I love Mexican food so a big attraction to travelling in Mexico for me had been the food, however in the month that MTV boyfriend and I spent there we probably had more bad meals than good. A lot of places served quite touristy versions of Mexican food and the places that were authentic and local tended to serve a lot of refried beans, which was not the culinary highlight I had envisaged. I must admit that we did not go to Oaxaca which is supposed to be the foodie mecca so maybe that was our mistake.
Undeterred, I wanted to get my head around Mexican food so while we were in the beautiful highland town of San Christobal de las Casa I signed MTV boyfriend and I up for a Mexican cooking course with Maria. The course involved a tour of the incredibly colourful local market and then an afternoon in Maria’s kitchen. This recipe is from that afternoon. It is quite time consuming, however Maria assured me this was typical in Mexican cooking as the mother of the family would labour all day over the late afternoon meal.
Half a chicken 4 sliced tomatoes
4 red peppers Rosemary
2 carrots diced 1 clove of garlic
3 small potatoes diced 1 small onion sliced
1 chayote* diced 1 large bread roll
4 small tomatoes diced
1 cup peas
2 cubes of chicken stock
1. Bring large pot of water to the boil and add chicken. After 5 mins add the sliced tomato, a little of the onion and the garlic. Cook for 20 – 25 mins then remove the chicken. Reserve the water and vegetables for use as chicken stock.
2. Bring another pot of water to the boil and add 2 whole onions and boil for about 20 mins until soft. Remove the onions and add the diced carrot and peas for 5 mins.
3. In the meantime, roast the peppers over a naked flame then steam the skins off by placing in a plastic bag to sweat, and then peeling it off.
4. When the chicken is cool, shred the chicken finely.
5. Add the chayote and potatoes to the boiling vegetables for another 5 mins.
6. Cut an opening lengthways in each pepper and remove the seeds.
7. Add oil to a frying pan and add diced tomatoes, half a diced onion and chicken stock. Cook for 5 mins then add the shredded chicken and cook for a further 5 minutes.
8. Cut the whole onions along one side and remove the layers for stuffing.
9. Add oil to a saucepan then add rice with a little onion. Stir for 5 mins then add a bowlful of the remaining chopped vegetables. Add enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables then cover the saucepan and simmer for 30 mins.
10. Stuff the peppers and the onion with the chicken mixture.
11. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and whisk the whites until they are so thick that you can hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out. Add a pinch of flour to this mixture, whisk and then fold the egg yolks in.
12. Add 1cm of oil to a small frying pan and wait until the oil is very hot.
13. Coat the peppers and onions in the egg mixture one by one and fry in the oil. Drain on a paper towel.
1. Put the tomatoes, rosemary, bread roll, onion, garlic and stock into a food processor and blend. 2. Pour the oil used to fry the peppers and onions into a large dish and add the blended mixture. Bring to boil. Add peppers and onions and cook for 5 mins.
*A chayote is sometimes known as a tayota or choko and is hard to find outside specialist stores. If you can’t find it don’t worry as the recipe will be fine without it.