There’s a perception that Mexican food is spicy and heavy but, in fact, true Mexican food has both a depth of flavour – with its combination of savoury and earthy flavours – and a fresh lightness from its generous use of fresh herbs, vegetables and citrus. Authentic Mexican food is vibrant, delicious, fresh and fun. It is also colourful, spicy and uses an amazing array of chillies.
ENTREE - FRESH STEAK-CHILLI-TACOS
PREP: 20 min | COOK: 12 min
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
A pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/4 pound top sirloin steaks cut 1-inch thick
12 small corn tortillas (5 to 6 inches in diameter)
3 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 Spoons Guacamole
In a small bowl stir together chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. Rub spice mixture on both sides of steaks. Grill or broil steaks for 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium rare, turning once. Remove from grill and let meat sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve into thin slices. Warm tortillas by placing them on the grill, for about 30 seconds, turning once. Or place 6 tortillas at a time between 2 moist paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds. Wrap in cloth napkin or place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm. Place the carved steak, warm tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, lime and Avocado Lime Salsa in serving dishes and let diners make their own tacos at the table.
MAIN - LIGHT MEXICAN LASAGNE
PREP: 25 min | COOK: 35 min
1 pound 99%-lean ground turkey
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
12 corn tortillas
1 can chopped green chillies drained
2 cans enchilada sauce, divided
1 carton nonfat sour cream, divided
1 can nonfat spicy refried beans, divided
1 package shredded low-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Brown ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water, bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer turkey mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped green chilies and remove from heat. Spread a scant 2/3 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of an 8x10-inch baking dish; top sauce with 4 tortillas, overlapping if necessary. Spread tortillas with half the sour cream, half the refried beans, half the turkey mixture, and 1/3 the cheese blend. Top with another 2/3 cup enchilada sauce and 4 more tortillas. Firmly press down on tortillas to compact the layers beneath. Repeat layers, spreading remaining sour cream, refried beans, turkey mixture, 1/3 the cheese blend and 2/3 cup enchilada sauce onto tortillas. Top with remaining 4 tortillas; press down as before. Finish layering casserole with remaining 2/3 cup enchilada sauce and remaining 1/3 the cheese blend. Bake casserole uncovered in the preheated oven until the cheese topping is melted and bubbling and casserole is hot, about 20 minutes.
DESSERT - STRAWBERRY-PINEAPPLE-COCONUT MARGARITAS
Slightly adjusted from www.howsweeteats.com - Jessica Merchant
1/4 cup flaked sea salt, for glass rimming.
1 cup frozen strawberries, defrosted or even microwaved
2 ounces silver tequila
1 1/2 ounces Grand Marnier
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces cocnut syrup
3 ounces pineapple juice
lime wedges, for serving and garnish pineapple cubes or wedges, for serving
Place the salt on a plate. Rim a glass with a lime wedge and dip in the salt to coat. Add the defrosted strawberries to a blender or food processor and blend until completely pureed. This will make more than you need. (You can keep this mixture in the fridge sealed tightly for a few days.) In a cocktail shaker with ice, add 1 to 2 ounces of the strawberry puree along with the tequila, grand marnier, lime juice and coconut syrup. Shake for 30 seconds. Pour mixture into the glass, then fill with a lime wedge, pineapple wedge and crushed iced. Top it off with the pineapple juice and another lime. Drink up!