Monday, April 29, 2013

Cookbook Review ~ Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers

I received Mexican Food Made Simple just over a year ago after reading my Sister-in-laws copy and loving it! Since I'm not particularly familiar with Mexican cooking this definitely looked like a great book to get me started. I know a lot of Mexican cookbooks can be off-putting due to long lists of hard to find ingredients and complicated, time consuming recipes, but this one really did look straightforward so it was time to put the book to the test.

For those of you unfamiliar with Thomasina Miers she was the winner of Masterchef (UK) in 2005. Her first book 'Cook' was published in 2006 but her true calling definitely pointed towards Mexican food after spending a lot of time living in Mexico and even opening a cocktail bar there. Her time in the country allowed her to explore the regions of Mexico learning about culture and of course food and even the opportunity to cook with some of Mexico's top chefs. Returning to live in the UK she since opened the cantina Wahaca (in various locations) which focuses on Mexican street food and has published Mexican Food Made Simple (2010) followed by Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home, in 2012.

Mexican Food Made Simple is packed full of recipes that are divided up into Chapters including Salsas, sauces & relishes (a favourite of mine!), Soups, Street food, Cheesy things, From the grill and Soul food. The chapter on 'Basics' is a great guide for introducing you to the way Mexican's eat, but more so is incredibly informative on classic Mexican ingredients you will use throughout the book and on ingredients you can substitute if you can't fend the authentic ingredient suggested. In the introduction Miers states that she can show how “easy, healthy and exciting Mexican food really is” using ingredients that are easy to source so baring that in mind it was time to put the book to the test!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hibiscus Cordial {& Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup}

This recipe is taken from the fantastic book Mexican Food Made Easy by Thomasina Miers. It has the most delicious fruity, berry flavour to it that is sweet but has a tang similar to cranberry juice. Topped up with a little sparkling water, this cordial makes the most refreshing and delicious non-alcoholic drink or for a party it would make a great base to a cocktail, especially when served with a hibiscus flower as a garnish.

Hibiscus Cordial

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles

I love Thai food and I love noodles so it's no surprise that I absolutely l-o-v-e this dish! This is my version of a recipe I tested from Rachel Allen's book Home Cooking. I've spiced it up but if you prefer it milder just miss out the Sriracha and chilli (if you like you could serve them on the side at the end for any chilli lovers you are feeding!). I've also changed some of the vegetables used which of course you could also change to what you like or happen to have in the house, and if you wanted you could also add some chicken or prawns, however I love this vegetable version for the perfect Meat Free Monday meal. It is full of so many fantastic fragrant flavours (try saying that 3 times!) but isn't too heavy. Try it once and there will be no going back or ordering from you local Noodle restaurant! Thanks Rachel!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cooking the Books ~ April

After deciding that's this month's theme for Cooking the Books would have more of an International twist to it, I narrowed down my choices to 4 books featuring Italian, Mexican, Thai and a mixture of European delights (courtesy of Jamie Oliver Does), and let those of you on Facebook vote for your choice. It was very close but in the end you picked Mexican as your cuisine of choice to be put to the test with Thomasina Mier's Mexican Food Made Simple. I'm so excited to try out this book and I'm hoping since I can't quite jet off to Mexico for a little break, that perhaps this book will give me at least a culinary holiday in the comfort of my own home!

As always if you have this book why not cook along with me and put your copy to the test, or if you use it on a regular basis let me know some of your favourite recipes that you recommend I try! So what are you waiting for - let's start Cooking the Books!
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