The Basics: Tortillas, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole
Tortillas (yields 10-12):
200g Masa Harina (available at coolchile.co.uk)
330ml hot water or hot chicken stock for more flavour
Salt (3 tsp if using water, 1 if using stock)
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a dough
Knead for 10 minutes
Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes
Once rested divide dough into golf ball sized balls
Press the Tortillas
Pressing the Tortillas can be achieved in a couple of ways. I have a gorgeous cast iron tortilla press now, mainly because I think its super sexy and looks great in my kitchen, but it also makes the job of making the tortillas and only set me back £20. That being said the same effect can be achieved with some elbow grease and the bottom of a heavy pan.
Whatever you use flatten the dough ball out slightly and place it between two sheets of cling film or freezer bag and press until thin.
Heat a dry frying pan on a high heat and toast tortillas for 1 minute on each side or until blistered.
Pico de Gallo (Enough for 10-12 Tacos)
This Mexican condiment is fresh and alive with flavour and is so simple to make you’ll never buy crappy store bought salsas again
4 tomatoes Roughly chopped
1 Large Red or White Onion Roughly Chopped or Even Spring Onion, it really doesn't bloody matter.
1 Handful of Coriander
1 Tbsp Pickled Jarred Jalapenos Roughly Chopped
Juice of a Lime
Salt and Sugar To Taste
Combine ingredients seasoning to Taste. Simples
Guacamole (Enough for 10-12 Tacos)
I personally think Avocado has a very delicate flavour that shouldn’t be messed around with too much in a Guacamole so here is my very simple recipe
2 Large Ripe Avocados
Juice Half a Lime
Salt to taste (I think Avocados can take quite a bit of salt and it seems to bring out the flavour a bit more so have a mess around)
Peel, Destone and Chop the Avocado into 1 inch cubes and place in a large bowl
Add Juice of Half a Lime and Salt
Mash with a Potato Masher until you have achieved your desired consistency. Personally I like mine to have quite a bit of texture.
Taco Fillings – The Quick and Simple Taco, The I Can Wait for something to Marinade Taco and The Slowwwwwww cooker Taco
The Quick and Simple Taco (yields enough for 10-12 Tacos):
Whatever I have in my Fridge Taco (In this case Chorizo, Roasted Peppers and Mushrooms)
Tacos work because you can use anything you want, so long as its tasty and you can hold it in a tortilla you’re good to go.
¼ ring of Chorizo Sliced thinly
I always have Chorizo in my fridge (Spanish, not Mexican admittedly), if I don’t I get moody so this will always find its way into a quick taco. Should you not, then I would use some smoked paprika in your filling to give it a smoky latin flavour.
2 Red Peppers Sliced Thinly
½ Tbsp Pickled Jarred Jalapenos Roughly Chopped
1 tsp butter
Tbsp Oil for frying
Add oil and Chorizo to hot pan and fry to release oils from the Chorizo
Once the Chorizo begins to colour add Peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until the peppers soften
Add the Musrooms and the Butter to add a bit of creaminess.
Add to Warm Tortillas with Salsa and Pico de Gallo
The I Can Wait for something to Marinade Taco
(Marinated Grilled Chicken Taco)
4 Chicken Breasts
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tsp Garlic Granules
3 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp salt
Juice and zest of 1 Lime
4 tbsp Garlic infused Olive Oil
Butterfly Chicken Breasts to Increase surface area, This means running a knife along the length of a chicken breast so that it almost reached but does not cut through the other side and then opening it out. The greater the surface area the more the marinade will penetrate the chicken
Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl and add the chicken so that it is covered in the marinade
Leave to marinade for at least a couple of hours
Ideally this would be grilled on a BBQ but Pan Frying the chicken making sure it is cooked all the way through is almost just as tasty
Cut Chicken into small Chunks
Add to Warm Tortillas with Salsa Roja and Guacamole
The Slowwwwww Cooker Taco
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Taco (enough to make a ton of Carnitas, it keeps well in the fridge and is great cold in sandwiches)
Carnitas is slow cooked Mexican Pork Shoulder and it is fricking delicious, well worth the wait!
2.5 kg bone in Pork Shoulder (Bone in shoulder is hard to come by in supermarkets so boneless will also do, obviously with the bone out the joint will weigh less)
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Garlic Granules
½ Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large White Onion, quartered
1 Fresh Jalapeno (again these can be difficult to find and so can be replaced with a tbsp of pickled jalapenos which I quite like as they give the end result a subtle sour taste)
1 tsp black pepper
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Oranges, juiced
Mix the rub ingredients together to form a pasta and rub over Pork Shoulder
Place Pork in a slow cooker with the fat cap up.
Surround with onion, jalapeno, minced garlic and squeeze over Orange Juice. I also include the the Orange rinds to the pot once they’ve been squeezed as they release all the oranges essential oils.
Cook on low for 9 hours or on high for 6 hours.
The meat will be tender and falling off the bone after this time.
Let to Pork cool a bit before shredding it with two forks.
During the time that the Pork has slow cooked it will have released lots of its juices and fat. Skim the fat off the surface of this liquid.
Reduce this until you have about 200mls of liquid and then pour the remaining liquid over the shredded Pork.
Add the Pork as it is to warm corn tortillas and serve with Guacamole, salsas and Pico de Gallo
Or alternatively add the Pork to a Hot Pan with a drizzle of Olive oil and press down to form a golden crust on the underside of the Pork. Then serve in Tortillas as above.