I spent a couple of days over the Easter Holidays in Galway City during the Galway Food Festival this year. This was my first time attending the festival and was delighted when I got invited to do a demonstration at the Visiting Chefs' Area.
The last two weeks have seen a lot of very interesting conversations over facebook and twitter about home-made corn tortillas from scratch. As a third generation tortilla baker, I learned the trade from my grandfather, who was passionate about a good tortilla. Corn tortillas are Coeliac friendly, tasty and above all simple enough to make... and yet, we all have faced disasters when trying to make them. After all the chats and questions, I decided to give a small demo on tortilla making!
Tacos al Pastor (or Shepard's Style Tacos) are one of my favourite tacos EVER and I don't say that lightly. In the north of Mexico they are called 'Tacos de Trompo', because they are cooked in a vertical spit called 'trompo' (spinning top) similar if not identical to the one Kebabs are cooked on, with a piece of fresh pineapple and a big onion on top. The cooking method and the gadget were brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico in the late 1910 and early 1920's.
This is a very lazy post, so beware! I was cooking during the week for a party of friends who will come over for Sunday and sneaked a bit of the Cochinita Pibil I cooked for our lunch. I normally cook 2 kilos of cochinita, then portion it and freeze it. This time I took a bowl of it and made this delicious Pork Pibil Tostadas which served two purposes: it fed us and provided the recipe for this post.
As you know, I'm trying to blog more regularly these days, at least once a week. Friday is usually the day I can get to do that, but when I have a busy week and there's little or no time to go food shopping, I try and come up with something I can blog about and which I have ingredients to make and photograph before all light is gone. Like many bloggers, this is a hobby for me, a passion and a pastime, this means that the day job, and in our case, the night job, have priority over everything else.
As those of you who know me, and those of you who've been patient enough to read previous ramblings in this blog, I absolutely hate food waste. I don't throw food away if I can help it; some of my Irish family find this odd and jokingly call me the queen of leftovers, so naturally, two weeks after Christmas I am still feeding my dearest and nearest turkey! Normally, Alan always asks - 'what's for dinner today?', nowadays, he asks: 'is the turkey finally all gone?' - the poor thing!
I don't know about you, but I seem to be incapable of ever judging what size turkey to buy so that I don't have a massive amount of it left after our traditionally Irish Christmas dinner. This year was no exception, the 14 pound bird was indeed too much, so I was left with about 5 pounds of cooked turkey! Now there's only so much turkey sandwiches you can eat and after two days, I have to fight the urge to choke it all in the bin.
Carne Asada (grilled or barbecued meat) is a very traditional dish in Monterrey, my native city. People eat carne asada every other day and, like the Irish Sunday Roast, it is a sort of given on the weekend. The climate in Monterrey is very dry and hot (up to 45 Celsius in the summer) and outdoor barbecues feature in every household. We use PROPER charcoal barbecues, none of that gas nonsense, so when I moved to Ireland, I insisted on getting a charcoal barbecue for the back garden.
This is another of those recipes that was born out of desperation in my Dublin kitchen. I've tasted courgette flower quesadillas and stuffed courgette flowers before, they're quite traditional in Mexico, but they are fresh, so when I was first faced with tinned courgette flowers I thought, great! I don't have to miss them any more, but then I realised you can't do many of the things we do to the fresh ones. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with this little recipe. It's simple and delicious and perfect to make tacos with.
Recently a twitter friend asked me if I had a good recipe for tacos. I realised that although I have done a lot of taco filling recipes for the blog, I hadn't really written a specific post on tacos, so no mystery as to what this post is all about: wonderful, versatile, delicious and ever simple tacos!