBQ chicken, as I am not too much of a chili fan.
There is no right or wrong way to stuff your wrap, but I like to spread my guacamole and sour cream on my wrap first then start to layer it with the chicken and salad options… again you can really be creative with the options you have and please trial and error the way you prepare your salad options for your wrap or if you prefer your veg. I have just found that shredding helps instead of using huge slices or portions as the idea is for the wrap to be able to close comfortably and bite size at the same time.
For Dessert I went very old-fashioned and traditional, 1 because it’s quick, easy and cost effective and 2 it’s fun to reminisce on the good old times, as this dessert option is bound to evoke a trip down memory lane for young and old.
You will need the following for the dessert
2X canned peach slices (amount depending on the number of people)
2X packs of jelly (again dependent on number of people and your choice of flavour)
2X packs of instant pudding (again dependent on number of people and your choice of flavour)
If old fashion is not your thing you can be as creative as you want in this department, you can even go fully authentic and try your hand at making a traditionally Mexican dessert or ending dinner with a shot or two of Tequila… which come in rather exotic flavours these days, like chocolate. This could be great on its own or as a type of sauce for vanilla ice-cream, spice up your chocolate milkshake or hot chocolate… creativity is the key
I really hope you guys have had fun reading this post as much as I did writing it… not to mention all the fun you could have, enjoying this meal with friend and or family. You know in today’s busy and hectic life it’s not always easy to spend time together as a family or even close friends, but making the time to enjoy a meal that encourages interaction and getting your hands and mouth a little dirty leaves very little time for texting, tweeting or facebooking.
Enjoy and cherish good food and more importantly good company, as these are the moments that will live on for a lifetime. I would really love to hear all about your Mexican kitchen experiences, or even if it’s a dish or dessert you think I will like to try.
Have a super week-end