Chilli Rellenos

27 07 2011

 To make  really great chile rellenos you need to balance three ingredients just right

The first and most important is the chile. The pod has to be of the right size, thick fleshed, and with the right heat level. You want something along the lines of a large Jalapeno or Poblano because it has these characteristics. Here in Ireland I often find it difficult to get large chillies so often use those long Romesco peppers that you can get in some supermarkets, because the heat in these isn’t much more than a bell pepper I often chop up a jalapeno or two and mix them in with my stuffing.

Next the stuffing, you want to use a cheese that will melt well and has just the right strength of flavour, I personally like to use asadero  as it is a traditional Mexican cheese and goes well with the chillies. The basic recipe calls for just cheese but I often like to mix things up a bit and throw in some shrimp some lightly fried lardons… delicious!

Finally, the batter must be light and with just  the right amount of salt and black pepper to enhance the combination, but not detract from the flavors of the chile and stuffing. A great chile relleno captures the unique TexMex flavours of the USA

Ingredients

  • 8 Jalapeno or Poblano chillies, roasted, peeled, and de-seeded.
  • 8 sticks of asadero or mozzarella about the size of a finger.
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup flour, plus more for the chiles
  • Oil, enough to cover 1½-inches deep in a skillet

Method:

Prepare chile pods. Peel and deseed the chiles. Remove the seeds by cutting a slit in the pod from just below the stem and slice about half way down the chile. Stuff the pods with the cheese, but don’t force things. The open edges of the chile must still come together. Hold the edges together with toothpicks.

Next, prepare the batter. Beat the egg whites with salt and pepper until stiff. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks, add salt and flour and mix well.

Fold the yolk mixture into egg whites just enough to mix. (Use quickly, as this batter will separate.) Roll chiles in flour to coat. Dip chiles into batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. If oil is hot enough, this will only take a few minutes. Turns chile once, then drain on several layer of paper towels.


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PIco de Gallo / Salsa Fresca

11 07 2011

 Quite simply Pico de Gallo is the freshest, cleanest, most delicious condiment you could wish for to accompany Mexican food or indeed anything that could do with something light and zingy alongside.

   Ingredients:

2x  Tomatoes

2x White onions

1x Red Chilli – I use Habanero or Scotch bonnet but its completely up to you and the level of heat would desire

a good handful of fresh coriander leaves

the juice of 1 lime

sea salt to season

Method:

Chop the onion and chilli into fine dice and place into a bowl.

De-seed the tomatoes and dice the flesh.

Finely chop the coriander and combine together with the onions, chilli and tomatoes. ensure that everything is well worked together and squeeze over the juice of 1 lime.

Season to taste with a little sea salt.

 

 

 

 

 





Homemade Guacamole

1 12 2010

 No party would be complete without some sort of crisps or chips and something to dip them into.

 For me that “something” has to be guacamole and I’m not talking about the rank tasting plastic tubs of crap that most is sold in most supermarkets and that personally I wouldn’t give to my chickens. I like guacamole to have texture and flavour as opposed to just being green coloured mush.

So here is my recipe for great homemade guacamole

Ingredients:

2 ripe hass avocados 
1 tomato
1 onion
1 handful of coriander
2 spring onions
2 jalapeños
Juice of 1 lime
pinch of cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper
sea salt
2 cloves of garlic

Peel and chop all of the ingredients other than the avocados. This garlic and onion should be as fine as you can get them and the tomato should be in a fine dice with the seeds removed, you can also deseed the chillies if you so wish.

Take the skin off of the avocados and ensure that you keep one of the stones.

Using the back of a fork mash the avocados until you have a nice salsa like consistency with some definate chunks of avocado left intact.

Mix the avocado in with the rest of your chopped ingredients and the lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with a little extra coriander.

Take the avocado stone that you kept hold of and pop that into the middle of the bowl holding the guacamole, this will help to keep the avocado from going off quite so quickly. Cover the bowl in clingfilm ensuring that there is as little air trapped under it as possible.

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.





Big Tom’s Secret Hot Sauce

10 04 2010

I realized yesterday that something terrible had happened…I had run out of hot sauce. This might sounds like a rather minor inconvenience to most people but unfortunately for me I am a chili addict.

I simply can’t get enough of that sweet, intoxicating chili heat and the store-bought sauces just don’t cut the mustard anymore, they tend to be too sweet, with an unnatural taste and certainly they are lacking that much-needed kick of heat.

There are some amazingly good hot sauces out there such as NagaSoreAss by CA Johns or a recent discovery Louisiana Gold Wasabi Hot Sauce but these aren’t the sort of hot sauces you would want to use everyday.

So of course I make my own.

My hot sauce of choice is loosely based on a Trinidadian hot sauce that I tried a few years back but I have played around with it until it has a little more heat but still keeps a great flavour.

So here it is for the first time ever

Big Tom’s Secret Hot Sauce:

15 Habanero or Scotch bonnet chilis

15 Chipotle chilis

15 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

15 spring onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

1 cup pure fresh orange juice

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup yellow mustard hot English mustard – I use Colemans but any strong mustard would work

1/2 tick of celery, roughly chopped

2 large handfuls of chopped coriander leaves

2 tablespoons thyme

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 bay leaves

tablespoon of crushed black pepper

Salt
Cut the stems off of the chilis and discard, you will however want to keep all of the seeds in the chili as if not you will lose a lot of the heat

In a blender or food processor, pulse the chilis with the garlic, spring onions, celery and carrot until finely chopped.

Now add the black pepper, vinegar, orange juice, mustard, coriander, thyme, crushed bay leaves and  lime juice and pulse just until combined.

Season with salt.

Once the sauce has been made you will need to transfer it into jars or bottles in order for it to keep. The vinegar acts as a preservative for the sauce and I have kept this in the fridge for up to a year without sterilising the jars.








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