Food: Last night’s Vegan Mexican Fiesta

Our friend Jen came over last night, and like me, she often eats meatless, so I fancied making a favourite of mine, Vegan burritos (you can Veggie them up too with cheese & sour cream if you want!)

Taking advice from one of my foodie heroes, Nigella, I got super organised so I wouldn’t have to do much on the day itself. The day before we had made the two batches of molé for the burrito filling. One was a fried chili tofu molé, the other, a roasted butternut squash molé, with the ‘meat’ being different, but the sauce the same.

It’s an easy one to knock up, and open to adaptations.

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chopped onion (large)
  • 1 dried poblano chilli (chilli Ancho)
  • 1 chopped red chilli
  • 1 tin of kidney beans (drained)
  • 2tbs of ground cumin
  • 1 tbs of paprika (pimentón)
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 1tbs Tomato purée
  • a small glass ful of red wine
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • a sprig of coriander
  • 1 tbs chilli powder
  • 10-20g of good quality high cacao percent chocolate (I used some 100% cacao from Willie’s Cacao)

Fry off the mirepoix of onion, celery and carrot in a little oil until tender, then add the tomato puree until it has made a rich, thick mix. Pulp down with a stick blender, now bring back to the pot and add in the chopped tomatoes, the red wine and the spices. Next chop the chili up and add to the pot, also, at this point you add in the Ancho chili, with its smoky/sweet raisin like flesh. Cook it out for 10 minutes then add the kidney beans, simmer for an hour and add a splash of water to loosen. Then, add in the chopped sprig of coriander and grate the cacao in, this should make the sauce richer and deeper.Taste and season accordingly.

The ‘meat’ that went into the sauce was some tofu I had fried with some hot chili powder and sweet smoky ancho chili powder, and half a butternut squash I had roasted with 1 tbs of ground cumin, rapeseed oil, salt and pepper.

On the day itself I only had to prepare the guac and the salsa for the burritos. To make the guac (easy as!)

Just scoop out the flesh from 2 ripe avocados, add quarter a chopped onion, zest and juice of 1 lime, half a chopped green chilli, a big handful of corander (cilantro) and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Blitz up until a lumpy yet mostly smooth dip, season. Done!

The salsa was just as easy!

3 chopped tomatoes, 2 roasted peppers, half a green chilli, half a chopped onion, the juice and zest of a lemon, 2 tsp of paprika (pimentón), a fistful of coriander and 2 tbs of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Blitz until chunky. Done.

To start we had the mid century classic of chips ‘n dips majorly chanelling Pete Cambell.

We just had nacho chips with the homemade dips (above)

For mains, then, were the burritos. Using the molé, dips, some cooked rice made for a hearty, delicious vegan burrito!

We served it with a crisp, reshreshing white that Jen had brought over (thanks Jen!)

To finish we needed something refreshing and light, which is exactly what we got (plus I had an abundance of basil I wanted to use up).

The day before I had made an apple, mint and basil granita, simply and generally fuss-free, perfect for what I needed.

To make:

De-core and peel 2-3 Granny Smith apples, chop up and place into a bowl. Add in 250ml of fresh apple juice, the juice of 1 lemon, a fist full of mint and the same of basil leaves. Blitz up with a stick blender until it turns into a fluffy purée. Strain then add some sugar syrup (to taste) and top up with sparkling water. Transfer into a box, and place in the deep freeze. Roughing it up with a fork every few hours, or so.



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