I do love me a good mexican. Fajitas, nachos, chilli, the lot. However, I have never really ventured any wider than the obvious staples named above. So when I saw a tweet from Wahaca asking bloggers to get involved in their Mexican Day of The Dead cooking challenge I thought I would give it a try and be a bit more adventurous in the kitchen. I received three bottles of their sauces in the post and got to work!
If you haven't heard of Wahaca before, it is a fast growing Mexican restaurant brand, who are taking over London with their tasty and authentic, proper Mexican food. Whenever I visit into London I try and venture into one of their restaurants, and I even visited their pop up Southbank venue on my birthday in Feburary, of course to be celebrated with a Mexican Mojito!
Now I am the kind of person that likes quick cooking. I'm hungry therefore I need to eat. ASAP. Plus I am also a bit of a novice and get a bit scared of recipes that have got a load of ingredients that I have never heard of before, or if there are more than a few steps to it. Therefore, my approach to this challenge was more of the quick and dirty variety, with things that took a few minutes to fry up or mix together once prepped, with a few store bought bits to speed things up! But ensuring it was still hella tasty!
Wheeler's quick and dirty Wahaca inspired recipes - for those who like tasty food but are too impatient to wait around for it...
So on the menu we had:
- Homemade Nachos and Guacamole
- Sweetcorn and Chorizo Fritters
- Crispy Fish Fajitas
The challenge being to incorporate the Wahaca sauces into the recipes and see how I got on! So let the challenge begin...
Homemade Nachos and Guacamole - simples. - Serves 4
Ingredients for the Nachos:
- 8 plain tortilla wraps
- Olive oil
- Smoked paprika
Ingredients for the Guacamole:
- 2 ripe avocados
- Lime juice
- Ready made tomato salsa
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Wahaca Chile de Arbol sauce
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cover the plain tortillas in olive oil both sides and then sprinkle with the smoked paprika on both sides also.
Cut the tortillas into large triangles.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread out the triangles around the tray, making sure they are not on top of each other. Bake for 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool.
Now for the Guacamole. Chop up the avocados and roughly mash with a fork in a bowl.
I am all for making things as quick, easy (and tasty) as possible, so I used store bought salsa and mixed in in with the avocado.
Add Wahaca Smoky Chipotle sauce to the mix to taste. I found the avocado was a nice cooling agent, so didn't mind being a bit more adventurous with quite a few teaspoons of this one! And there we go! Use the freshly cooked nachos to scoop up luscious bites of the guacamole, delish!
Sweetcorn and Chorizo Fritters - Serves 4 (although this mix would easily feed 6 as a starter!)
- 60g of butter
- 150g of chorizo
- 180g of plain flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- A pinch of sugar
- 450g of tinned sweetcorn
- 2 egss and 1 egg yolk
- 100ml milk
- 3 spring onions
- Wahaca Chile de Arbol sauce
Chop up the chorizo into 1cm(ish) pieces
Add a third of the butter into a hot frying pan, melt, and add the chorizo. When cooked, set to one side.
Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk half the sweetcorn with the eggs, half the milk and the Wahaca Chile de Arbol sauce.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and whisk in the egg mix, adding the rest of the milk, until the mix drops off the spoon in thick dollops.
Chop up the spring onions, and stir in with the rest of the sweetcorn and chorizo.
Melt the rest of the butter. Add half of it to the mix.
Brush a hot frying pan with the rest of the melted butter. Dollop a couple of large dessert spoons into the pan, making sure they are spaced well apart.
Fry over a medium heat for about 2 minutes either side until golden brown, repeat with the mixture until it is all fully used and you have made a mountain of fritters!
Crispy Fish Fajitas with Spicy Salsa - Serves 4
This is probably the most adventurous recipe I have ever made, and I was super happy with it, so I hope you enjoy it too!
- Zest and juice of 4 limes
- 500g of fish (for this recipe I used River Cobbler, as it is a tasty white fish, and not as expensive as cod or haddock)
- 200g polenta
- 100g plain flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Oil, for deep-frying
- Tub of store bought salsa
- 8 wholemeal tortillas to serve
- Large pot of creme fraiche to serve
Dice the fish into manageable pieces. Squeeze the juice of 2 limes over the fish. Put to one side.
Beat the eggs into a bowl. To give the fish a little extra kick, measure out some of the Wahaca Fiery Habenero sauce into the egg mix.
Set up a little station with the chopped lime fish, the flour. polenta and egg to make it as easy as possible to coat the fish. The dip the fish into the flour, then egg, then polenta to coat each little piece.
Heat up some oil in a pan, then fry off the fish. Once brown on each side, place into the oven to keep them warm. I also found this made sure they were fully cooked, as the recipe I was following said to deep fry them. I don't have a deep fat fryer, and also am massively put off deep frying anything at all!
Once all the fish has cooked, squeeze the remaining lime juice over the fish to give it that extra citrusy tang!
Take the tub of salsa, and to give it a bit of extra taste, add a few dollops of Wahaca Fiery Habanero Chile sauce to it.
Serve your fish on a soft tortilla with a bed of sour cream, lettuce, with a few dollops of guacamole and as much salsa as you can handle. Get stuck in!
I must say, I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to all things spicy, and was a bit apprehensive when using the different sauces, but not once was a left grabbing for a glass of water to douse my fiery tastebuds. Instead I was surprised with how flavoursome the sauces were, whether being used with raw ingredients, or being added to store bought items to add a bit of extra excitement and flavour.
The sauces can be bought at any Wahaca restaurants (only in London I'm afraid) or from where I have searched around on the internet, Ocado or I think in some Waitrose stores.
Mexican Day of The Dead takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November, and more information about the traditions surrounding the Mexican festival can be found here .
Special thanks to Warren Hurter for being my Sous Chef!