Thursday, June 24, 2010

A guest post from Cooksister





As a food blogger in this day and age I have been fortunate to have a lot of great influence and inspiration from other food bloggers around me. Whether its the style of writing, beautiful pictures or great recipe ideas, the wealth of knowledge and passion in the food blogger universe is immense. One of the greatest food blogger inspirations has been Jeanne from Cooksister. With her mouth watering imagery, inventive and delightful recipes to her entertaining writing, she really is a great example of one of the best food bloggers around.

When my food blog grows up it want's to be like Jeanne's. For now though my food blog and I will be happy to host one of Jeanne's posts:



Hello and welcome to (would you believe) my first ever guest post!  I have been following the delightful LadyRaven for probably almost as long as she has been blogging, and she was one of the first people listed on the South African Food and Wine Blog Directory.  When she asked me to guest post for her, how could I resist.  And after all, she is a fellow cheeseslut!

Those of you who grew up in South Africa at about the same time as I did will recall that Mexican cuisine was not beeeeeg in our beautiful country 20 years ago.  In fact, the first restaurant that introduced any form of Mexican dishes to the public at large was Spur Steak ranches, albeit the Tex-Mex version rather than the Real Deal.  We were mesmerised by these exotic sounding creations on the once-familiar menu of burgers and steaks.  As an indication of just how novel these dishes were, the menus came with a pronounciation guide telling us to ask for "kes-a-DEE-a" as opposed to "kwes-a-DILL-a" and "ha-la-PEH-noh" instead of "ja-la-PEE-no".  Definitely a more innocent time! 

Of course, these days Mexican food is easier to find (and I don’t mean the Old El Paso taco kits available at supermarkets!).  When I tasted real Mexican foods for the first time, what struck me was the fact that not everything was blow-the-roof-off-your-mouth hot.  There was a full spectrum of heat, from cooling fresh salsas to smoky, slow burning hot chillies.  But the one thing that is super-important is starting with the right fresh ingredients – that’s what will lift an ordinary tomato salsa to something fresh, zingy and sublime.

The same can be said for this quick but delicious Mexican-inspired potato salad – the secret lies in good ingredients.  Make sure that you get waxy salad potatoes (as opposed to baking potatoes) as there is nothing worse than a potato salad that disintegrates into mayonnaise-potato mush rather than identifiable cubes (Charlotte and Nicola varieties are particularly good).  Use fresh coriander leaves – the dried stuff is simply not the same.  And unless you have found a secret supplier of authentic Mexican salsas in South Africa, consider making your own as there are many recipes on the internet.  The main ingredient in salsa verde is tomatillos (a tart relation to the gooseberry), but you can substitute green tomatoes and a little lemon juice - or you can even try growing your own tomatillos!  If you really can’t find or make salsa verde, mix 1-2 teaspoons of green Tabasco sauce into the mayonnaise before adding it to the potatoes (or more if you like it spicy!).

MEXICAN POTATO SALAD (serves 6)

Ingredients
6 large waxy potatoes
4 Tablespoons finely chopped white onion
about 4 Tablespoons good mayonnaise (I always use Hellmans)
1 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems
about 2 tablespoons salsa verde (I used some bought from an online Mexican grocer)
salt and pepper
Method
Boil the potatoes until you are able to pierce them with a sharp knife.  Drain and plunge into cold water.  When they are cool enough to handle, peel and cube them into a large bowl and allow to cool.
Stir the chopped onion and coriander leaves into the potatoes.  In a smaller bowl, mix the mayonnaise and salsa verde, then stir into the potatoes.
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with more coriander leaves.  Delicious served at a braai! 

4 comments:

  1. Like you, I also want my blog to be Cooksister when it grows up - and Jeanne was my inspiration to blogging. I know nothing about blogging until I started reading Cooksister, and before long I was a blogger then an addict!
    She is also one of the most beautiful people I know.
    Nice guest blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Delicious! And looks like it would make a great gentle intro to Mexican food. I mean, everyone likes potato salad, right?

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a delicious looking potato salad, and I don't even LIKE fresh coriander!
    Ladies, methinks you have a winner here (and lovely first guest post, Jeanne!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a perfect potato salad, with such wonderful ingredients!

    ReplyDelete