A while back I was invited to take a culinary adventure into Mexican food by Mexgrocer.co.uk. I was really excited by the idea as this isn't a cuisine I've ever really explored before. The ingredients on the site are truly authentic and it seemed a fantastic introduction to something totally new. Living in a rural area means that we lack access to the range of ethnic grocery shops found in larger towns and cities, so internet shops like this one could be a real boon for cooks who want to dip a metaphorical toe in the waters of international cuisine. I spent a long time surfing the site and planning a week or so of evening meals based around some of the ingredients available and then - click! - went shopping
When the box turned up there was a gorgeous waft of spices as I opened it and I could hardly wait to get started. I'd already decided to start with something fairly straightforward and make fajitas the first night, using the spice blend I'd bought and some of the corn tortillas. I used steak for Karl and myself and cooked some chicken for the boys; James can't really cope with chewing steak yet and while Chris likes a bit of steak, I knew he'd want some chicken as well if I did some for his baby bro.
1 large onion, sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 thin-cut frying steaks, cut into strips
1 chicken breast
Mexgrocer Fajita Spice Mix
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion and peppers until soft, sprinkling over a large pinch of the fajita spice mix as they cook. Scoop into an ovenproof dish and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the steak strips, then the chicken strips. Add some more of the spice mix as you cook each batch of strips. Warm the tortillas briefly in the oven, then serve everything at the table for self-assembly.
I also put some soured cream and a dish of grated cheese out on the table. The boys loved their hands-on dinner. The actual construction of the fajitas defeated them rather, but they still seemed to enjoy fiddling about and getting in a bit of a mess. As for me, I alway like to play with my food, and the spicing was just right. Warm and fragrant but not blast-your-socks-off HOT.
I must mention that the corn tortillas looked quite small and I was a little bit worried that they wouldn't make much of a meal, but actually they were incredibly satisfying, much more so than the flour tortillas I've bought from the supermarket to make 'wraps' in the past: the texture was much better too, pleasantly mealy and not at all 'chewy'. This meal also proved to be a good way of stretching quite a small amount of meat a long way. Even my notoriously hollow-legged husband found himself full after this dinner. All in all, a stunning result fo a first try; I'm looking forward to the next round tomorrow...