the mexican table

lexitostadas2

A couple of Sundays ago, Aaron and I got together with Matt from Inspired Food and Jemima from Feed Your Soul, Perth for the continuation of our ‘Table’ series, i.e. a sequence of themed long-table dinners with several dishes per course prepared by each blogger (and in this case, some talented family and friends).

As per our Moroccan and Spanish Table posts, you’ll find my recipes from the dinner below, alongside links for recipes prepared by Jemima, Matt, Lexi and Jamie (Lexi being Jemima’s sister and Jamie being a friend of the group who also happens to cook at Co-op dining).

jemimacooktortilla guac

As per usual, it was a pretty epic afternoon filled with incredible food, abundant beverages (lots of beer and Mexican cola) and the best of company. A big thanks goes out to Matt and his partner Alyssa for hosting this year’s Table dinner at their gorgeous new(ish) home alongside their hero puppy Max (who has recovered from some massive medical complications over the past twelve months. So good to see him running around again).

mattbeer pork3

fill

Props also go out to Aaron aka ‘the dog whisperer’ who managed to both create art and keep Max and Loki occupied whilst the rest of us prepared tostadas, guacamole and street corn. Serious skills right there.

Just look at these little faces:

mutts loki

Without further ado, here was our menu for the day:

servejemhandtostadas4

We did learn slightly from our last feast (emphasis on slightly) and created less dishes per person, however after hours of snacking on leftover guacamole, we were rather stuffed by the time dessert appeared.

But with something as epic as this masterpiece by Jamie (below, containing layers of brownie pieces, lime curd, pureed avocado, chocolate mousse, chocolate soil, candied and fresh finger lime and candied chilli; no I am not joking) we all took to the last course with gusto.

dessert2candiedfingerlime

The only one to scrape the glass clean was Aaron, who had paced himself through the main courses due to an erroneous belief that we had ‘about five more things to come’ (after his Spanish Table experience). Maybe I should try and do the same next time.

I hear we’re cooking Indian.

chillies sauce

Salsa de Chile Rojo

Makes 1.75 cups

  • 3ox (85g) dried chillies – I used a combination of 70% smoky chipotle and 30% mixed arbol, ancho and pasilla (be aware that the combination of chillies you use directly affects the heat level of this sauce. I went a little overboard – as in mindblowingly hot but incredibly delicious – you might want to ‘up’ the ancho and pasilla content to 50%)
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) tomato sauce
  • 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp crushed sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cumin seeds

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees f). Spread the dried chillies in a single layer over a heavy baking tray, then transfer to the hot oven. Toast for 3-4 minutes, turning if necessary, until fragrant (do NOT allow your chillies to blacken or burn as they’ll become incredibly bitter). Allow to cool.

With a sharp knife, remove the stems, seeds and membranes/pith from the chillies.

deseed

Discard. Place the remaining chilli flesh into a large bowl and cover with the hot water (add a little extra if they are not completely submerged). Soak until softened (about 45-60 minutes).

Process the soaked chillies in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer into a medium saucepan with the garlic, oil, remaining water, salt, oregano and cumin.

Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Use straight away or transfer into a sterilised jar or bottle for later use.

corn3

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Based on this recipe from Serious Eats with reference to Sam Ward’s Esquites recipe published in Recipes and Ramblings Volume II (Beaufort St Network)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 tbsp whole-egg mayonnaise + 1 tbsp to serve
  • 1/3 cup (100g) feta or cotija cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced spring onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers (to taste), seeded and stemmed, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • zest and juice from 2 limes + extra lime wedges, to serve
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp arbol chilli powder

Heat a char-grill or barbecue to high heat. Ensure all strands of husk are removed from the corn, then grill on each side until you achieve a ratio of about 30% very dark to 70% lightly charred corn (if you don’t have a barbecue, feel free to do this over a gas flame. Just be very careful!). Allow the corn to cool completely, then remove the kernels with a sharp knife.

Place a large heavy based frypan or pot over medium heat and add the oil. Sweat the the spring onions, jalapenos and garlic until translucent. Add the corn, lime juice and a good splash of water (about 1/2 cup) then bring to a simmer.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until the corn is cooked and the mixture is fragrant. Add in the lime zest, mayonnaise, cheese, coriander (reserve a little to serve), about half the arbol chilli powder and a good dash of salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well and transfer to a large bowl.

Dollop over the reserved tablespoon of mayo, garnish with coriander and dust with the remaining arbol chilli powder. Crack over some black pepper and serve with lime wedges on the side.

prep

cornsalad2pop

Until next time, keep track of Matt (aka Inspired Food) via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and say hello to Jemima (aka Feed Your Soul, Perth) right here: Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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40 responses

  1. Well, needless to say, this just feels like home to me. I wish I could have been with you all! (Your food looks better than in most Mexican restaurants here!)

  2. A gorgeous and inspired meal you all put together. I love this dinner party series. The food looks so good. I didn’t know about Max, I haven’t gotten a post in a while from Matt. I will have to check out why, so glad Max is doing better. Poor pup!

  3. I want some of all of it!! Lovely and what fun!! Invite me next time, ok? ;) P.S. Mexican food is my son-in-law’s second favorite type of food. This is probably bomb-ass Mexican food, I’m guessing. xxx

    • Haha… the first being bomb-ass burgers? I really do think that Alex and I would get on swimmingly, with our whisky obsession and all ;) I truly wish that those lovebirds, you and Jerry were my neighbours, Love you all (and you are ALWAYS invited!) xx

      • The first being barbecue. Stephie wrote up a diagram of his eating…like a food pyramid..with the bottom being barbecue and bourbon, then mexican and way up at the top of the pyramid is fruit and vegetables. Haha!! Good luck when they have kids! And yes, the two of you would definitely get along well together. Someday, we’ll all be visiting each other!! xx

      • Ha! I missed your reply for some reason. Hilaaaarious! I’ve managed to flip Aaron’s food pyramid so veg and grains are at the bottom, though he’d probably mimic Alex if he was left to his own devices (perhaps switching the bourbon with milk. That man drinks SO MUCH MILK!). I do hope the visits happen one day soon! I appreciate you guys heaps xxx

  4. Pingback: The Mexican Table - Inspired Food

  5. Fantastic write up on a wonderful day Laura! Alyssa has already put in her request for more Esquites and I’m going have to have to give that Salsa de Chile Rojo a go! I’m looking forward to Indian night!

  6. Argh. Dear good lord you peeps are killing me here! Like I said to Matt, I want it all. It seriously looks amazing! You folks kick ass :)
    Cracking pics Loz… wait, do people call you Loz? Cracking pics anyway my friend… as always

  7. How fantastic Laura! Love that you guys come together to create these absolute feasts together – can imagine how much fun it must be. I adore Mexican food, but rarely cook it at home myself… thanks to your recipes, that will hopefully all change from now! :)

    • Oh I wish you did too Stacy, that would be amazing! I keep saying that I wish we had some sort of rich benefactor who would fly us to an international dinner party… maybe one day ;) Hope that you are doing well xx

  8. OH gosh–where to start? It all looks super delicious– the salsas and the salad with the roasted corn, We love Mexican food, being from So California, eat it a couple times a week. Would love to sit down at your table for this feast!! And love the vivid pics!

  9. Whatever that dessert Jamie created sounds and looks amazing! I’m new to your site and loved reading this post. Those long-table dinners you hold sound like a lot of fun.

    • Oh, definitely! I couldn’t believe all of the complexity Jamie put into that dessert. Thanks for the comment Krys, sorry for the late reply – I have had a recent wrist injury so it’s taking me a while to get around to responding. Hope that you’re enjoying my blog, it’s heaps of fun to write. I love getting to ‘meet’ other bloggers from around the world via these posts xxx

  10. What fun! It’s funny, but when I have company, it always seems to be Mexican or Southwestern food! I don’t know why it lends itself so much to a self-serve buffet, but it really does!!! Great photos.

  11. Laura, such a beautiful post. Have been meaning to comment on it all week. Everything looks amazing. Pretty much my dream dinner! Love the super chunky guac, your street corn and that pull-apart carnitas. And OMG the dessert! Oh and those amazing pink nails :)
    PS. Isn’t Mexican cola a taste sensation!

    • Thanks so much lovely! We had an awesome time! And yes, that’s Jemima’s nail polish, such a fashionista (I am always so scrappy, with chipped polish if any!). Hugs xx

  12. Pingback: black bean soft tacos with pickled radishes + boozy onions « Laura's Mess

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