Romance in the kitchen
30 Minute Seductive Dinner
An elegy or dissertation could be written about the glory, history and cuisines of the regions of Mexico. Every ethnic traditional item has a long and tasty history, dating back to Montezuma’s time, including his great love of chocolate – even as an aphrodisiac mixed with chilies! Legend has it this king would drain his golden chalice, before he flung it aside and strode into his harem tent. To this day some are still finding golden goblets in a certain great deep lake.
A taste of Mexican
Back in the eighty’s Mexican foods became a true trend and not just a fad. For the first time in food history salsa has outsold ketchup in America. Chile Festivals are abounding all around the world with many articles, magazines, cookbooks and authentic Mexican restaurants burgeoning as well. Sad about the dearth in Perth of good quality and inexpensive authentic Mexican restaurants though. That’s why we often cook at home and my Mexican cooking classes are often a hit. Aussies mostly enjoy hot foods from Thailand and Malaysia so I’d think a segue into Mexican foods should be smooth but many have never tried the genuine article.
As a wellness, higher fitness seeker and teacher/yoga chef, one of the myths I like to debunk is the generalization that Mexican food is necessarily fattening, greasy and spicy. Many of the fresh and fast Mexican dishes are authentically low fat and vegetarian. Various skimmed and reduced fat dairy products can be substituted for rich ones. See chart/introduction in Wilder by the Dozen: A Season of Soups.
There is another wonderful development: more and more farmer’s markets, super markets and community gardens are carrying or growing a greater number of Mexican ingredients and chilies, from mild to torrid. Of course it’s those crazy, wild and addictive chilies that can release the endorphins in the brain from their impactive flavour and heat, thus creating “a party in your mouth” and that falling in love feeling (like chocolate) in your heart.
The heat is up to you and the chili you use! There are thousands of varieties and with a little research you can achieve beautiful layers of heat and a symphony of flavours. And guess where the newest and hottest chili is being gown? It’s right here in Australia; a 2.5cm (1-inch) „Trinidad Scorpion Butch T” weighing in at 1,463,700 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and beating out the Naga Viper 1,382,118 SHU! Just do a little research into the handling and roasting of any chili.
Back in 1995 I wrote my first Creative Mexican Cooking (even though I’m not Mexican I am 1/16 Lummi Indian!) and I provided a framework of formulas for readers to paint in their own imagination and preferences. Even then, I was trying to share the foundational knowledge of culinary principles and techniques in this particular ethnic cuisine. Seasonings and heat levels are up to the individual and each must taste and adjust the amount of herbs, spices, garlic and chilies.
You are the culinarian and visionary in your own kitchen Therefore you’ll see a lot of substitutions and ranges of ingredients. The point is for YOU to experiment and garnish at will, stay loose and be flexible. And above all, have fun in the kitchen!