Tortilla Soup

Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching so we all need to up our game and move beyond tacos and burritos as a celebration of Central and South American cuisine. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico to commemorate the victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. It is not the day that marks their independence as a nation, that’s September 16th. Rather, it celebrates the Mexican Resistance’s victory over a superior French force backed by Napoleon. It’s a symbolic victory and not even a National Holiday in Mexico.

The day has since been hijacked by the alcohol industry as a ploy to celebrate Hispanic culture outside of Mexico. Mexican culture is so much more that cerveza (beer) and margaritas. There is a diverse cuisine that has regional flavours and techniques suited to their climatic conditions. A vibrant street food scene has been taken by their chefs to the world of haute cuisine with three restaurants in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants serving Mexican food.

Pati Jinich, Mexico’s version of Jamie Oliver, says that everyone needs to have their own version of Tortilla Soup. I agree. I discovered this dish more than 20 years ago when I was living in South Florida, USA. It’s a great way to make use of leftover tortillas and tomatoes that have ripened from salad to cooking stage. It’s a light soup that has the ability to be refreshing on a summer evening and warming for a winter’s lunch.

Tortilla soup email

Tortilla soup is refreshing on a summers day or a hearty winter warmer.

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Mango Scallops

One of Stuart’s favourite dishes is scallops. I, on the other hand, are not so much of a fan. It works for us because that means there’s more for him and scallops are best served seared, so it doesn’t take long to pull together a spectacular meal. You could say it’s a win-win.

Mango Scallops on the grill

Seared scallops with mango are a great addition to a seafood barbecue.

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Tagliata: Italian Steak and Cannellini Beans

When I think about Italian food my mind moves first to pasta and then pizza. I rarely ever think of steak. In Italy though tagliata is a staple; a lightly seasoned steak, grilled to perfection and served thinly sliced. This flavoursome dish centers around the quality meat. I like a nice thick scotch fillet, but it works well with the more economical flank or skirt steak. Purists use only a bit of salt, but I like a bit of pepper and rub a clove of smashed garlic over the surface. Migraine-sufferers should avoid the traditional brushing with rosemary during grilling if they want the dish to be trigger-free. If you feel the steak needs some heavy herb flavour, a bunch of marjoram will add a nice lift. Grill rare to medium, thinly slice and it’s ready for some side dishes.

Italian steak

Tagliata over Italian style refried beans is my go to 30 minute pantry to plate summer meal.

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Balsamic Lamb Cutlets

The hunter gatherer in me prefers to dine on lots of little dishes. I find this method of cooking especially suited to the holidays since you can cook as much of any dish that you need. It’s great for when people just pop in for a visit only, you are enjoying their company so much that they stay for a meal too – a quick throw together because of all the other holiday activities.

Lamb cutlets deconstructed

One of my go to dishes are lamb cutlets. Racks of lamb ribs are individually cut and the bones Frenched for easy handling as finger food. This most tender and flavoursome meat is the most expensive cut, making it a special treat. Like a really special treat, especially if there are kids around who don’t appreciate how expensive they are, but do appreciate the taste. I used to sacrifice my portion to the youngest at the Christmas Tree Trimming Tapas. It’s nice now that everyone is big enough to share the dish evenly across all the guests. Keep on reading!


Delicious Ways to Boost Your Magnesium

I was having a bit of a look at my writings over the past few months to figure out where I should be taking us on this journey. The thing that stood out to me was the number of times I used negative verbs like stop, avoid, remove and limit, in contrast to helpful verbs like consume, eat or binge. It’s been a big blog of “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”. Well, other than the whole series on chocolate.

I’ve decided to make a change towards positivity. Not what we shouldn’t be doing, but what we can be doing to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. They say that to change a mindset you need to do something for at least 5 weeks. So here we go, a change to positivity and things we need to do more of. Keep on reading!