Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Mad about Mexican.

gathering ingredients for a Mexican feast.
Up until recently my  'Mexican' food experiences comprised of the following: Somewhere on our American road trip when I was 15, half price margarita night at Taco Bills- uni,  and Old El Paso. When I lived in Japan I even found the taco shells (made in Australia) at Sony Plaza a popular store with a weird mix of make up beauty products, Tim Tams, and other imported groceries.

Always keen to experience new  flavours,  I was quite excited with the opening of a  'Mamasita' a few years back, this was perhaps the first of recent batch of Melbourne eateries touting authentic Mexican food and Tequila. Unfortunately as with most over hyped things here in Melbourne, my excitement was short-lived. The one time we went we rushed out of work early got there at 5.45pm on a Tuesday... and found we had the last 2 seats in the place crowded at a bar whilst everyone else was lined up for hours from the front door and down the stairs. So I had given up on Mexican until I came across an entry in the Footscray Food blog for La Tortilleria- real tacos just round the corner in Kensington and the best bit you can by fresh tortillas made from freshly stone ground corn to take home.

So with tortillas in hand, a few left over chillies, capsicum, tonnes of fresh lime and some fantastic seasons avocado (not my own) I have unleashed a Mexican cooking frenzy. To date I have experimented with  Neil Perry's recipe for chicken adobo and a smoky pork tacos from (lots of the other similar recipes contained apple/juice so I also substituted some of the chicken stock with apple juice for this recipe and added a couple of mild chilies).

I addition to creating a side of avocado with lime and coriander I also found another unusual Mexican ingredient at the Gasworks farmers market- tomatillos. I had never seen these before, but my friend having just returned from a brief stop over in Mexico assured me these are indeed found in Mexican markets.

I am excited about attempting to grow some of the tomatillos from seed- any hints?

Helpfully they came with there own recipe sheet for 'Tomatillo Salsa Verde'. The tomatillos first need to be cooked- apparently they are normally boiled but this recipe suggested baking these along with a couple of cloves of garlic which is what I did.

The recipe then proceeds as follows (note I created mine with about half the amount)
  • 500g tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 1tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 jalapeno or padron peppers (seeds removed for less heat)
  • roasted garlic
  • salt to taste
All the ingredients are then put into a blender for a couple of pulses to chop fairly coarsely- place in a serving bowl and there you have it.

tomatillo salsa and some avocado and coriander with lime


  1. Was it nice? I bought some tomatillo seed a couple of years ago then forgot to pot up the seedlings and never managed to harvest any fruit. I keep meaning to try again but I don't even know if I like them so I haven't been super motivated.

  2. It wasn't bad- a bit like green tomatoes maybe? Certainly a point of conversation- impressing the in-laws with my super authentic mexican cooking! (LOL). At least you successfully germinated them. I might try growing them out in the 'public' realms of the community planters for a bit of fun- people won't steal them if they don't know what they are.