top of page

Not just any old red chilli

Dear Tooting & Balham Foodies, I hope all is well and that you are doing ok through these difficult times.

The darker and colder weather is certainly putting a different spin getting through this, and then there is home-school too! It is certainly making sure that our time is filled up with so little else to do!!

I am really excited about this week’s Friday offering – Chile Colorado. This is one of the great dishes of Tex-Mex/Mexican cuisine, but is largely unknown in the UK. I’d certainly not heard of it until recently. Named after the deep mahogany red from the soaked and pulverised mix of dried chilles, that form the sauce with a few aromatic herbs, this is a dish that celebrates the fruity flavours of the regions most prized pods. You are left with tender chuncks of meat, pork in our case, that are coated in a thick redolent sauce bursting with flavour! You can then eat this as a taco or a burrito (we are hoping our blue corn tortillas turn up on time!) or whatever way you please. We’ll be serving alongside some tex-mex rice and Cowboy Pinto Beans. Photo’s below are library pictures, as I haven’t got my own yet, but will give you an idea! This is a meal you will just inhale!

Last week was busy, but we got the time to cook up a big ole batch of Country Captain. This regional classic is over 200 years old, which also makes it sometimes feel a bit old-fashioned, but I can see lots of different influences in it. The base of the curry is the southern influence with mirepoix of celery, onion and green peppers. The green peppers, alongside the tomatoes for the sauce, made me think that this had a bit of a jalfrazei feel to it too. The mirepoix was cooked in bacon fat, after which a freshly made curry powder was added, which was fragrant and flavourful without being heavy on the chilli, to be slowly with a quartered chicken in a tomato based sauce. This made for a deeply flavoured dish that was perfect on a cold, wet winters evening. A good dash of hot sauce really set it off, opening up the flavours and giving it a bit more of a kick!!

We followed this up with a super tasty Sunday roast of pork pernil. Whilst it can be served any time, it does tend to be seen as a celebration dish, being a favourite for the Puerto Rican Christmas table. As you are cooking a big hunk of pork shoulder you need a lot of mouths to feed! At its most simple level it’s a joint of pork shoulder marinated in garlic, garlic, a bit more garlic, and oregano, though we added in some thyme and a few more spices. Whilst we left our shoulder to wallow in this gloriously aromatic mix for a day, many call for it to be left for up to 3 days so that the pork pulls up every ounce of flavour out of the herbs. The results of this were wondrously tasty slices and chunks of slow roasted pork, using the pan-fats over crispy roast potatoes, and a richly decedent pan gravy deglazed with white wine and reduced.

The small amount of left-overs that we had were put to good use in making a Cubano Sandwich for Monday lunch – a monster of a toasted sammie, which is ham, roasted pork, pickles, cheese and American mustard.

This was top level eating!

I hope to cook for lots of you this week, and thank you for your support. As always, please order through our website and let me know if you have any questions. Rich

21 views0 comments


bottom of page