Nopalito: A Midweek Mexican Feast and book review

What I thought was going to be a simple dessert post for my last post from Nopalito for the month has turned into a veritable feast! Our planned dinner got changed, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to cook from the book and then I got hit with a terrible headache and Aaron took over and did an awesome job. I snapped some photos of our dinner served “family” style at our dining table with some whole wheat tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream and Mexican cheese…

Chicken Tinga – we already had toastadas this month, but I was looking for a soft taco filling that would be relatively easy and flavorful and this fit the bill. We bought a $7 Costco chicken and shredded the breast meat which was mixed with tin tomatoes, a chipotle chile, onion, garlic and coriander. Aaron deemed it the nicest Mexican protein we’ve ever made, and he’s not wrong!

Toasted corn – I was looking for a corn alternative to the Mexican corn cake I normally make and this is what I came up with. We used frozen corn kernels and sour cream and crumbled feta and it totally stole the show in my opinion. It only takes 5 minutes as opposed to the hour the corn cake bakes too, which is such a time saver. It has pico de gallo stirred through it to finish it off.

Refried black beans – these were good but I wouldn’t say better than my version. It was dangerous again with the hot smoking oil and  adding the onion and beans and cooking it out. My version stews the beans for longer in stock with some onion and garlic and chilli before blending it with my immersion blender and seasoning with salt. It was still good though.

Mexican Rice – I was keen to try this compared to my version. I’m not really convinced that this is any better to be honest. In our rice cooker we put basmati rice, chopped onion, diced carrot, garlic, tomato paste and water and set it to cook. It was nice, but I thought it was lacking some spice as I normally add a green chilli and some cumin.

Pico de gallo – this was a real hit as well. It’s a simple mixed of diced tomato, jalapeno, red onion, green onion and coriander with some lime juice and salt. I loved the random punch of jalapeno that you’d get every few mouthfuls. Just enough to send your taste buds soaring.

I have been surprisingly impressed with this book over the course of the month. There are certainly a lot more recipes I’d like to try, especially the desserts and the drinks, but also things like tamales and salsas.  They all turned out well, some of the recipes were good while others were great! I’m glad we tried a different cuisine in Food52 Cookbook Club as sometimes it seems like we don’t branch out that much. It’s one of those books that I would definitely recommend checking out from the library before deciding to purchase because you might get some good ideas rather than recipes as such. That being said, I’m glad I found it for $2 on Kindle a few months ago!

To see the other posts I’ve done this month, click on the links below: