Mexican at home
Think you have to go out to enjoy Mexican food? Think again. These seven staples will help you prepare an authentic south of the border feast, with some MasterChef recipes thrown in for inspiration.
Native to Mexico, creamy avocado enhances many dishes. Try Matt’s guacamole from the recipe for Chicken Wings, Roast Tomato Salsa, Roast Corn and Capsicum Salsa and Simple Guacamole.
Frijoles, as they are known, are much eaten in Mexico, especially with rice or as refried beans. Varieties include black turtle, pinto and red beans.
An array of chillies bring flavour and heat to Mexican food, including poblanos, which are called ancho chillies when dried, and jalapenos, known as chipotles when smoked. While chile relleno is a traditional dish using poblano chillies, this take on the stuffed chilli concept uses jalapenos instead - Jalapeno Poppers with Spicy Green Mole Sauce.
Spice-rich chocolate is often used to make mole, a savoury sauce which is served with poultry or meat and can be regarded as Mexico’s national dish. Give chef Paul Wilson’s non-traditional version a go with his Lamb Cutlets with Red Mole and Yucatan Pickles.
In Mexico, corn is traditionally soaked and ground to make tortillas. Roadside vendors sell it on the cob roasted with chilli and lime. Even a gringo will earn serious Mexican street cred by serving up the corn in this recipe for Cider Can Chicken, Papa Sita’s Corn Cob, Potato Salad and Garlic Aioli.
Meaning “little tomato”, this fruit adds verve to many of Mexico’s green sauces and can also give pep to guacamole.
This flat bread is eaten with practically every meal. In Australia, you can buy versions made with wheat, corn and even blue corn. Or you can use masa harina, a flour made with corn, to make Ben Milbourne’s Beef Taco and Tuna Tostada.