Mexico, via Leeds

One of our current food obsessions is Mexican.

I thought I’d cover off eating out nd some home cooking in this post as we’re getting Mexican every way we can at the moment!

I’ve written before about the rather wonderful Pinche Pinche in Leeds – the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in the UK — admittedly, I’ve not been to many, but it’s still great all the same. This week we popped along to a Tequila tasting and Street Food night and had a rare old time sipping 100%agave tequila (the only tequila you should ever drink BTW) and chomping away on snacks street food taco-style food.

It was all about the tequila to be honest and I was cool with that, the highlight being a deeply flavoursome tequila that at some stage in its making has a smoked chicken (yes and actual chicken) dangled in the cask. Awesome.

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Earlier in the week we were delving deep in Thomasina Myers’ mexican Cookbook. Her food is similar to Pinche Pinche in that it’s all about bright, fresh flavours. We must go to one of her restaurants Wahaca in that there London.

I made a homemade searingly hot salsa using habanero chillis (scotch bonnets) which we found to be completely addictive smearing it on everything. To accompany the salsa, I grilled some fresh seafood from Leeds Kirkgate market – monkfish and jumbo prawns in this instance, marinated in lime and bay along with the essential coriander dressing.

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Mexican food is very simple and not a) stodgy and heavy or b) blisteringly hot.

It’s all about the fresh, vibrant flavours with Mexican cooking. There’s lots of influences in there too – it’s not one dimensional – Spanish, Italian and South American all combine to make exciting food.

I managed to lay my hands on some chipotle chillis (smoked, dried jalapeños) via Simon at Pinche Pinche, so I’m thinking right now they’ll go nicely with some fish or chicken…here we go again!

2 thoughts on “Mexico, via Leeds

  1. As you know I can’t comment on tequilla but the seafood looks amazing. A while back I got some chilli powder made from chipotles and it’s SO much better than the normal stuff people use to make a pot of chilli. It has that warm brown smoky aroma that is heavenly. You can dust it into coatings or however you want to use it. Here in Olivera Street (little Mexico downtown L.A.. which is also right near Chinatown) they sell these fruit plates, cut melons etc dusted with chilli powder or cayenne, not sure now, and you squeeze on some lime and it’s wonderful. I don’t know if you follow @Rick_Bayless on twitter but he’s my go-to Mexican food expert and a wonderful guy. I made tamales for the first time and he advised me patiently through my many questions and they came out great–it’s a fun adventure to make them and you might like to try. It goes faster with more hands and you can find recipes on his site. (He won Top Chef Masters here a couple seasons back.) http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/category?categoryID=11 Despite his insistence on the fresh masa, the second time I used the dried stuff that comes in a sack like flour and it was virtually the same. He also wanted freshly rendered pork lard, which I got the first time for my chicken tamales. Second time I did roasted peppers with cheese so I used butter, also as good. Very fun to make them. I used my pasta pot with steamer insert to steam them.

    Also recently I made a pork stew from a Williams-Sonoma recipe using fresh tomatillos, not sure have you had them, like tomatoes with a citrus kick. Second time I made it, I used sweet potatoes instead of regular, an improvement. Try it, easy and wonderful: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/pork-and-tomatillo-stew.html?cm_src=SEARCH_FEATURELIST||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule|Top_Wide_Agrarian%20-%20copy-_-&cm_re=OnsiteSearch-_-SCHBillboard-_-SEARCH_FEATURELIST

    Enjoy and Ole!

  2. Hey Phil and Jules,

    Just want to say you aren’t bad Chefs yourselves when it comes to cooking Mexican. We had a great time last night at your’s as always with you guys but have to say the food was paricularly excellent!

    G&D x

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