Thomasina Miers’ Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas

As I may have mentioned, I don’t think a meal is a real meal if it doesn’t have carbs. There are some who say a meal is not a proper meal without meat. I can do without meat. But carbs? Carbs are the essence of food.

These have double carbs. Potatoes and bread. You know what else has both potatoes and bread? Chip butties. And crisp sandwiches. So you know this is gonna be good. It also has chorizo so if you are feeding someone with the aforementioned “must have meat” issue, this fits the bill.

Thomasina Miers is the creator of Wahaca, the chain of Mexican restaurants. Apparently she won Masterchef in 2005 or something. This is from her book “Mexican Food Made Simple”. A lot of it is not that simple, but this is.

Get yourself some potatoes. Cut them into dice, or smaller-than-dice if you can be bothered. The instructions said just to fry them but I find frying potatoes takes forever so I boiled them for 5 mins. Cut up some chorizo very small. Put it in a nonstick frying pan and fry while your potatoes are cooking. It’ll leak lots of lovely orange fat. Drain your potatoes and put them into the chorizo-y frying pan. Add lots of fresh thyme. Cook until you are sure that the potato is nice and soft.

Get your nice big tortilla wrap, put it into a hot nonstick frying pan (you can put some oil if you like but you don’t need to. Cover with the chorizo and potato mixture. Put grated cheese on top. I also added spring onion.

You’ll see the potato is all nice and orangey. Cover with another tortilla. I also used a small plate to hold the top one down to encourage the whole thing to stick together. Another way to make it stick together better is to use a lot more cheese than I did. That’s also a good option.

Cook like that until you sense that the bottom is brown. I don’t know how you expect to do this. The plate is useful for flipping.

Tah-dah! Now it is flipped. Cook til the other side is that same colour (I already told you, I don’t know how to do this, just use your intuition or something).

You’ll notice that I haven’t said any measurements here. I used a sausage of chorizo about 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, double that volume in potato, and a small handful of thyme, to fill 4 tortillas (so two sandwiches). How much cheese did I use? That much  <gestures vaguely>

These are great for a lunch where you’re not sure when you’ll be eating. I made mine for friends who were coming round with a baby in tow. They are nice hot, nice cold, and (much rarer) also nice if they are just warmish. They stay warm well stacked in the oven as in the very top picture.

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Hello Fresh – Smokey Burritos

Persoally I'd spell smoky without the 'e', even though I do put one in nosey.

Personally I’d spell smoky without the ‘e’, even though I do put one in nosey.

This is recipe #2 from my Hello Fresh box – and yes it was fresh when I cooked it, I just didn’t get around to writing it up. Unlike recipe #3, which was supposed to be salmon but I didn’t check the dates and the salmon went off to days after the box was delivered. Normally I’d always say “just smell it, it’s probably fine”, but I can’t do that with fish. I don’t trust my fish judgement because my friends who LIKE fish (I used to hate it, now I am teaching myself to tolerate it) say “fish only smells fishy if it’s off”. No, fish smells fishy all the time. Fish-y. The clue is in the name. I suspect there is some other BAD fishy smell that they are referring to, but it bugs me that they can’t smell the inherent this-smells-of-fish-it-is-fishy-because-it-is-fish fishy smell. So I can’t judge off fish by the smell.

Anyway, smokey burritos. Stuff in a tortilla wrap. I have to admit I was underwhelmed with these, for two reasons:

  1. Making something nice in a tortilla wrap is EASY.
  2. It told me to put the oven on at the beginning of the instructions, and then the oven was never used.
Here's the stuff

Here’s the stuff

Don’t get me wrong, it made a tasty-enough meal, and the texture of the potato in the wrap was very nice, but I could make something decent to go in a wrap without having to use two pans (boiling the potato, you see).

 

They obviusl also

The recipe in full, if you want it, which you probably don't.

The recipe in full, if you want it, which you probably don’t.

They obviously also had a tie-in with a brand of chipotle stuff, which is fine I guess but you’d think that at £39 full price per box (3x meals for 2, or 2x if you foolishly let the fish go off) you’d think they didn’t need extra money from product placement.

And nobody can wrap the bloody things and keep them in shape

And nobody can wrap the bloody things and keep them in shape

Still, I ate them and enjoyed eating them, and the feeling of “I could do this better” will probably encourage me to make some more in future. So I have at least gained some inspiration, even if it’s of the slightly-exasperated “just let me do it” variety.

Thomasina Miers spicy bird tacos (and accompaniments)

Thomasina Miers Mexican Food Made Simple

I make salsa and guacamole a lot. Tomatoes and chillis and stuff. Avocado and garlic and lime. Why do I need a recipe? I don’t, but I bought this book, because I love Mexican food. So I thought I’d better actually pay attention to what’s written in it.

I’ve never been to Wahaca (despite working in London!) so I wanted to buy the general “make nice food” book rather than this “this is what is in the restaurant” book.

Guacamole and salsaEvery one is different – here I made guacamole to a recipe with no tomatoes, and lots of coriander. I thought it was a bit odd that the recipe insisted on green chillis but then used red onion, but hey ho. A different, fresher, more herbal (duh, because of all the herbs) flavour. I liked it but it won’t take over from my usual guacamole.

The salsa is a roasted tomato salsa, but “roasted” actually means “dry fried”. This gave the salsa a very rich flavour and I’d definitely do it again. Top tip: if you dry fry a whole chilli the skin will split with a surprisingly large BANG. Cut it open first.

Spicy bird tacos with pink pickled onionsTips for the spicy bird tacos:

  • for poached chicken I just stuck two frozen chicken breasts in simmering water until they looked done.
  • leave the room when you are boiling your chipotles for chipotles en adobo
  • don’t forget to tell your other half that you want to KEEP that jar, otherwise you will have to fish the jar out of the recycling and improvise a lid
  • this sauce tasted kind of sweet, I might do less sugar in the chipotles and less
  • homegrown herbs are easy and make you fee smug when you get to use them
  • the pink pickled onions are a great accompaniment

So yes. Yum. Dinner. More interesting than a fajita kit. More work, too, but worth it if you like that kind of thing. Which I do.