Sweetcorn fritters are always a treat. But have you tried smoky sweetcorn pepper fritters? They make a really cool side to any number of dishes, but they also stand up to being the star of the show and can be served as a delicious lunch with salad. The fritters are egg and dairy free, so suitable for vegans as well as vegetarians.
A late leisurely breakfast or brunch is such a treat at the weekend. In fact, brunch has become my favourite meal. It seems I’m not the only one. It’s been rising in popularity over the last few years and is now said to be the nation’s best loved repast. This recipe for Mexican Huevos Rancheros with smashed avocado is a great brunch standby. It’s simple to make, pushes the boat out a little and kicks ass.
As promised for this month of Veganuary, I’m trying to up the number of vegan meals I eat. This has been massively helped by the acquisition of two recently published vegan recipe books authored by talented fellow food bloggers. You’ll find reviews of the books below along with a recipe for veggie chilli which has been rather heavily adapted from one of them. Twas ever thus …
Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, these sweetcorn spinach polenta triangles make a great base for refried black beans. Serve with a zingy Mexican salsa. Keep it plant based or add feta cheese and soured cream if liked.
In cold weather, there is nothing more warming and comforting than a big bowl of steaming soup. Or do I mean stew? I’m not entirely sure whether this Mexican bean soup is actually a soup or stew, but with a generous amount of vegetables, beans and spicy Mexican flavours, it certainly makes for a satisfying meal. It’s especially good when served with some hearty soda bread spiked with a little smoked chilli honey.
Rich and dark, this Mexican chocolate pudding is stunningly sensuous. It’s offset wonderfully well with mango slices marinaded in chilli and lime. It’s the perfect dessert for a hot Valentine’s Day date, but also great for entertaining.
Cornwall is my home and I hate to leave it. However, the pull of friendship can be strong, so this weekend, we headed upcountry to some chocolate loving friends in Glastonbury. With time in fairly short supply, I decided to make some chilli muffins from Unwrapped, the Green & Black’s Original chocolate cookbook. These Mexican Mole Muffins appealed, not only because they were quick to make, but also because they had a lot of chocolate in them – ideal for the aforementioned chocoholics. With the cold winds and hail storms we’d been experiencing, the chilli seemed like a nice warming idea too.
Luckily I had recently been sent a load of chocolate goodies from Dr Oetker, so I had plenty of chocolate to choose from. As the above recipe called for a high cocoa content milk chocolate, the 33% Cook’s chocolate was ideal.
This is how I did it:
- Chopped 100g 33% milk chocolate into shreds with a sturdy knife.
- Chopped half a de-seeded rocoto chilli finely.
- Sifted 200g flour (half wholemeal, half white) into a bowl along with 1 tsp baking powder, 25g cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp fine sea salt.
- Added 110g vanilla (caster) sugar.
- Stirred in the chocolate and chilli.
- In a large jug, beat 2 medium eggs with 100ml sunflower oil.
- Whisked in 225g milk and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and poured in the wet.
- Mixed together gently until just incorporated.
- Divided the mixture between the muffin cases, making a complete mess as I did so – the mixture was very runny.
- Baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
They didn’t rise as much as I expected, but they were nonetheless delicious. The rocoto generated a gentle heat, which allowed the flavour of the chilli to come through. But after the muffin had gone, that same chilli buzzed around the mouth and was much more noticeable. Although liberally studded with chocolate, which gave a satisfying sweet crunchy burst, the chips had sunk to the bottom half, which was a bit disappointing but inevitable given the wetness of the batter. Anyway, between us we managed to devour most of them in fairly short shrift and used them to power us to the top of Glastonbury Tor.
Many thanks to Dr Oetker for this great chocolate themed toolbox. I’m looking forward to making lots of fun things with the remaining items, although I have already made some scrumptious cookies with the white choc chips – recipe to be posted later.
This is what I received:
- 150g bar of cook’s 33% milk chocolate
- 150g bar of cook’s 54% dark chocolate
- 150g bar of cook’s 72% dark chocolate
- 100g bag of white chocolate chunks
- Pack of chocolate ready to roll icing
- Giant milk chocolate stars
- Chocolate flavour writing icing
- Milk and white chocolate flakes
- Chocolate flavour strands
- Vanilla extract with seeds
- Cake release spray
If you would like a chance at getting your hands on this chocolate baking and decorating extravaganza just in time for Christmas, then please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address.
This recipe for chocolate refried beans is a heavily adapted version of Chantal Coady’s ‘Mexican refried beans with chocolate sauce‘ from her book Real Chocolate. I didn’t have some of the ingredients required nor the forethought to do the requisite planning, but needless to say, it’s delicious and I’ve made my version many times since.