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Amanda Grant's food: Perfect Mex; How about heating things up with a bit of Texas and Mexico? The two influences have produced some mouth-watering combinations.

Byline: Amanda Grant

TEX MEX

TASTE GUIDE

CHIMICHANGA

A flour tortilla usually filled with meat or chicken and fried in oil until crisp

ENCHILADA

A corn tortilla filled with beans, chicken or beef, rolled, topped with

tomato sauce then baked

QUESADILLA

Two flour tortillas sandwiched together with beef, chicken or cheese and pan-fried. A Tex-Mex grilled sandwich

RE-FRIED BEANS

Beans are boiled until

tender then fried until soft.

SALSA

Literally means a "sauce", usually uncooked.

Prawn burritos, nectarine and ginger salsa

A burrito is a soft flour tortilla rolled around a savoury filling.

Makes: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 tsp oil

450g/1lb raw tiger prawns

4 cloves garlic, chopped

zest and juice of 1 lime

FOR THE NECTARINE AND GINGER SALSA:

2 ripe nectarines, stoned and chopped

1 tsp finely grated ginger

1 spring onion, finely sliced

3 tbsp lime juice

1 chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

4 tortillas

1 avocado, peeled and sliced with a squeeze of lime

a few lettuce leaves, shredded coriander leaves, to serve

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/ gas mark 2. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven to heat through for 10 minutes. Mix together the ingredients for the salsa and set aside. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the prawns and the garlic together until the prawns turn pink and are cooked, add the zest and squeeze over the juice, season. To serve, make a tortilla wrap containing the prawns, avocado, lettuce, coriander and a little salsa.

Steak fajitas

Steak fajitas is beef, chicken or seafood cooked on a sizzling cast iron pan with flour tortillas for wrapping.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 tbsp plus 1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, sliced

2 red peppers, sliced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

450g/1lb sirloin or rump steak, sliced

3 tbsp Tequilla

TO SERVE:

4 sundried tomatoes, flour tortilla, coriander leaves

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Place the tortillas in foil and heat through in the oven for 10 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the onion and pepper until soft, add the garlic and stir for a minute, transfer to a plate. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and when the pan is very hot sear the beef, until cooked to your liking, return the onion and pepper mixture to the pan, increase the heat and add the tequilla. Let it bubble away, stirring thoroughly to

incorporate all the flavours. To serve, place a tortilla on each plate and top with the steak, onions, peppers and tomatoes, then scatter over the coriander. Eat unadorned or with sour cream and grated cheese if preferred.

Crispy coated chicken

with corn salsa

Crispy coated, spiced chicken - a must for any Tex-Mex feast.

Alternatively serve with some rice.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp plain flour

4 chicken portions on the bone, washed and patted dry

1-2 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed FOR THE SALSA:

1 x 400g tin corn, drained

2 spring onions, chopped

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp sour cream

TO SERVE:

coriander leaves

Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6. Mix the spices and flour

together with a little salt and pepper, brush the chicken in oil and coat with the garlic and spices. Drizzle with a little more oil, and roast for about 45 minutes until crispy and cooked through. Meanwhile mix together the ingredients for the salsa and set aside. Serve the chicken and scatter over the salsa.

Potato skins con queso and salsa

Crispy potato skins with a creamy cheesy sauce. Try a little chilli powder with

the sauce if you like it spicy.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 1hr 10 mins

4 large baking potatoes

oil for deep frying

FOR THE QUESO:

1 tsp olive oil

4 spring onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

100ml/31/2floz sour cream

175g/6oz cheddar or other hard cheese, grated

FOR THE SALSA:

1 avocado, peeled and diced

6 cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

juice of 2 limes

a little chopped coriander,

cayenne or hot paprika, to serve

Preheat oven to 200C/ 400F/gas mark 6. Bake potatoes for 50 minutes- 1 hour or until cooked through, leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut into quarters and scoop out most of the potato leaving about 1/2 cm on the skin. Mix together the ingredients for the salsa, season then set aside. To make the queso, heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic for a minute. Add the sour cream and cheese, stir for a minute and then take off the heat and keep warm. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok, add a few of the potato skins and cook until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining skins. Season and top with the sauce. Serve with avocado salsa and a sprinkling of hot paprika or cayenne pepper.

Chilli con carne

Everyone in Texas has their favourite chilli recipe based on minced beef, tomatoes and kidney beans. My secret is a little cocoa powder. Here it is served with tostadas (fried tortillas).

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

450g/1lb lean minced beef

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2-1 tsp chilli powder, to taste

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cocoa powder

400ml/14fl oz passata

1 tsp sundried tom puree

200ml/7fl oz beef stock

1/2 tsp sugar or to taste

400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed

TOSTADAS AND TOPPING;

4 flour tortillas

a little veg oil for frying

10 cherry tomatoes, chopped

4 spring onions, sliced

100g/31/2oz cheddar cheese, grated

100ml/31/2fl oz sour cream

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the mince and fry until brown, add the garlic, spices, oregano and cocoa and stir a few times. Turn the heat down a little and add the tomatoes, paste, stock and

sugar. Cook for about 15 minutes, add the beans and continue to cook until the sauce is thick. Season. While the sauce is cooking, fry the tortillas in a little vegetable oil until lightly golden. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve one tostada per person mounded

with the chilli and topped with the grated cheese, sour cream, tomatoes and onions.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 3, 2001
Words:1106
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