My best take on Summer cooking combines simple techniques with loads of flavour. More time for play & less time in a hot kitchen.
At home and at Relish Mama, we have been making lots of homemade tortillas and filling them with all sorts of tasty & nutritious delights. Perfect Summer food and everyone gets to create and fill their own creation which I just love.
Making tortilla wraps is a breeze and loads of fun. No yeast is used which means the dough can be whipped up and allowing 10 minutes resting time, then you are ready to roll…..literally. I usually holler for our daughters at this point & they each roll out the tortillas. We use either our rolling pin or our tortilla press for this, and while the girls are busy, I get on with putting together some lovely fillings. On offer is usually a delicious bowl of Mexican style slaw, some sliced avocado if we haven’t made guacamole, homemade lemon yoghurt and for the protein, it is usually either pan-fried flat head or this quick and easy marinated chicken recipe that is below. For those that have a copy of my first cookbook, the fish recipe is in this ‘Relish Mama – recipes from a shared table and the Relish Mama kitchen’.
I cooked these beautiful dishes with the children and teens that attended my Mexican inspired cooking classes this January. When one boy commented that he never wanted to buy a tortilla in a packet again…..well, I could have cried honestly.
I would love to share all that we made here for you all to enjoy with your own family and friends.
Thank you to all the fantastic and enthusiastic kids & teens who joined our cooking classes at Relish Mama this January. Two more days of classes left of classes this week, and then we will see you all again in April for new menus and more fun.
For older teens and tweens, we have added two Friday after school dates where you can join me, cook with me, and we will create a sensational Friday night meal for you all to take home and enjoy with your families. Waaaaaayyyyyy better than any Friday night takeaway food and the bragging rights you have for cooking the family dinner. I cannot wait for these. Anyone interested, here is the link to explore more.
Happy New Year to you all.
Mexican Street Salad
¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
3 radishes, sliced super fine
2 carrots, very finely grated
½ bunch coriander, chopped
1 green chilli, finely diced
1 red onion, very finely sliced
Juice of 2 limes or lemons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Prepare all vegetables, as per ingredients above. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
Add lime juice, sea salt and olive oil.
Toss to combine and serve.
Homemade Masa harina tortillas
Makes 12 x 10cm tortillas
300g masa harina flour (or yellow maize flour, NOT white corn flour) – for a plain flour version, please see recipe below
A good pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
420-450ml hand hot water
Note: You will also need a rolling pin/ tortilla press, baking paper cut into squares.
Add olive oil and salt to 420ml warm water, stir. In a bowl, place the masa harina flour and add the wet ingredients mix well. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining 30ml warm water. Knead the dough with your hands until it is soft and smooth. This step can also be done very easily in the food processor.
Roll into 12 balls – approximately walnut sized ball.
Place a plastic freezer bag on the bottom of the tortilla press*. Fold the bag over the top of the dough. Close the press and push down to compress the dough. Check the tortilla is nice and thin. If not, compress again or use a rolling pin to assist. The tortillas should be nice and thin, but obviously manageable. Peel back the plastic from the top of the tortilla very carefully so it does not tear. Flip the tortilla over to carefully peel back the plastic on the other side.
*If you do not have a tortilla press, cover the dough, as above in plastic however use a large saucepan or frying pan to press the dough down or use a rolling pin.
Heat a heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan and place tortilla in a dry pan. Cook until the tortilla slightly changes colour and puffs up (approx. 2 minutes). Turn and cook the other side and cook for a further minute. Keep the tortillas warm by wrapping in a tea towel or foil and keep them in a low oven as you cook the rest.
Home Made Tortillas using plain flour
Makes 8 Tortillas
2 cups plain flour* (we use masa harina flour mostly at home & at Relish Mama – recipe above )
A good pinch of sea salt
¾ cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Follow the same method as per the masa harina tortillas above.
Easy marinated chicken for Mexican tortillas
500g chicken thigh fillets cut into 2cm slices
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2-3 capsicums (can be mixed in colour if you like eg. green, red or yellow), sliced finely lengthways
Guacamole or sliced avocado
Mexican street salad
Place the chicken slices in a bowl. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well & allow to marinate for a little bit of time. If you need to cook immediately, it will still be delicious…..that is a promise.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan and add the sliced capsicum. Gently sauté until they are soft. Set aside in a serving dish.
In the same pan, cook the marinated chicken strips for approx. 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a serving bowl.
To serve, top your tortilla with chicken (or fish), capsicum and a little avocado. Add Mexican street salad and a dollop of yoghurt. Wrap up the tortilla around the filling & enjoy.