Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mexican tortilla envelopes with salsa

Andalusia was, in one word, amazing. No, I need more words. It was amazing, beautiful, fantastic. Warm, colorful and festive. The food was so good, and so were the wines. The best of all was the company: my mother and sister. We made long walks amongst black pigs and thousands of wild flowers; climbed the steps of ancient castles; stared at thousands of women in traditional flamenco dresses at the Sevilla fiesta and finally got a bit burned in our bikini's on the beach.

We ate tapas almost every day. A lot of meat and fish, so I thought to make something vegetarian tonight. Not with a Spanish, but with a Mexican twist.

Mexican tortilla envelopes (serves 4)

sunflower oil
1 onion, cut in thin slices
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped (or keep the seeds if you like it more spicy)
1 red bell pepper (NL:paprika), chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 400 g can kidney beans
1 340 g can corn (NL: mais)
handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
8 tortilla's, the smaller ones, around 20-22 cm in diameter
100 g grated cheese, eg. Gouda or Cheddar
a little bit of oil for greasing

* fry the onion, garlic and chili pepper in a large frying pan or wok on a low heat until soft
* add the red bell pepper and 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon oregano and fry for two minutes
* rinse the kidney beans in a colander (NL: vergiet) and drain the corn
* add the beans and corn to the pan and fry for a few minutes more
* preheat the oven to 200 C
* take the pan off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes
* stir in the chopped coriander, tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt
* line a baking tray with baking paper and grease with a little bit of oil
* place the tortilla's on your work surface and put a few spoons of the mixture in the middle of each of them
* sprinkle a handful of cheese on top
* fold the tortilla's by folding in the sides, then fold in the bottom. take the tortilla in your hand, tuck the mixture down with your fingers, fold in the top and place seam down on the baking tray. be careful not the brake the tortilla's.
* brush the envelopes with some oil
* place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until they are a bit brown around the edges
* serve as they are, or with salsa, sour cream or guacamole

(makes one bowl)

2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 handful of coriander, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 or 2 teaspoons of tabasco to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled between your fingers
sea salt
black pepper

* stir all the ingredients together and adjust seasoning (NL: zout/peper) to taste
* serve with Mexican dishes like tortillas and burritos, or with grilled meat

Tip: the seeds and inner membrane (NL: zaadlijst) are the hottest part of the chili pepper. To de-seed a chili pepper, cut off the top part and roll the pepper between your fingers until the seeds come loose. Tap the pepper with the opening down on your work surface until all the seeds come out. This way you don't touch the seeds. Still; wash your hands afterwards and try not to touch your eyes or other sensitive areas - it can really burn!

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