This Mexican sauce recipe is loosely based on mole poblano, but this is a store cupboard version that’s quick and easy.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 chilli, preferably a dried chipotle chilli that was been reconstituted in hot water and finely chopped, but I’ve also made this with a finely chopped fresh red chilli.
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1 tbsp for the sauce, 1 tbsp for garnish
1 tbsp chopped almonds (I use flaked almonds and chop them into small pieces using a mezzaluna. I would use ground almonds if that was what I had in the cupboards)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp tomato purée (you could alternatively use 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped, but I don’t always have fresh tomatoes in the house)
1 tbsp peanut butter
25g plain chocolate
350ml vegetable stock
(An authentic mole poblano would also have a handful of raisins in, add them if you want, but I prefer this without.)
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, garlic and chillis gently until soft.
2. Add the sesame seeds, almonds, ground cinnamon, cloves and cumin and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well.
3. Add the tomato purée, stock, peanut butter and chocolate and stir well. Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, I would usually throw in a selection of vegetables and legumes to cook.
If you would prefer to make a more traditional mole poblano sauce, there are recipes on the BBC website that you could adapt.
These red kidney bean balls in sauce are fantastic serve with rice and topped with some grated cheese.
Mexican Bean Balls in Spicy-Sweet sauce (serves 2-3)
400g tin of Red Kidney Beans, drained.
2 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs
5 spring onions
1 tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 heaped teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 large sweet potato, cut into small chunks, optional
1. Start by making the kidney bean balls. I usually cook them in the oven, but you could fry them if you prefer. If you’re baking them, preheat the oven to 180°C. In a food processor, pulse together all the ingredients for the bean balls. Roll them into walnut sized balls. Bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes (or fry them).
2. Meanwhile, you can start making the sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in a pan until soft. Add the passata, sugar, chilli powder and paprika and stir well. For a more substantial sauce add some chopped sweet potato chunks. Cover the sauce and allow to simmer away for 20 minutes. Stir through the coriander.
3. To serve, top the cooked balls with the sauce. This is great served with rice and a topping of cheese.
Sweet potato gratin (serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish)
1 large sweet potato
1 red onions
1 red chilli
250ml vegetable stock
2 heaped tsp dried thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Peel the sweet potato and the onions and slice them on the thinnest setting on a mandoline. De-seed and chop the chilli as finely as you can.
3. Place a layer of sweet potato on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a thin layer of onions and sprinkle on a little bit of crumbled feta and chilli. Continue to layer up the ingredients, finishing with a layer of sweet potato on the top, but reserving some feta.
4. Stir the dried thyme into the hot vegetable stock and pour over the gratin. You don’t want to much liquid, just enough to cook and steam the potato, so you might not need all the stock.
5. Bake for 20 minutes before adding the remaining feta and cooking for a further 5-10 minutes.
It’s raining and grey here in Yorkshire so I needed some food that is full of sunshine to cheer me up. This is a Mexican inspired recipe that’s easy to throw together.
Avocoda and Sweetcorn Salsa (makes one small bowl full)
225g canned sweetcorn, drained
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
8-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered, and de-seeded if you don’t like the insides like me!
A handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours before eating.
Fresh coriander is a good substitute for basil.
This is also nice mixed with cooled pasta shapes to make a pasta salad for lunch.
I’ve been for a sparkling afternoon tea today and I’m so full up that I haven’t wanted anything else to eat, so my plans to blog my evening meal have gone out of the window! Today’s challenge for Blog Everyday in September was to share your camera equipment. Unfortunately, as anyone who sees my blog will find easy to spot, most pictures are hurriedly taken with my phone or tablet. The photography on my blog is definitely something I need to work on!
For today’s post, I am therefore going to share something I’ve just started making; my own Mexican spice mix, meant to replicate the fajita seasoning mixes that I used to buy in packets. Purchasing it is no longer an option for us as they contain ingredients that my husband is allergic to. Making my own means I can control what goes in, and it’s also nice to use up spices already in my cupboard.
Mexican seasoning mix
2 tbsp chilli powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
A pinch of salt and pepper
Mix all the spices together well to combine and store in a jar.