Preparation: 20 minutes. Marinating: min 60 minutes. Cooking: 20 minutes.
Since I tried tostadas in Los Angeles a month ago I've been thinking of different ways to use them. This topping of hot seared mahi-mahi and cold prawn ceviche with guacamole and mango salsa is a superbly tasty combination with classic Mexican flavours.
Stinging nettles, currently the most abundant crop in my garden, make a delicious contribution to a Mexican green mole (mole verde) sauce that goes extremely well with juicy smoked roast pork, hot off the barbecue. Apart from the unusual need to wear gardening gloves in the kitchen while preparing the stinging nettles, this is a straightforward recipe.
Preparation 15 minutes. Marinade 1 hour. Cooking time 30 mins.
This recipe is quite straightforward and looks and tastes great. Cod and chorizo are great partners and the garlic rubbed crostini soak up the juices from the tangy, spicy tomato sauce.
For the salsa:
2 cloves of garlic
Half a pickled serrano chile (substitute pickled jalapeno if necessary)
A glug of olive oil
A glass of white wine
390g carton of Sainsbury chopped tomatoes with sliced olives
5 sprigs fresh Greek basil (substitute regular basil if necessary)
Salt & pepper to taste
For the crostini
One pack of crostini / similar
2 cloves garlic
For the cod
2 cod loin steaks
2 sprigs Greek basil (or regular basil)
2 cloves garlic
A glug of olive oil
Salt & pepper
6 slices of chorizo, cut on the angle to make ovals
Marinate the cod by placing it in a ziplock bag with chopped Greek basil, chopped garlic, olive oil and ground black pepper. Place in fridge for an hour and remove 15 minutes before cooking. Remove from ziplock bag (retaining spare marinade to add to the salsa) and sprinkle each steak with ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.
Place the chorizo slices in a sauté pan on medium heat. As the pan heats up the chorizo will start to release oil and spit, like bacon rind. Turn down the heat if it looks like it will catch. Turn the chorizo from time to time so that it gets a crispy crunch on the surface. After about 8 minutes you can remove the chorizo from the pan and place it on kitchen towel to absorb excess fat. Wipe the pan clean with kitchen towel.
Take the crostini and rub them on both sides with raw garlic. Cover the bottom of the bowls you will serve the meal in with crostini.
Now prepare the tomato sauce. Add olive oil to a pan on medium heat and when it has heated add chopped shallots, chopped garlic and chopped chilé. When the shallots are translucent turn up the heat, add the white wine and boil vigorously for a minute to burn off the alcohol and reduce slightly. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the carton of chopped tomatoes and olives. Bring back to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add a generous slug of balsamic vinegar and stir in. Chop or tear the basil leaves and add most of them to the pan, saving the rest to stir in a couple of minutes before serving. Add any leftover oil and herbs from the ziplock bag to the pan. Season with salt & black pepper.
With the chorizo, crostini and salsa ready you can now cook the fish. Bring the sauté pan to a medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Place the cod steaks in the pan and cook, without turning, for 4 minutes - this should be long enough to firm up the fish and get some colour on it. Carefully turn the fish and cook on the other side for 4 minutes. Keep an eye on the fish to check for doneness - as it cooks it will separate slightly and you can inside whether the fish has become opaque inside. If you're worried about doneness you can add a good splash of white wine towards the end and poach it until the wine has evaporated (about a minute).
Serve by spooning the tangy tomato salsa over the crostini, placing the succulent cod on the salsa and topping with the crispy chorizo slices.
Preparation time 15 mins. Marinate at least 1 hour. Cooking time 10 mins (for the tostadas)
This recipe is inspired by the delicious ceviche they serve at the Mariscos El Sabroso Taco Truck in Los Angeles. Fresh fish & prawn ceviche is cold cooked in lime & spices to make the filling for 2 dishes - a crispy topped tostada and a soft taco wrap.
In early April 2010 I made my first attempt at building a solar cooker & tested it in Death Valley, California. My aim was to build a functioning cooker for minimal cost that required no specialist tools to assemble.
A big downside of being stuck in the USA for an extra week due to the ash cloud of doom was that my chile and tumbler tomato seedlings were getting a bit leggy in their fibre pots. The tomatillos looked particularly weak. Last weekend I planted them outdoors and they have really picked up from being outside.