Mexican for lunch?

HOMEMADE HABANERO

Five key ways to equip your kitchen for Mexican culinary glory

If you haven't eaten at Birmingham's Habanero Café, you need to go sit on the naughty step, stat. The outlandishly cool Mexican street food van - you'll have seen in on Temple Row, by St Philip's Cathedral - is producing some of the finest Mexican food in the Midlands.  We asked joint owner and chef Carl O'Conner how we can, at least, try and replicate their cookery capabilities in our own kitchens.
Here's his five pointers: 

IMPORT YOUR CHIPOTLE CHILLI
"Chipotle (smoked, dried jalapeños) are the most important ingredient. You can get them imported from Mexico, like us, from ChilliPepperPete. Snip off the stalk and end of the chilli, and boil in water for 30 mins to rehydrate. Then rinse excess seeds off and it's good to go. They're perfect for adding to slow cooked dishes. Here's a knockout recipe for you to cook at home."
INVEST IN A SLOW COOKER
"We slow cook all of our beef and pork for eight hours. You can do it at home. Stick the meat in at 8am on your way out the door, come home from work and you have perfectly tender meat that pulls away from the bone. Using a couple of forks, pull the meat off and let it rest for 30 minutes so the meat soaks up all the delicious flavours from your marinade. Just £30 can get you a great one."
AVOID SUPERMARKET VEG 
"You don't need to be paying supermarkets big money for fresh produce. Get to the rag market where they have an amazing seasonal selection. You'll be buying the same produce I'm buying from the next door wholesale market. You'll be paying a bit more, but I'm buying in bulk, and you'll be paying far less than you would in your local supermarket. Look for limes, avocados, chillies and coriander."
FARM BUY YOUR MEAT CUTS
"Mexican food is based on cheap cuts, but cooked right they produce serious flavour. Pork leg and shoulder is cheap and tasty. Get the butcher to trim the fat off. They require a bit more cooking than traditional cuts, but it's worth it. We get our cuts from 19 Gales farm in Warwickshire. They have a shop so you can get the same pork shoulder that we use.  Great meat, all animals are free range and its a nice family run place."
MAKE YOUR OWN GUACAMOLE 
"Mexican cookery is all about balance of flavours. Offset the spicy heat of Habanero with something subtle and cooling like guacamole. To make your own guac get yourself a couple of ripe haas avocados and mash them with a squeeze of lime and seasoning, then add some finely chopped red onion, fresh chilli and coriander, mix together and season to taste. Here's the quantities. It's hard to go wrong."

SAVILLE ROW TAILOR, STREETWEAR STYLE

Designer Rav Matharu’s Clothsurgeon concept is in Birmingham November 14 to 16. Rav’s cutting table - Selfridges level 3 - boasts a Saville Row service with a streetwear makeover. So you can get tailored bomber jackets and baseball shirts, based on your own designs. All styles are unique and delivered in 2-3 weeks. If you're buying as a gift, you'll need their measurements. 

ROBOCOMIC: DEAD OR ALIVE YOU'RE LAUGHING AT ME

Up for (potentially) creepy chuckles? Birmingham's Glee Club will play host to one of the world’s first robotic comedians this Thursday (7pm). ‘RoboJase’ has been built by an Aston-based firm for Channel 5’s Gadget Show. Modelled on presenter Jason Bradbury, ‘RoboJase’ will perform alongside excellent comics Michael Legge and Rob Deering. Price: £11
Enjoyed this? Subscribe for free
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Copyright © 2013 Birmingham Publishing Group Ltd, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences