Spanish Tortilla, Bro!

Usually when I’m bored I go for a cooking sprint, and it gets pretty nasty. How nasty does it get? You might be wondering. Well, I go to my local supermarket and simply “go for it”. A bunch of dishes starts to appear in my head, hence, an imaginary list of ingredients types itself in my mind.

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This is just a wee example of my cooking sprints.

Spanish Tortilla

Pick 3 to 5 good size potatoes, the yellow kind, half an onion, slice thinly these vegetables. In a medium size pot, put a lot of water to boil, add 1 spoon of salt and put the potatoes there. Let them cook until soft but still firm. Drizzle a large size non-stick pan with some extra virgin olive oil, stir-fry the onions and a garlic clove (already cut in brunoise), until soft, don’t let them caramelize, don’t add any salt, just pepper to taste. Get those tatoes out of the water, and put them in the pan, stir gently until brown.

In a metal bowl, crack four or five eggs, whisk, add salt, pepper, 2 spoons of water, 2 spoons of sour cream, a pinch of dried parsley, and keep on whisking, who told you to stop? Now, let the potatoes and onions to cool down a little, integrate to the egg mix.

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Now the fun part, use a much smaller pan, like half the size of the one you used previously, drizzle more olive oil, put the stove to medium heat, ready? Add the mix into the pan. Why are we using a much smaller pan? Simple, this will make a thicker tortilla, easier to handle while cooking, and it’ll look great when plating.

Where was I? Right! Let the mix cook in the smaller pan, you’ll notice when it’s ready to turn when the top isn’t runny anymore. I usually put a lid on to get a firmer tortilla. Now grab a plate larger than the pan, put it on top, and flip it, put the pan back on the stove and carefully return the tortilla from the plate to the pan. Let it cook for 4 to 5 five more minutes in medium-low heat.

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Now plate!

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You can double or triple this recipe in order to make more Spanish tortillas, this dish is a great entrée and will not disappoint.

Ps. Mexico City is currently experiencing its worst environmental crisis in 15 years. The local authorities determined that limiting the amount of cars on the streets seemed the logical first step to solve the problem. I reckon that the pollution comes from the industrial zones located in the states of Puebla, Estado de México and Hidalgo. The authorities have done nothing to regulate these zones; in the meantime, Mexico City’s administration still hasn’t presented a public transport improvement plan, just saying.

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This is where I “live”… 

Eggs for Breakfast

It is time to post more food and less politics or thoughts. This is gonna be quick, so don´t even bother to sit back and relax while you read this.

I know I talk a lot about having tacos for breakfast, or really greasy stuff right after you wake up, but in reality, one of my favourite ways to start my days is with some eggs. Fried, poached, scrambled, you name it bitch! … sorry, I got a little carried away there.

Easy as Sunday morning

Easy as Sunday morning

Cooking eggs is the easiest thing in the book, really, bare with me here, I mean, you just need to scramble them and put the result on a medium hot pan and stir it once in a while for 3 to 4 minutes and that´s it. I´m not saying that poaching an egg is the easiest thing, but hey, eventually we´ll get there in our lives. One day you will wake up will say to yourself “Today I´m poaching some goddamn eggs”, and you will fail miserably.

I used roasted kumaras, I reckon you should do the same, mate.

I used roasted kumaras, I reckon you should do the same, mate.

Eggs were part of the most amazing breakfast I ever had, and eggs are an important ingredient for many recipes, like bread, cakes, quiche, sauces, and a lot of traditional oriental foods. Almost all of us have eaten an egg at least once in our lives, but, there´s so much than just white and yellow in what we have consumed.

For the following explanation I will quote Wikipedia, as this is getting technical:

That´s right little buddy, you won´t make it.

“The shape of an egg resembles a prolate spheroid with one end larger than the other, with cylindrical symmetry along the long axis. An egg is surrounded by a thin, hard shell.

Inside, the egg yolk is suspended in the egg white by one or two spiral bands of tissue called the chalazae(from the Greek word χάλαζα, meaning hailstone or hard lump).”

So, that sums it up, pretty much, we crack that shell and pour its content in a  pan, tray, mouth, or whatever and we enjoy its silky, smooth, distinguishable texture.

Ps1. As you´ve noticed I´ve placed pictures o some of the things I´ve cooked using eggs.

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Goat Cheese Quiche (Kind off)

Ok, let´s do this, the following is a very simple, however, impressive recipe you must learn. Remember how I told you that I learnt to use the oven while I was in New Zealand? Well, this recipe follows the same principle: trust your oven, buttered your trays, and don´t be shy to cut through whatever you are grilling.

Ingredients: 

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  • 4 large red capsicums (peppers), as shown in the picture
  • 250 grs of goat cheese (diced or crumbled) – Chilchota Brand.
  • 1/3 of a red onion, diced
  • 6 eggs, scrambled
  • A bunch of basil leaves
  • 100 grs of Spanish ham or prosciutto
  • 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • A Pinch of salt and Pepper

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Let´s  be clear with this recipe, you must read this instructions and look at the pictures. First, in a bowl mix the eggs, goat cheese, red onion, basil leaves, Spanish ham, salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients and put aside.

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Right after that, grab the capsicums and carve a wee window on one side, make sure that when you do this the capsicum can stay on the surface totally balanced. You´d be making a capsicum chest, so to speak, take the seeds out carefully, now let´s go with the fun part.

Fill every capsicum with the ingredients previously mixed, now put them in a tray and cover them with tin-foil. Place them in the oven and let cook them for 50 minutes (or until the inside of the peppers looks cook, pretty much like a quiche) at 160C°.  Plate the peppers with some chickpeas, tomatoes and more crumbled goat cheese salad.

Et Voila! Impressive, isn´t it?

Et Voila! Impressive, isn´t it?

Why are we using the Chilchota brand for this recipe? Simple, it is a fresh, good quality, nice texture, amazing flavour, goat cheese, one of the best available in the market. You could find this product at any supermarket in Mexico City. If you can´t, well, simple, settle for regular goat cheese, your choice.  (Want to know more? Follow them on twitter: @ChilchotaMx)

Ps. I forgot to tell you, we are also using free range eggs from Valle Organico; mate, honestly, is there another way?

Ps2. If you like this recipe, let me know what else would you like me to cook, don´t be shy, I don´t mind.

Day of the Dead

Death is understood all around the world in different ways. In Mexico death has its own day: the Day of the Dead. This isn’t a festivity for mourning, regret or sadness, au contraire mes amigos, death is a celebration in Mexico.

ImageThe Day of the Dead can be tracked back to 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, passing through the days of the Aztec civilization with the adoration of goddess Mictecacihuatl (c’mon, say it, don’t be shy), until modern days, where the “lady of dead” became the modern Catrina.

We celebrate the dead in two days; November the 1st is to honour the children and infants; and the deceased adults are honoured on the 2nd. What do we during these days? Mainly three things:

1. Spend some time with the dead; we visit the cemeteries, bring to our passed relatives their favourite foods and drinks, flowers, and we clean their graves.

2. Altars are a must; we make an altar or shrine (as big as we can afford it but always with seven levels), using bright colours (mostly orange and yellow), where we put pictures of our late relatives, flowers and their favourite food.

3. We eat “Pan de Muerto” (bread of the dead) and “Calaveritas” (sugar made skulls) with some hot chocolate (if you live in the US, try getting the “Abuelita” brand, freaking awesome).


Day of the Dead
is the way we Mexicans celebrate death. Instead of fearing it, we greet it, respect it and, through our beliefs, interact with the souls of our dead relatives.

Maybe that’s why Mexicans get over the loss of a relative or friend faster and better than other cultures, because we acknowledge death as a temporary and relative stage of the gone soul; a soul that wanders freely through the universe, coming back to where it belongs every year, to say “hi” to whom it left behind.

FOTC – Think About It

"Bret and Jemaine are Flight of the Conchords, a folk-rock band from New Zealand living in New York City in search of stardom." IMDBIt was on my way back to Mexico from New Zealand in 2009, when I discovered  Flight of the Conchords. In their HBO show, these two Newzealanders (Kiwis) are trying to succeed as a band in New York. It took me a couple of episodes to finally  enjoy the Kiwi sense of humour, the NZ accent and the cultural references to Aotearoa and the NZ British heritage.

In each episode they perform a bunch of original songs, all of them with a very particular sense of humour; Albi the Racist Dragon, I’m not Crying, Inner City Pressure, Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor, etc.

One song that caught my attention was “Think about it, Think, Think About it”. Some of its lyrics are quite deep: “Children on the streets using guns and knives,
taking drugs and each other’s lives”; or “Good cops get framed and put into a can and all the money that we’re making is going to the man”; or “There’s people on the street getting diseases from monkeys”. They emphasis on “What’s wrong with the world today”, fair enough.

The line that interested me was related to child labour. While I was in Auckland University I took a paper called “Global Civil Society” and one of the issues discussed in class was related to transnational corporations Nike: What are your overheads?manufacturing goods in developing countries without adequate labour conditions. One case of study was the Nike Sweatshops  in Cambodia and Pakistan, mostly for the manufacturing of soccer balls and trainers in the 1990s.

This line was:

“They’re turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers
But what’s the real cost, ’cause the sneakers don’t seem that much cheaper
Why are we still paying so much for sneakers when you got little kid slaves making them”

I literally used part of the song for a presentation on Nike’s sweatshops. We should really be more conscious of how and where our goods are being manufactured and decide if we really care enough to ask these companies to improve their manufacturing methods (please talk about these issues while keeping it funky).

What is wrong with the world today? Think about it, think about it, think, think about it“. – FOTC

Ps. ‘Andreas Behring Breivik was convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder, and given the maximum sentence of 21 years’ imprisonment.’ – BBC. He was declared ‘sane’ by the second team that examined him. Take a good look at the way the information is presented “convicted of terrorism”.

Ps2. If you feel like investing in Mexico nowadays, buy eggs, they doubled their price in 1 week, true story.