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Though she adores cooking, she, like most people, does not have a lot of spare time, so her everyday food is quick and easy using readily available ingredients and simple techniques.
She encourages cooks to use their intuition, look to what is in season and available around you and have a play.
I love those family meals where you can set out everything in the centre of the table and everyone helps themselves. Tacos are perfect for this style of eating.
I like buying fresh coriander with stems and roots still attached if possible, but if you can only buy coriander leaves, that’s OK.
Just omit the stems and roots from the roasted carrot and black bean mix.
Makes about 16 tacos
1kg carrots, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 ½ cups cooked black beans or 1 x 400g tin, drained and rinsed well
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), including stems and roots
fine salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
gluten-free corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
finely shredded iceberg lettuce, to serve
Corn and jalapeno salsa
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cooked corn cobs, kernels shaved off, or 2 cups frozen corn, defrosted (see note)
1 red onion, finely diced
12 tsp finely chopped pickled jalapenos
juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon
2 large ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon
Preheat oven to 200degC. Combine chopped carrots, drained black beans, olive oil, oregano and spices in a large bowl. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and some of the tender stems and set aside in a medium bowl to use in the salsa.
Finely chop remaining coriander stems and roots and add to the carrots. Season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven tray and roast, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until carrots are tender and golden.
To make the salsa, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes or until charred in places.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly before adding to the bowl of coriander. Stir through red onion, jalapenos and lime/lemon juice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the guacamole, mash avocados in a small bowl, add lime/lemon juice to taste, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, heat a corn tortilla in a hot dry pan or over a gas flame, then transfer to a clean tea towel to keep warm while you heat the rest.
Spread a little mashed avocado down the centre of each tortilla, add a little shredded lettuce, a handful of roasted carrots and black beans, then top generously with salsa and serve immediately.
To defrost frozen corn quickly, cover with boiling water and set aside for a minute before draining well.
Homemade corn tortillas are much nicer than store-bought and they are well worth the effort if you have time.
To make, combine 375g (3 cups) masa harina or masa lista (white corn flour) with 465ml (1¾ cups and 2 Tbsp) hot water in a bowl with a good pinch of fine salt and mix to form a soft dough.
If the dough feels a little dry, add a touch more water. Turn out on to your benchtop and knead for 12 minutes until a smooth dough forms. If it is too sticky, add a touch more masa.
Return dough into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Divide dough into 16 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then, one at a time, roll out each ball between 2 sheets of baking paper to approx. 3mm thick, or use a tortilla press if you own one. (They make things way faster and easier, and are well worth investing in if you eat tacos often.)
Cook tortillas in a hot unoiled heavy-based frying pan over high heat for 12 minutes on each side until light brown and cooked through.