Entertaining & Cooking Ideas
Entertaining & Cooking Ideas
SUMMER - AUGUST 2014
Mexican food is as varied as it is delicious. From simple salsa to exciting mixes of chillies and herbs, indulge yourself in a world of flavour for an authentic feast
Salsas are an essential part of all Mexican food, with around 200 known varieties; Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers describes them as “ubiquitous as ketchup or mustard are here, and are as diverse as the chillies that go into them”.
Corn is a key ingredient in Mexican cooking and masa harina flour is great for creating authentic and gluten-free tortillas that are light and tangy in flavour.
When making tortillas, make sure you let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before pressing and line the press with two halves of a polythene bag to prevent it from sticking. You can also freeze raw or cooked dough for use another time if you make too much.
While Mexican food is not traditionally spicy, the heat is added with salsa and spices that are specially selected to bring a deep flavour to the dish. Oregano is often used in tomato dishes to create a rich and earthy flavour while sweet and spicy coriander is perfect teamed with lime.
Used to create deliciously distinctive Mexican chocolate, Ceylon cinnamon offers a warm, woody flavour and cumin has been widely used in Mexican cooking for centuries, so try creating your own flavours at home.
Tacos with Squash and Chorizo
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Make the most of seasonal fruits and vegetables with your own preserves, jams and chutneys - the perfect way to create a taste of homemade from breakfast to dinner
Late summer and early autumn is a great time for starting your preserving journey as there is an abundance of delicious and interesting produce you can use. If you’re just starting out, try classic blackberries, strawberries and currants to build your confidence.If you want to try making a chutney, combine seasonal fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers with chillies, garlic and spices to create a delectable condiment perfect for family gatherings.
TOP 5 TIPS
1 Make sure everything you use is sterilised – it will help the jar to seal properly and prevent mould from growing
2 Get to know pectin and the way it works – for naturally low-pectin fruits such as strawberries, it might be necessary to add a little extra
3 The setting point of jam is between 104°C and 105°C – if you want to test it, place a spoonful of hot jam onto a cold plate and push it with your finger. If the surface wrinkles, it has set
4 To avoid cloudy jam, be patient when straining the juice as a bag that is squeezed forces the pulp through
5 Use a filling funnel to avoid messy sides and burnt hands
There is no better smell than delicious home baking and the joy of tucking into a homemade pie or tart with rich, crumbly pastry is something we all look forward to
Like with jam-making, pies will always be enhanced by the freshness and quality of the ingredients within, so give baking with seasonal fruits a go. Wild blackberries have a strong, rich flavour that goes well with vanilla, apples, cinnamon and red wine, while raspberries and custard work perfectly together in an open-top pie.
If you want to try using vegetables in tarts for a lighter option that is ideal for lunch, try rich, tasty vegetables such as broccoli, peas, peppers and spinach for a colourful treat you can’t wait to tuck into.
1 If you don’t have baking beans to hand when blind baking, use pasta shells and remember to press the pastry gently into the tin
2 To avoid a soggy fruit pie, sit the fruit in sugar for about half an hour and drain the natural juices away
3 If you want to check how the crust is cooking without disturbing it, try using a glass Pyrex pie dish
4 For a closed pie, use a preheated baking sheet to ensure the bottom cooks as well as the top
5 Make sure you have cold hands and use light fingertips
For more baking advice, visit our
Bakeware Buying Guide