Sunday, September 25, 2011

Corn tortillas, peach salsa - my try at a Mexican feast

Happy Sunday morning. There's something about a dull grey Sunday morning that I love. I think that because it's not super sunny and hot, that I don't feel pressured to get up and out right away. I like the idea of sitting in my pajamas, catching up on the Food Network, Coronation Street, checking out a few blogs that I like and just overall loafing. I know, however, that this is just the first of many dull, grey Sundays to come - so I really should get off my Royal Canadian and make the most of this day while it's not raining.

I don't have any pictures to share yet, but I will - thanks to my besty - Tracy Risinger - who got a ton of incredible shots of the best evening. We were the 'crew' for a dinner cruise. I created and prepared the menu for 6 - and we sailed out and around Victoria. I am super excited to share the evening - the menu with you guys.

I sometimes struggle a bit with my cooking style. I am a home cook making simple, hearty, comfort food. I think that I should break out and try different ethnic foods but they intimidate me a bit as I am not sure what flavours go with what and how to incorporate them all together. And then I think that I have to remember that it's ok - that I don't need to cook those foods - I can try them from time to time - but that focusing on hearty, comfort foods, is my thing - and that I enjoy making them. See - issues! Oh well.

For my birthday this year, friends Stagia (it's really Stasia) and Steph gave me a tortilla press - and I have been wanting to use it for quite some time. My mom won a gift basket from Epicure that a bunch of Mexican themed stuff and there was a bag of Masa flour (corn flour) - so I finally had the right ingredients for making corn tortillas.

What really inspired the corn tortillas though - was a bunch of peaches that I wanted to use up. I am usually pretty happy when I make something that I think tastes good, but folks, this peach salsa was DELICIOUS. I am not just saying that because I made it - really truly - I just loved how all the flavours came together.

For dinner Sims Style, for UFC, we had corn tortillas with shredded chicken, lettuce, guacamole, peach salsa and Oaxacan cheese (Mexican) along side Spanish Style Quinoa.

Corn Tortillas

2 cups of fine corn flour - Masa Harina
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and form a ball. Place the dough in a plastic bag and let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, form golf sized balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet or cutting board so that they are easy to access.

If you have a tortilla press - hoorah - the process is quite easy. Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on each side of the press. Place the dough ball on the bottom side of the press - and press.

Using a hot skillet - I used my cast iron pan - place the tortilla in the hot pan and heat on each side for about 30 seconds.
If you don't have a tortilla press - you can put the tortilla in between the waxed/parchment paper and squish it down with a heavy pan.

Peach Salsa

I am not really sure if I should be calling it a salsa, but I am going to. Call me crazy, I know, but my goal was to make a salsa, and I loved how it turned out - so we'll call it that.

3 peaches - peeled
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of kosher salt
1 jalepeno - seeded (I don't like it too hot - I kept a few of the seeds for a bit of heat - and it was just right)
Cilantro - I am not sure how much I added - probably 1 cup in total - add it whole

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and chop. The peaches will puree and the entire salsa will be more of a liquid that chunky. The colour goes a beautiful green because of the cilantro - no one would probably know that there were peaches unless they tasted it or you told them.

For the chicken, I roasted two chickens that I covered in the juice of 2 limes and kosher salt, for about 1.5 hours at 400 degrees. After they cooled, I shredded the chicken, added the juice of another lime, added fajita seasoning, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, and reheated in the oven.
I shredded head lettuce very finely and whipped up a batch of guacamole. And shredded cheese for the top.

To assemble:

Corn tortilla
Shredded chicken
Shredded lettuce
Peach salsa

I thought that the corn tortillas were really earthy - not sure what other word to use. They had flavour and were hearty - rather than the ones that you buy in the deli. Everything went well together - and although I don't claim to be able to cook authentic Mexican food - I really liked how these turned out.

These will be so good without the meat as well, if you just wanted to try it vegetarian. You could chop a bunch of tomatoes, roast some corn, slice some peppers - endless possibilities.

Alright - in the oven - chicken meatballs. On the stove - homemade chicken stock. Just pulled out of the oven - roasted zucchini, eggplant and garlic. My version of Italian Wedding Soup - recipe soon to follow.




Pilar said...

This Mexican is quite pride of your Mexican food, it looks beautiful and I bet they tasted incredible! How did you like the Oaxacan style cheese? :) your tortillas look lovely by the way!

Pilar said...

You know I meant proud though right? please don't get confused. Pride is gay. :P

C. Mitchell said...

Thanks Pilar!!! I was going to BBM you and tell you about the cheese - b/c I was so excited it was from Oaxaca. It was really tasty!