Chow time… Puerco Pibil Mexican slow roasted pork

I have been a big fan of Robert Rodriguez ever since I saw the Mariachi several years ago. This recipe is featured in the extras in the” Once upon a time in Mexico” dvd. I have been meaning to make it for a few years now.. and this weekend finally got around to it.

Well I have to say that it was a total success I cooked it for my parents on Saturday and they loved it. So excited we were that it turned out so good, I drove 2 hours across Sydney on Sunday to buy more Anotto seeds ( a major ingredient) and cooked it again!

I followed the recipe exactly as shown in the video below.

This is a dish that has a wonderful flavour depth from all the ingredients… so do not skip any!

Now some tips for those in Australia…

First up is where the hell do you get Anotto seeds? Here are two mail order sources one is Monterey foods and the other is Herbies Spices you will need about 70 grams of seeds for the dish.

Watch out with the Anotto seeds they are like Turmeric they will dye most things they come in contact with a nice Orange colour so be careful.

Pork butt… I use Pork Scotch Fillet available at most good butchers go for around 2.0 kg.

All the other spices are available at the Asian or Indian stores.

I also used real Oranges for the juice.

Habaneros  and Banana leaves are available at any good Fruit shop. No Banana leaves just use foil. No Habaneros just use 4 Birds eye chillies.

Tip do not use more than one layer of Banana leaves and cover the dish well with foil to seal it all up well. This means you will get some nice juice.

Note 2 large marble size Habaneros is  if smaller use 3.

Tequila none to hand then get yourself a Mini bottle of the stuff and dump it all in.

Don’t worry about it turning out too Hot the Habaneros add a real chilli flavour  not heat. Just be careful handling those guys wash your hands and chopping board well!

Cook in a normal oven for 3.5 hours  at 160 or a fan forced at 150 degrees C. At the 3.5 hour mark I turn the oven off and leave it for the last 30min.

Just serve on white rice with some sour cream as a side dish or make some Mexican/Spanish rice recommended recipe here at Simply recipes.

Enjoy while watching any of the following Mexican Films…

El Mariachi

Desperado

Once upon a time in Mexico

Amores Perros

Nicotina

Serves 4-5 or if you have leftovers make some burritos with the meat shredded serve with sour cream, guacamole, tomato, lettuce, and grated cheese.

Photography,Travel and Swiss Cheese. That sounds good!

I guess cheese for our family is like choc chip cookies for others. Growing up there was always the ever present cheese in the fridge and lots of it. I think it has something to do with Dad being dutch. Recently a friend house sat at Mum and Dads and said he couldn’t believe how much cheese they had left him to eat his way through. He gained a kilo in two days!

I was browsing one of my favorite food blogs written by Francois Xavier (who is a man after my own heart) and I came across his article on artisan cheese making in the Swiss alps. It has some great photography and gives us an insight into a 300 year old tradition.

Take a look… Blessed are the cheese makers!

lengtal-swiss-alpkaese-16-1000

Great photos Francois. See his photo tips here.

What’s funny is that I also have a fridge full of cheese! darn must be genetic I just went to the fridge and checked no less than 5 different cheeses in various states of ripeness. Well better get the crackers out… what grommit we are out of crackers, quick to the shops! My favorite cheese is Double gloucester Brie Smoked Cheddar no maybe Red Leicester oh… I can’t make up my mind anything from King Island there that covers a few bases.

lengtal-swiss-alpkaese-29-1000

I’m sure Dad would feel right at home here. I would.

Cafe Ayllu a classic coffee shop in Cusco

The cafe Ayllu has been serving the hungry of Cusco for 38 years now. I have been going there for over 20 of them and it hasn’t changed. It still is the best cafe in Cusco. It’s location smack bang on the plaza with it’s huge windows allow for a fine view where you can sit and enjoy what is happening outside, while partaking in fine drinks and food. It is famous for it’s baked custard and hot chocolate, but all of it’s pastries are good and the pancakes with fruit and honey absolutely delicious.

ayllu

The Ayllu still with it’s original furniture, service and food.

It’s prices are local prices so you are not paying the tourist premium you do in many other places on the plaza. The Ayllu is where all the intellectual and arty set in Cusco go to hangout. Often jam packed even at 10pm at night it is definitely a must visit place if you are heading to Cusco. Just order a coffee and my favorite treat an alfajor ( a large shortbread biscuit with caramelised condensed milk inside)… Kick back and watch the world go by.

A wickedly good iced coffee recipe

My friend Mark likes to go to a local cafe for iced coffee, but he has to order it with a double shot of espresso to make it strong enough. Is it just me or is the coffee really wimpy in so many places? Anyway the other day he took me there and I thought hey I can make better than this at home! The coffee testers have approved this for posting here so you know it is good…

iced-coffee

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The iced coffee wiki:

Gather your ingredients:

Some nice ground coffee or beans ( to grind fresh if you have a grinder)

Milk

Ice cream- Vanilla works great  ( I found this great Weiss coffee ice cream which adds to the caffeine hit!!)

Sugar

ingredients-iced-coffee

Ingredients and implements.

You need to make a really strong espresso mix I use a small moka pot packed with as much fine ground coffee will fit in the insert. You could use a bodum I guess or of course an espresso machine if you have one. The 4 cup moka pot gives 250ml of espresso perfect for 2 nice strong icey coffee’s. Whatever you use the coffee must be strong!

Pour the liquid into a jug or similar add sugar ( eg: if you take 2 spoons per cup than add that for every 125mm of espresso) while hot to taste. Place in fridge until really cold. I leave mine overnight. Get a nice tall glass add coffee and then milk and a scoop of your chosen ice cream. That’s it enjoy!

Lime and Chilli Beef Burritos…. Start the year with these!

I admit it I love cooking especially when it comes to authentic Mexican food yum…
Well I have finally perfected this fantastic burrito recipe over the last few years and it is ready to go public.
Give it a try let me know what you think. Serves 4 ( twice) prep time approx 1 hr.

Gather your ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of sliced pickled jalapenos
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of cumin
  • salt to taste
  • tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican Green Salsa ( la goya brand is available here)
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large green capsicum
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2-3 large limes
  • 1kg-1.2kg premium beef mince
  • Light sour cream
  • Grated Cheddar cheese (Colby is great)
  • Avocado’s
  • Tomato
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Tortillas
  • Stargate SG-1 ( to watch whilst enjoying your burros)

Method:

Dice up Capsicum and Onion set the oil in the fry pan and saute the Capsicum on high for a few minutes then add the onion and cook until transparent turn the heat down to low add the finely chopped jalapeno and crushed garlic, saute for a further minute or so and then add your Green Salsa allow to heat up for a moment then in add the Chopped Tomatoes and tomato paste with the 3 tablespoons of Cumin ( note: use good quality cumin it makes quite a difference). Stir and let it heat up for a minute then remove from heat and transfer to a large saucepan and set aside. This is your homemade Burrito base….. no packets here thanks!

Remy what are you doing there?


This is your tasty homemade base

Ok… now on to the fun part, first heat a large non stick fry pan, while the pan is heating squeeze the juice of 2 limes. When hot add the mince ( no oil needed) and add about half the lime juice break up the mince and stirring well while cooking ( add a few sprinkles of salt a couple of times while the meat cooks). When the mince is about half done add the last of the lime juice and stir it in with one generous tablespoon of cumin.
Cook until well browned. Remove and add to the saucepan with your homemade base, place on very low heat for 10-15min, stir well and cover. That’s the mix made!

Now it is starting to look good!

Now to get everything ready for our home style Mexican Feast we need to prepare the burrito building condiments for the table:

  • Mash two ripe organic ( if possible) avocado’s with the some lime juice I judge this by eye but approx 1/2 a teaspoon is good and some ground pepper to taste. Mash with a fork until creamy.
  • Dice a tasty tomato and cut some lettuce into strips
  • You can layout some red or green salsa if you wish but they really don’t need it
  • Grate your Colby or Cheddar cheese and layout the other condiments.
There are many ways to build a burro this is not one of mine…..
Fold up and enjoy!

Movie Review……….. Ratatouille

I love the new generation of animated films from Pixar they are great entertainment. But their latest release Rataouille stands out from the crowd, apart from it’s great voice acting, animation and characters etc.. it is a film with both a funny yet moving story with a moral to tell.
It’s all about following your dreams and heart even in the face of adversity & having fun along the way.
The main character is Remy who dreams of being more than just your average rodent scavenging amongst the garbage for the rest of his life, he wants to be well……. a chef. Yep that’s right a chef…. You see Remy is blessed a gourmet set of taste buds, something that his fellow family members cannot quite comprehend.
Through a hilarious series of misadventures Remy winds up in the kitchen of ( yep you guessed it) France’s most revered restaurant where his culinary skills are put to the test and through a few trials and tribulations ( well maybe more than a few) we see Remy’s dream come true.

Apart from the great cooking and kitchen scenes the film is worth it alone for Peter O’toole’s performance as the food critic Anton Ergo….. his final review is a powerful discourse that well criticises the critics so to speak.
Enough said! go and see it…. just don’t plan to eat out afterwards, you will want to go straight home and cook up something delicious…… here is a great Ratatouille recipe to enjoy.
I’m giving this one Five Michelin stars*****
And don’t forget as Remy says anyone can cook!