Mexican Day

A day that will go into the BUX LUNCH books as The Onion Day.

With chilli con carne, guacamole, tomato salsa, quasadillas and corn salsa.

  1. Chilli con carne with popped kidney beans
    Sweet smoky paprika, punchy fresh chilli
    2 dried chillies , such as chipotle
    2 red onions
    4 cloves of garlic
    1 bunch of fresh coriander (30g)
    3 fresh red chillies
    olive oil
    2 carrots
    1½ tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
    1 stick of cinnamon
    1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    500 g higher-welfare minced pork
    500 g higher-welfare minced beef
    4 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
    3 mixed-colour peppers
    2 x 400 g tins of kidney beans

Cover the dried chillies with boiling water and leave to rehydrate.
Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, pick the coriander leaves, then finely chop the stalks. Deseed and finely slice the fresh chillies.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil into a large pan over a medium heat, add the onions, garlic, coriander stalks and most of the fresh chilli, then cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft but not coloured.
Peel and finely chop the carrots, add to the pan with the paprika, cinnamon and half the cumin seeds, and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Reserving the soaking water, drain the rehydrated chillies, then finely chop and stir into the pan. Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, then cook for 5 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated and the meat has browned.
Add the reserved soaking water followed by the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and leave to tick away for 1 to 2 hours, or until thickened.
Meanwhile, char the peppers by carefully holding them with tongs over a flame or placing under the grill, turning regularly until blackened all over. Place in a bowl, cover and leave to steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
Discard the blackened skin and seeds from the charred peppers, then slice into strips and add to the chilli.
With 5 minutes to go, toast the cumin seeds in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add a good drizzle of oil, drain and add the beans, then fry until crisp and starting to pop, tossing regularly. Season to taste, then tip into a serving bowl.
Season the chilli to taste, remove the cinnamon stick, then scatter over the reserved fresh chilli, coriander leaves and popped beans. Delicious served with a dollop of yoghurt or soured cream..

2. Classic guacamole
Deliciously creamy with a hit of chilli
½ a small red onion
1-2 fresh red chillies
3 ripe avocados
1 bunch of fresh coriander
6 ripe cherry tomatoes
2 limes
extra virgin olive oil

Peel the onion and deseed 1 chilli, then roughly chop it all on a large board.
Destone the avocados and scoop the flesh onto the board.
Start chopping it all together until fine and well combined.
Pick over most of the coriander leaves, roughly chop and add the tomatoes, then continue chopping it all together.
Add the juice from 1 lime and 1 tablespoon of oil, then season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and more lime juice, if needed.
Deseed, finely chop and scatter over the remaining chilli if you like more of a kick. Pick over the reserved coriander leaves, then serve.

3. Classic tomato salsa
Jalapeños, fresh coriander & zingy lime
6 ripe tomatoes
1 big bunch of fresh coriander
1 onion
2 fresh jalapeño or green chillies
1 large clove of garlic
1-2 limes
extra virgin olive oil

Finely chop the tomatoes and coriander (stalks and all) and place into a large bowl.
Peel and finely chop the onion, deseed and finely chop the chillies, then scrape into the bowl. Peel and finely grate in the garlic.
Squeeze in the juice from 1 lime, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and mix well. Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and more lime juice, if needed.
Serve straightaway or cover and set aside for a few hours to let all those flavours develop.

4. Ultimate quesadillas
Cheese, chilli & zesty sides
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 red chilli
½ a bunch of fresh coriander , (15g)
120 g Cheddar cheese
4 large flour tortillas
Pineapple salsa
½ red chilli
227 g tinned pineapple rings in juice
olive oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ lime
250 g cottage cheese
½ lime

For the salsa, deseed and finely chop the chilli. Chop the pineapple rings and reserve the juice.
Add a little oil, the mustard seeds and chilli to a small pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s fragrant, add the pineapple and juice, and a big pinch of black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, till thick and sticky. Squeeze in the lime juice, then put in a serving bowl.
For the guacamole, halve and stone the avocados and finely grate the onion. Deseed and chop the chilli, then roughly chop the tomatoes.
Squeeze the avocado flesh into a bowl. Pick in the coriander leaves, add the onion and chilli, then squeeze in the lime juice. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and add the tomatoes, picking out any larger bits of skin. Mix well, with a potato masher or hand blender, and then set aside.
For another delicious dip, put the cottage cheese in a bowl, squeeze in the juice of the lime half, and stir through with a pinch of salt and pepper.
For the filling, deseed and finely chop the peppers and chilli. Pick the coriander leaves and grate the Cheddar.
To assemble, mix the peppers, chilli and coriander with the Cheddar. Scatter across two tortillas, then top with the remaining tortillas.
Cook in a non-stick pan for 2 to 3 minutes each side, or till the tortillas are golden and the cheese melts. Cut into quarters and serve with those delicious sides.

5. Corn salsa
A perfect little veggie side dish
corn from tin
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
½ a fresh red chilli
4 spring onions
3 ripe tomatoes
sea salt
2 limes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Pick and roughly chop the coriander leaves, discarding the stalks, then add them to the bowl with corn.
  2. Cut the chilli in half lengthways.
  3. Hold the stalk end of each half steady, then run a teaspoon down the cut sides to scoop out the seeds and white pith.
  4. Finely slice half the chilli, place in the bowl (save the rest for another recipe), then wash your hands thoroughly.
  5. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, then add to the bowl.
  6. Chop up the tomatoes and add them to the bowl with a tiny pinch of salt.
  7. Cut the limes in half.
  8. Squeeze all the juice into the bowl, drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil and mix well, then serve.

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