Hello again and
happy first week back at uni!
So it looks like I am back for another year! It is actually a
good thing that I am starting this up again. Our diet during
O-week was not very exciting so this is actually forcing me
to cook something new and exciting.
Our dear flat at number three lost an Alix (may she continue
to be her excellent self in Auckland this year) but gained a
new Alex. The new Alex tends to avoid processed carbohydrate
and loves his protein. Now, for a girl who worked as a pro
gelato scooper (and tester) over the holidays, living on
steamed broccoli and tins of tuna for all of O-week was not a
bad thing. But now flatmate number three, Lucy, has arrived
and I'm pretty sure she won't be too keen on dinners
comprising steamed vege and eggs.
This was supposed to be a post about wonderful steamed buns
with delicious chicken and whatnot. However, I have to admit
that it was an epic fail. Luckily that was Sunday night so I
still had time to make something far more attractive looking
before this post was published. Pretty sure Alex is going to
start up a new food blog entitled something along the lines
of "Sophie's epic kitchen failures". Not even a trip to the
supermarket last night could bring me out of the funk of
But anyway, tonight is the night of success.
So, recently I have been going through a bit of a Mexican
phase. Not the cheesy, fatty Tex Mex Mexican but that fresh,
lively and coriander-full version. The legit stuff.
It all started when we went out for lunch at this new Mexican
place back home. The food was simple but delicious making it
perfect to recreate here. I became so obsessed with Mexican
cooking that I even had a Mexican-themed early 21st during
the break. So. Much. Great. Food.
In order to make this recipe you need to find a can of
chipotle sauce or paste. I found a can of La Morena
homemade-style chipotle sauce in the international section of
New World Centre City. It comes in a bright orange tin. I
think it cost us like $3.50 but it should last you about
You are also going to need some tortillas. These tacos don't
use the crunchy taco shells that we are all used to, but
trust me when I say these fresh tortilla tacos are superior
in every way possible.
Now, you could buy them in the packets but they can be really
expensive, especially if you are feeding four, five or six
people, and even more so if they all happen to possess a Y
Over the summer, when I had an abundance of time, I practised
making the tortillas myself by hand. All you need is flour,
oil and water and they turn out really well. Plus there is
nothing like the taste of a fresh one straight from the pan.
You can buy tortilla presses but I just use an old wine
bottle or a rolling pin to roll them out. Sure they will be
far from circular, but I think that looks cool.
While doing the weekly supermarket shop we couldn't find
chicken breast or tenderloin, which is what I usually use to
make this meal. There were some fat-looking drums that were
only $4 for four so we thought we could just chop the meat
off the bones and it would be just fine. Ha ha no . . .
Due to the fact that our knives are terrible (I know a good
tradesperson doesn't blame their equipment but our knives may
as well be spoons) the chicken had to be cut up into very
tiny pieces. So just use your imagination and pretend that
there are luscious strips of chicken lining the tortilla not
these bitsy little lumps.
Our knives, however, are sharp enough to slice off the tip of
my finger . . .
Last year I took all my photos using my iPhone. This year I
have managed to enslave Alex to take them all, which is
rather convenient. Unfortunately he loves making fun of me
and any error that I make. This makes me even more
unco-ordinated. Also, his washboard abs distract me. Hence
the knife and the index finger incident.
Where were we? Right. All the other ingredients are pretty
commonplace in the average flat pantry, though it is
definitely worth investing in a bunch of coriander, it makes
all the difference.
Let's do this, shall we?
Chipotle chicken tacos and
homemade flour tortillas
For the chipotle marinade:
3 Tbsp La Morena homemade-style chipotle sauce
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup cold water
For the flour tortillas:
1½ cups plain
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup plus a splash vegetable oil
½ cup boiling water
For the pico de gallo salsa:
2 large tomatoes,
½ red onion, diced finely
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
a good grinding of pepper
juice of one lemon or a couple of limes
a splash of olive oil
Butter or iceberg lettuce, shredded
Before you head off to uni in the morning/afternoon, or the
night before, marinade your chicken. Slice the
breast/tenderloin/drums into long strips. Mix the other
marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add the chicken
and leave to soak up the deliciousness for a few hours or
Pan-fry the chicken pieces in batches, taking care not to
have too much of the marinade in the pan with them, which
would cause the chicken to stew rather than fry. Cook the
chicken at the same time as you make the tortillas, that way
everything will be ready at the same time.
To make the tortillas, combine all the ingredients in a large
bowl. You may need a bit more water and oil to bring it
together into a nice smooth ball. Knead for a few minutes
then pop it back in the bowl and cover with cling film for 20
minutes to rest it.
Heat up a clean, dry frying pan to the highest temp you can
get it. Take golf ball-sized blobs of dough and roll out
until they are thin enough to just see the bench colour
beneath them. Pan-fry them one at a time until each side
starts getting those attractive brown spots. Leave under a
clean tea towel while you cook the rest. This should make
about 12 tortillas.
To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients and toss to
mix in the salt and lemon juice. Serve in a bowl with another
sprinkling of coriander.
To construct your taco, place a small amount of the chicken
in the centre of your tortilla. Pop a dollop of sour cream on
top of the chicken. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the salsa
and some shredded lettuce. Sprinkle over some of the leftover
La Morena chipotle sauce or some hot sauce if you wish. Fold
in half, try not to make a mess (guilty!) and enjoy!
Also, today is my birthday. Just thought you should know :D
See you next week!
• Interested in baking? Visit Sophie's blog, http://sophielikescake.blogspot.co.nz