Tag Archives: avocado

Cinco de Mayo- Deviled Avocados and Tamales

So we know we haven’t posted for a while, but it’s not that we’ve not been cooking- we’ve just not had time to get blogging. So we have quite a backlog of recipes and photos that we’ve been waiting to tell you all about.

So… way back in May We made tamales and deviled avocados for Cinco de Mayo which were super yummy. The tamales take a little bit of prep time but they’re not too complicated. The recipe for both the tamales and filling are from Lupe Pintos ‘Two Cooks and a Suitcase’.

Deviled Avocado- for the hell-bound only. Do not try if you think you may be eligible for heaven (not likely). This recipe shifts the paradigm of deviling as we know it, and consequently is actually quite dangerous to your soul.
3 avocados
8 large eggs
1/3 cup mayo (CINCO DE MAYO!)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
1 tbsp minced celery
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper
Old Bay if you have it, paprika if you don’t
Deviled Egg

A sinner enjoys an egg.

First you have to hard boil the eggs. There is a technique to this and it is not “put it in boiling water for half an hour, I don’t know, whatever”.
To get perfect hard boiled eggs do the following:
Put the eggs in the pot. Add water until the eggs are submerged an inch below the water. Add salt and vinegar, a dash of each. The salt increases the boiling point of the water (he says to a chorus of “duhs”) and the vinegar keeps the yolk from dissipating if the egg cracks- devil magic.

Turn up the heat to high, until the water has been boiling for about a minute with big old bubbles, not the small ones like in your sody pop. Then take them off the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.  Add cold water in the sink until they are cool enough to peel. Done and dusted, easy peasy, etc.

Now peel them, snappish. Cut them in half and take out the yolk which should be a sunny yellow and not a dull green if you did the boiling right. Put all the yolks in a bowl with the mayo, mustard, vinegar, celery, salt & pepper. Mix it all up. You can do this with a mixer if you have one. Spoon the devil-mixture back into the eggs.

Cut the avocados in half and remove the egg. Plant it if you wish. Remove the flesh from the skin. The easiest way to do this is with a spoon, the hardest is with a fire extinguisher.  Spoon some eggs into the holes, as in the pic below. Sprinkle some Old Bay on those bitches.  Eat.

Deviled Avocado

A technical innovation in the field of deviling.

ALTERNATIVE: Skip spooning the yolk into the white and go straight for the avocado. GET CREATIVE! Or else.


When we cooked these we didn’t have any access to corn husks or banana leaves usually used to wrap up the tamales to allow steam into the dough, so we had to resort to using tinfoil. While not ideal our cookbook reminded us that ‘ Tinfoil tamales are better than no tamales!’ They’re also a lot less fiddly and easier to handle if you’re trying them out for the first time, and to freeze.

Allow a bit of time to make this (filling takes an hour to simmer, and the tamales themselves will take another 45 mins to an hour to steam). We recommend making the filling first and while it’s simmering you can prepare the tamale wrappers.

Serves 6-8

Filling: Oaxaca style Mexican Chile

Oil for frying

500g pork diced

2 medium onions finely chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed

4 tomatoes roasted and sieved or alternatively ready-made passata

150ml fresh orange juice

2tsp vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 tsp oregano

2 Ancho chiles (remove pulp)

3 Guajillo chiles

(Don’t fret too much if you can’t find the right chiles- we’ve tried it with 3 rehydrated chipotle chiles instead of the two above and it was delicious)

2tbsp toasted breadcrumbs

a handful of crushed tortilla chips

25g toasted almonds

2tsp sesame seeds

3 cooking chorizo sausages chopped and sauteed

500g of cooked black beans

Oaxaca-Style Mexican Chile

Chile, Oaxaca style. Fry it up, boil it down, add chorizo and nacho crumbs. Easy as.

Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil until soft.

Add the pork and brown well.

Add the tomatoes, orange juice, spices, vinegar and chillies and simmer for 45 mins until the pork is tender.

In a food processor blend the breadcrumbs, tortilla chips, almonds, sesame seeds until you get a fine crunchy mix.

Add the crunchy mix, chorizo and black beans to the tomato-pork mixture.

Simmer for a further 15 mins to blend the flavours.

How to wrap tamales

How to wrap tamales- spread all that masa harina out on the foil, add some filling, then wrap over the top and fold over the end. Add to the pot for steaming.


200g Masa Harina (finely ground maize flour for mexican stuff. It tastes a bit limey. Available from (my local) Sainsbury’s)

100g butter melted

250ml chicken stock

1/2 tsp baking powder

salt & peps

A load of tinfoil cut into rectangles about 150 x200mm, enough for a small conspiracy hat (cat size)

A large pot with a steamer insert and lid and tongs

Sift the Masa harina and baking powder into a large bowl. When using tinfoil the baking powder in the dough lightens up the tamales compensating for the lack of porosity.

Add the melted butter, and stir in the chicken stock and season with salt and peps.

Stir/knead well till the dough becomes the consistency of cake batter.


Spread a thin layer of the dough onto the tinfoil with a wet tablespoon.

Apply the filling in a strip down the middle. Fold the bottom of the strip up and then the sides over to form a filled roll. A bit of water will help seal the masa dough.

Try not to layer too much tinfoil on to allow them to steam properly. Make sure there is extra tinfoil to fold over the bottom of the roll and pinch at the top.

Fill the pot with about 2 inches of water and place the steamer insert in.

Place the tamales vertically (so they’re standing up) tightly in the steamer pot.

Cover and steam at a low temperature for about 45 mins to an hour. Make sure the water level isn’t too high so it boils and wets the bottom of the tamales. It may need a bit of topping up as well.

The tamales are done when the insides are soft and firm (not smooshy). Carefully remove from the steamer pot with tongs.


Unwrap this mess and pig out. And then tilt-shift the heck out of the photos.

Unwrap and eat! Delicious!

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Colombian Beer-Marinated Steak with Aji sauce and Colombian Guacamole

The day I made this I had a bit of a steak urge-this happens pretty often.  I have a thing for steak, especially thick rare steak. The ultimate way to fulfil a steak urge is Tom’s mom’s Masonic Steak.  She gets a giant cut about the size of a dinner plate and an inch thick from Elite Meats in Lincoln.  This is marinated up and grilled until medium rare. Served up with some salad and veg it is super super Yum.

So as Tom’s mom was not around I decided to look for a new and delicious steak recipe.  This one is adapted from one of Epicurious’ top rated steak recipes, and after tasting it I can testify that it definitely earned its place on the list. The steak is served with sharp and spicy Aji sauce, Colombian guacamole, and a dash of sour cream- I wouldn’t advise skipping any of the accompaniments.

If you live in Edinburgh and want to make this recipe just head over to Tollcross.  John Saunderson butchers provided an especially thick cut of steak on request, Lupe Pintos deli provided the chilles, delicious set sour cream and some tortilla chips for munching as I went along, and Scotmid across the road had the rest of the veg, pickled onions and beer.


For the Steak:
1 kg inch thick steak ( I used two frying steaks but you could also use flank steak which the original recipe called for but the local butcher didn’t have)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Peps
1 cup sliced spring onions
340ml out of a can of guinness beer
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Marinated Beer Steak

Marinating the steak.

DO 3 HOURS AHEAD: Lay the steak out in a glass baking dish 2 to 3 inches deep, that the steak fits within comfortably.  Dont use too big of a dish as the marinade is quite runny and you want to make sure the steaks are covered fully. Using a sharp knife, score the steaks on either side in a criss-cross pattern at about 2cm intervals, and 1/2cm deep.  Sprinkle steaks on both sides with oregano, cumin, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Drizzle olive oil over the top, rubbing the spices into the meat.  Add both onions, beer, and worcestershire sauce.  Turn the steaks to coat either side. Cover and pop in the fridge, turning occasionally.  You can also do this the day ahead.

While the steak is chilling get your Aji sauce and guacamole ready (see below).  when you’re ready to eat, set the oven grill on high.  Grill steaks for about 4 mins each side or until medium rare.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let it rest for 5-10 mins.  Slice up into 1 cmish thick strips and plate up!  Serve with Aji, guacamole and sour cream.

Aji Sauce:
1/2 cup coarsely chopped seeded jalapeño chiles
1/2 cup coarsely chopped spring onions
1/3 cup coarsely chopped sweet pickled onion from a jar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (or red wine vinegar) Lupe Pintos have these frozen lime concentrate pack for mixing up lime juice for margaritas.  You can mix up a pitcher of limeade or even margaritas and use a splash for the sauce.

Aji Sauce

Sharp and tangy Aji sauce.

Combine jalapeño chiles, spring onions, pickled onions, and coriander in processor; puree until paste forms.  Open it up and give it a stir and a scrape down a few times to make sure all the bits are incorporated.  Add the lime juice and whizz again until mixture is blended but still retains some texture. Transfer to small bowl and add the salt and pepper.  Give it a taste- and add a dash more lime if you think it needs it. Cover and refrigerate.  This lasts in the fridge for a good few days, and also makes an excellent dip for tortilla chips.  If its too spicy on its own, have it with a bit of sour cream.

Colombian Guacamole:
2 small/medium ripe avocados, coarsely chopped (keep the stones)
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh coriander
1 1/2 Tbsp coarsely chopped spring onion
1 1/2 Tbsp coarsely chopped pickled onion
2 Tbsp chopped serrano chiles with seeds
2  Tbsp (or more) fresh lime juice
Coarse salt


Lots of coriander in this smooth Colombian guac!

Combine avocado, coriander, spring onion, pickled onion, and serrano chiles in a processor. Puree until smooth. Add 2 Tbsp lime juice ( taste before adding the second Tbsp) and blend. Add more lime juice if necessary.  You want to process until its quite smooth, but not runny.  Transfer to a small bowl and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of lime.  Cover and refrigerate with the avacado stones so the guacamole doesn’t go off colour.

We had too much, so we used the leftovers with some buckwheat and sweetpotato noodles. I mixed the aji sauce with some sour cream to make a sauce and threw in some peppers and peas.  Yumzo!

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