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Cover: The Gourmet Garden

Recipes with jalapeños

23Jul 12

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo
is a typical Mexican garnish, or salsa, traditionally served with fajitas, tacos, burritos, and anything made with flour tortillas.  My recipe is a slight variation on the classic Mexican version which was given to me by a Mexican amigo.

I’ve reduced the number of chilli peppers by half compared to the original recipe, as I found it was almost too hot for my taste (and I like it HOT!), and definitely too hot for most of my friends and family.  If you’re particularly adverse to spicy food, you can go ahead and halve the amount again, or even cut out the jalapeños completely, although this will take away slightly from the authenticity of the dish.   If you’re a fire-eater, you can double it back up again to 4 or more jalapeños.

If you don’t have or can’t get fresh limes, lemons make a decent substitution. It won’t be quite as good, but it’ll work in a pinch.  The same thing goes for the fresh coriander. You could substitute it with fresh Italian parsley (they’re from the same family), but again, it won’t taste quite like it should.  Lastly, if you can’t get fresh jalapeño peppers, you could substitute any other fresh hot peppers.  If none are available, then you should use the dried variety, or dried pepper flakes.

This recipe doesn’t keep very well, so you should try to use it the same day as you make it. Why not try it with my vegetarian burritos?

Pico de Gallo
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
A typical Mexican garnish
Ingredients
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped (about 450g)
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium-size bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, coriander, jalapeños and lime juice.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. For best results, serve the same day.
  5. Makes about 500ml.

 

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13Jun 12

Bean and Red peppers Burritos

Bean and red pepper burritosI love Mexican food, and it’s so easy to make it vegetarian!  These bean and red peppers burritos are my take on the classic Mexican burrito.  Even if you’re normally not a fan of beans and pulses, I think this dish will get your taste buds smiling. They’re fun to make and even more fun to eat! If you want to make it even more entertaining for your guests, place the bean mix in the centre of the table along with the garnishing and let them heap their own burritos!

What you’re going to need:

  • 2 x 400g tins red kidney beans, drained and mashed. (You can also use black beans.)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 100g tomato purée
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pack of 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 150ml sour cream (optional)
  • Diced tomatoes, sliced Jalapeños or Mexican salsa (for garnish)

What you have to do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.
  2. Add the onions and red pepper and sauté until the onions turn translucent (approx. 4 minutes).
  3. Remove the onions and peppers and set aside.
  4. Sauté the onions, cumin, black pepper and paprika for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  5. Add the onions and peppers back into the mix along with the tomato paste and salt and mix well with the spices.
  6. Add the mashed kidney beans and mix well.  The mixture should be thick, not runny.  If it’s runny, cook a little longer to evaporate any excess water and add a tablespoon of  cornflour  to help thicken.
  7. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Remove the tortillas from their packaging and heat in the microwave on medium power for 1 minute to soften.
  9. Place two tablespoons of the bean mix on each tortilla, in a line a little off-centre to the left and running from the top to about 4 cm from the bottom.
  10. Place a slice of cheddar cheese, a spoonful of sour cream and a few jalapeños (if desired) on top.
  11. Wrap the burritos by first folding up the bottom, then the left-hand side and then the right-hand side to make a kind of envelope.
  12. Serve warm.
  13. If you really want to add to the “bean theme,” try serving this borlotti bean, celery and tomato salad on the side.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Serves:  3-4

Difficulty:  Medium

 

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