Monday, September 16, 2013

Freshly Blogged: Challenge 11

I’ve been chopped from the Freshly Blogged competition, but I got to cook in all 11 challenges and made it to Top 9 (yay). What an amazing experience! It challenged me creatively and pushed my culinary abilities – I made custard, consommé and macaroons for the first time, so I learnt a lot!

All the best to the remaining 6 bloggers, we’ll see if my personal favourites make it to the final :)

For the final challenge we could use the following to create a Mexican inspired dish: Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad, sour cream, spring onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes, coriander and one added protein. This was my final entry:

Mexican food intrigues me. It ranges from simplistic flavoursome ingredients and preparation, to exotic components and time consuming cooking methods. I would LOVE to go on a culinary adventure to Mexico one day! I was inspired by the Mexican flag for this recipe, much like the ingredients, the colours are strong and punchy, but the design simplistic with surprise details.

Tricolour Mexican Dipper with Coriander Butter Tortillas
Serves 4
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 1 hour

You will need

For the tortillas:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cups hot water

For the Re-Fried beans:
Vegetable oil
¼ cup spring onion (white part only), sliced
1 box Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad

For the tomato salsa:
16 cherry tomatoes
Black pepper

For the crispy bacon:
4 rashers streaky bacon

For the spring onion sour cream:
250g sour cream
¼ cup spring onion (green part only), sliced

For the guacamole:
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
Black pepper

For the coriander butter:
1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
½ cup butter

How to make it
For the tortillas:
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Add the oil. Work it into the flour with your hands.
Add the water bit by bit and mix well. (It should form a sticky ball.)
Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces.
On a floured surface, roll each dough ball into a flat round tortilla (about the size of a cd).
Heat a non stick pan to scorching hot, don’t add oil.
Dry grill each tortilla for 30 – 50 seconds on each side until dark spots appear.
Store tortillas in an airtight container.

For the Re-Fried beans:
Heat some olive oil in a heavy based pot.
Fry the spring onion until soft.
Add the Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and it’s slightly caramilised.
Using a potato crusher, crush the beans in the pot to form a paste.
Season to taste with salt.

For the tomato salsa:
Cut a cross into each tomato.
Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain.
Peel the tomatoes and remove the pips.
Cut into small cubes, season with salt and finely milled black pepper and set aside.

For the crispy bacon:
In a very hot pan or under a grill, cook the bacon until brown and crispy.
Drain on paper towels.
Once cool, cut into small pieces and set aside.

For the spring onion sour cream:
Mix the spring onions with the sour cream and season to taste with salt.
Cover and set aside.

For the guacamole:
Smash the avocado to a chuncky consistency and mix in the chopped coriander.
Season with salt and finely milled black pepper.
Cover and set aside.

For the coriander butter:
Just before serving, melt the butter and mix in the chopped coriander.
Season well with salt.

*Everything should be served at room temperature, but the re-fried beans and tortillas can be re-heated if you’d like.
Scoop the salsa, then the sour cream, then the re-fried beans and then the guacamole into a glass in layers.
Top with crispy bacon and garnish with coriander.
Cut tortilla rounds into quarters.
Drizzle or paint each tortilla with the hot coriander butter and serve immediately.
TIP: Serve with a small spoon so that guests can scoop out all four layers and smear it onto their tortillas. 

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