I didn’t know anything about Mexican food until moving to Vancouver in 2004 where I quickly fell in love with tacos, burritos and quesadillas. The big chain of fast Mexican food in the UK is actually Tex-Mex which is Texan/Mexican fusion so it’s basically American and bares no resemblance to the bright, simple beauty of genuine Mexican food.
Four years after moving back to the UK I still miss the tiny parcels of perfection I would order in great quantities from La Taqueria in Vancouver so I’ve had to create my own slice of Mexican sunshine from my Suffolk kitchen. In the summer when I can get hold of tomatillos and fresh corn it’s easy to honour the fresh vitality of Mexican cooking but at the tail end of a British autumn I have to try a little harder.
Rajas con Crema is traditionally made with padron peppers but our harvest of summer padrons is long gone so instead I picked the last of our regular green peppers from the front garden and was very pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted in these oozy tacos. On a miserable Thursday night a tin of corn and the humble green pepper suddenly became something joyously Mexican as the very British rain hammered against the windows.
Makes 8 Small Tacos
5 medium sized green peppers
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small white onion
250g tinned sweetcorn
3 green chillies
2 garlic cloves
125g sour cream
40g grated mozerella
1/4 tsp each of salt, cumin and cinammon
8 small tacos
- Put the peppers in a baking tray then grill under a very high heat so that the skins blister and blacken. Keep an eye on them and turn to blacken on each side.
- Once the peppers are blackened all over put them into a bowl and cover with a heavy tea towel. This will trap the steam inside the bowl and make it easy to peel the skins away from the flesh of the peppers.
- Peel the onion and cut in half then slice each half into thin slices. Put the vegetable oil into a large skillet on a medium high heat then tip in the onions and sprinkle over the salt. You want the onions to soften but not take on too much colour so stir regularly for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft.
- Crush, peel and chop the garlic. Finely chop the chillies (leave the seeds in if you like it hot! Drain the corn.
- Add the garlic, chillies, corn and spices to the pan and stir then after 30 seconds turn the heat down to medium.
- Slice the peeled peppers into strips then add to the pan and warm them through for 1 minute.
- Add the sour cream and grated cheese to the pan and stir over the heat until the cheese melts.
- Divide the mixture between the eight tacos and squeeze over a little lime juice then sprinkle with some coriander leaves.