eleanor’s kitchen! a taste of mexico words and image by eleanor ludington
Dinner parties have always been one of my favourite ways to catch up with friends. Not only do they provide motivation to tidy the house, they also provide a reason to eat a lot of yummy food, show off pets (my dog is always quite a novelty), drink a bit of wine, and catch up on gossip. My favourite dinner parties are always those with Mexican food (well, Australian-Mexican) on the menu. Anyone who knows me knows it’s my absolute favourite sort of food and so it’s no wonder that I will jump at any chance to make it or eat it. I find that it’s generally very easy to prepare, even for a novice student cook, and always comes with very positive feedback from both vegetarians and omnivores alike. How could it not? Hearty beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, fresh salads and, if you’re feeling really fancy, some tomato rice. It doesn’t get any better than that. Have a go at this delicious recipe for Mexican Beans. It’s adapted from an old Tex-Mex cookbook we have at home, and it hasn’t let me down yet!
Ingredients: •1 onion, diced •1 small red chilli, sliced (you can add more if you like heat) •4 tins of beans of your choice, drained (I use a mix of kidney beans and lentils) •750mL vegetable stock •2tbsp of Worcestershire sauce (look for vegan-friendly versions if vegetarian) •1 dessert spoon of sugar (optional) Method: 1. Fry onion in olive oil on low heat for 5-10 minutes until softened. 2. Add chilli and cook for a further minute. 3. Add beans, stock, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Mix to combine ingredients. 4. Bring to the boil and then turn down heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 1 hour to reduce liquid until you reach a consistency you are happy with. Stir every 10 -15 minutes to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot. NB: if it reduces too quickly or becomes too thick you can always dilute a little with more stock. If after an hour it is still too runny, turn the heat up and allow to boil off. 5. When ready serve with fresh salads and condiments of your choice. I like to eat these in a tortilla with salad, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Yum!