Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Three Amigos

As regular readers will know, in our household we have recently become very keen on Mexican-style cookery, as a result of attending a talk on that subject by Thomasina Miers, of Masterchef fame, and subsequently the owner / manager of a chain of restaurants in London called Wahaca.

In my garden this year therefore there are lots of "Mexican" food ingredients, including my "Three Amigos" -- tomatoes (7 different varieties), tomatillos (2 different varieties) and chillis (4 different varieties). Here are some representative photos:

The Three Amigos: tomatoes, tomatillos and chillis

Tomato 'Sungella'

Green Tomatillo

Chilli -- a "Cayenne-style" variety

The chillis I have grown this year are ones that I have not tried previously, and I only know the name of one of them -- 'Serrano' - because this came courtesy of  'Wahaca'.  The others came from seeds I saved from fruits bought at a food and drink show in London. All of them have produced a wonderful crop already, and they keep on coming (did you know that you can freeze chillis quite successfully? You just need to ensure that when you decide to cook them you de-seed them before they are fully de-frosted, because the chillis go a bit limp when they de-frost.)

My chilli plants have been grown in 10" pots, mostly ones originally marketed as "Tomato pots", which come with covers to assist with retaining moisture. I have found these to be too small for tomato plants, but the smaller chilli plants do well in them.

Whilst I initially saw myself growing these tomatoes, tomatillos and chillis mainly for culinary purposes, I have belatedly realised that they are wonderfully photogenic! So here are some pictures...

Chilli  'A'

Chilli 'A'

Chilli 'B'

Chilli 'A'

Chillis 'A' and 'B'

Chilli 'Serrano'

Immature Mexican Tomatillo

Tomatillos ready for eating

A "traffic lights" trio of 'Ferline' tomatoes

Tomato 'Ferline'

Tomato 'Black Cherry'
Tomato 'Currant Goldrush'
Tomato 'Maskotka'
Tomato 'Ildi'
These are some of the dishes that we have made with the Three Amigos...

Tomatillo salsa going into the oven -- the dark bits are dried Ancho chillis

Tomatillo salsa, the finished item. Great with tortilla chips!

Mexican beef pot-roast with tomatillos and chillis
Finally, not strictly Mexican (more Argentinian!), but I'm using this as another opportunity to display my favourite 'Gaucho salad'.

"Gaucho salad" -- tomatoes with shallots, thyme and vinegar

My final words on this subject are:-


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