I am currently eating my way around Mexico and loving all the fresh healthy food. We are visiting the Yucatán Peninsula which is in south east Mexico on the Caribbean sea. Here the dishes are influenced by the Mayan culture in addition to the usual Mexican flavours.Whenever we are travelling I like to do at least one cooking class so I can get a real feeling for how to create the local food. Doing a class means I am able to see first hand how the food is prepared. It also allows me to become familiar with any unusual ingredients. Eating out in restaurants and on the streets of Mexico showed me how badly we have interpreted the Mexican cuisine in Australia. When I had the opportunity to speak to chefs and my cooking teacher I quizzed them on a few of the discrepancies I had noticed.
I have prepared some interesting culinary faux pas;
- Until recently in Australia taco’s have been hard shells not soft tortilla.
- We use cheese and sour cream on our taco’s where as I haven’t seen a single taco with these fillings at all.
- Tortilla are usually made with Masa Corn Flour not Wheat Flour.
- In Australia mince meat is a common Mexican taco filling but in Mexico they don’t use mince at all.
- We make guacamole with sour cream.
- Lime is usually used not lemon in Mexico
- Salsa means sauce in Mexican so a salsa is not chunky its smooth.
- What we know as Salsa in Australia (i.e. diced tomato, chill, onion etc) is called Pico.
Mexican Yucatan Chicken - Pollo Pibil
- 700 gm chicken thigh fillets
- 1/2 cup red & white cabbage shredded
- 1/4 cup carrot shredded
- 1 Tbs coriander
- ½ g x 100 packet "El Yucateco" achiote paste
- 1 orange juiced
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 10 corn tortilla's
- lime juice
Slice the chicken thigh fillets into strips. Place in a non reactive bowl.
Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour the marinade over the chicken and ensure all the chicken is well covered.
Place the chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinade for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Thread the chicken onto skewers.
Place baking paper on a large baking tray and add the skewers to the tray for cooking.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. (The skewers can also be cooked on a BBQ or pan fried).
Combine salad ingredients whilst the chicken cooks.
Serve the cooked chicken with tortilla the salad and a squeeze of lime juice.
P.s These are the sauce ingredients. I was able to find the Annatto Paste very easily in our small Coffs Harbour specialty store. Otherwise have a look online. 1 package makes a double serve of the recipe.