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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Mexican Cooking Night with Thomasina Miers


Little did I think I’d be cooking with Thomasina Miers, but found myself landed with the brilliant opportunity, when my husband put in a bid on eBay to win us places on a Mexican cookery course. The charity auction was organised by Blagger’s Banquet to raise money for Action Against Hunger.
Eight lucky people gathered at Thomasina’s home in London, in early March, for a night of informal cooking, drinking, eating, chat and fun.
Fresh from her return from Mexico a week before, Thomasina was enthusiastic and filled with local cuisine tips and interesting anecdotes of her trip.


The night’s menu consisted of typical street food cooking, which focussed on fresh and simple ingredients that were easy to prepare and produced dishes that were healthy and of course delicious:

SPRING TACO WITH SWISS CHARD AND BACON
GRILLED SKIRT STEAK TACOS WITH ROAST TOMATO SALSA
CRISPY FRIED SQUID TOSTADAS WITH CHIPOTLE MAYONNAISE
SMOKED MACKEREL TOSTADAS
CLASSIC GUACAMOLE

We all had a chance to chop, slice, mix and marinade and those brave enough to accept the challenge of the hot stove, tortillas were fried to make crunchy tostadas.
I got my chance of preparing the skirt steak which was marinaded in lime and orange juice. Until now I’d never thought that beef and orange would work well together, but this is a very traditional thing in Yucatan. There, the oranges are usually quite zingy, so the lime counteracted the sweetness of the oranges available here.


I’m very interested in learning about the authentic cuisine of a country, and I believe what most British people think of as being Mexican couldn’t be further from the real thing. We’re all familiar with what is known as Tex-Mex which is sold by way of those Old El Paso kits. Tacos are not crunchy, traditionally they are soft and made from white corn meal. Tostadas are crunchy but are more sophisticated than those strange looking things out of the box.

I would love to see more authentic Mexican restaurants in the UK and I hope that Thomasina’s Wahaca will be an inspiration to others to explore it further. With it’s rising popularity, I’d wish to see the supermarkets stocking some of those essential ingredients. For example chipotles, dried, smoked jalapeño chillies. At the moment I’ve only been able to find then online. Thomasina used them to flavour a mayonnaise and it was gorgeous, all smokey, warm and velvety.


After all the food was ready we had fun making up our own tacos with various fillings and sipping on a smokey mezcal, just perfect.

I had a brilliant time cooking while my husband took the photos and as we haven’t yet had the chance to eat at Wahaca, it’s in our plans for our next London visit. But while we wait I’ve been busy in my own kitchen experimenting with this exciting cuisine.

Thanks to Thomasina for allowing us into her home –
not something I was expecting!

To see more pictures from the night, visit my Flickr site here

For more about Mexican food:
wahaca.co.uk
wahaca’s blog













I'd thoroughly recommend getting Thomasina's new book too!

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