Friday, 20 July 2012

Wahaca: Mollettes

Never let it be said that I don't like themes and patterns.  This week has mostly been about Stuff-on-Toast.  And today is no exception.  I guess it's a reflection of my current mood because I'm a) looking for something a bit comforting - toast being the cure to everything in my world in preference to a nice cup of tea - and b) because I'm feeling a little fragile healthwise and so I'm not up for big food.

Slightly over-zealous salsa application
Stuff-on-Toast started on Wednesday when I picked up some English muffins from Waitrose on my way home from seeing the Quack.  I'd intended to have them as a snack with Miss A but then quickly got swayed by Rachel Khoo's Stuff-on-Toast recipe - or to give it it's proper name "Tartines Sucrées et Salées".  Yesterday's tea was scrambled eggs and Tommy-K on muffins, washed down with a mouthful of my disasterous Pimms jelly.  Breakfast this morning after an hour of BodyCombat was peanut butter and banana on a toasted muffin and lunch has been the most recent encounter with Stuff-on-Toast in the guise of Mollettes.

I was torn about trying this recipe as it seemed to be quite similar in theme to Miers' Queso Fundido which is basically refried beans smothered in cheese and grilled.  It's probably the one bug bear I have with some recipe books where they're by the same chef.  You often get the same - or minor variations on - other recipes from their previous books.  Miers' Tortilla Soup appears in both Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home and Mexican Cooking Made Easy as do variations on Queso Fundido, Caesar Salad and Mexican Hot Chocolate (just a few off the top of my head).  I own two books by Gordon Ramsay where around 50% of the recipes appear in both books.  The original Hummingbird Bakery and Cake Days have a couple of crossover recipes too.  I appreciate that maybe it's my fault for buying more than one book by the same person.  

Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe.  It is a doddle and I was really tempted to make it with all storecupboard ingredients but did half and half, using Discovery refried beans in place of Miers' own recipe (which I really must get around to trying) but making the fresh tomato salsa myself - rather than using some shop-bought that I had in the fridge for using in sandwiches.

If one thing has changed in my cooking this past year it's that I'm more likely to have fresh herbs and tomatoes to hand.  This time last year, I probably hadn't bought a fresh tomato for about five years.  But today, I was able to root some from the back of the crisper, safe in the knowledge that the Ocado man will bring some more this evening.  As for the herbs, my staple is now to have a growing pot of coriander in the garden.  I really wanted to plant my own but I've never successfully grown herbs since we've had a male dog.  When he was a puppy, he took a fancy to chewing them.  I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions to what he does to them now.  I've tried growing them in a wall trough but they just died so now just pop a store-bought pot on my patio table instead.

Making the fresh salsa was a revelation.  Miers uses a combination of tomatoes, chilli, red onion, lime juice, sugar and salt.  I initially thought that the sugar would make it too sweet but it works brilliantly with the slightly salty cheese and beans and the taste combination of all the Stuff-on-Toast(ed muffin) together was amazing.  And despite the cheese and beans, the zingy salsa makes this perfect for a little summer snackage.

It actually comes from the breakfast section of the book.  Much as I love my post-workout peanut butter and banana munch when I've got the time to make it, I am so thinking of swapping it for this once in a while.  New favourite recipe.  Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home - highly recommended

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