Sunday, 5 May 2013

Cooking with Mini

 Today is Cinco de Mayo, a day of celebration in Mexico and the USA. Today in the USA, it's a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. It also commemorates the Mexican Army's victory at the Battle of Puebla, in 1962.

Now I don't know much about Mexican history, but I do like to eat Mexican food. It's probably my favourite cuisine. Dollop was weaned on spices and herbs, and likes her food to be tasty. Mini was weaned on more traditional English fayre, but is slowly coming around to other foods, and now enjoys a Chinese takeaway, or a Korma, mild tacos and recently, chicken fajitas have become quite a firm favourite. The NC will eat pretty much anything ;-)

In order to spend a bit more time together, to develop and nurture this growing interest in food and also as a relatively calm activity when post-school fatigue sets in, Mini and I have begun cooking our evening meal together sometimes. Mini has always been interested in baking, he loves helping out in the kitchen, and is always so proud of his offerings. I will add that he has a lighter touch than I, so his pastry and crumble toppings outshine mine! And his favourite job is grating cheese, which is handy because it's a job that I loathe.

I hadn't heard of Cinco de Mayo until recently, but was thrilled to receive some products from Discovery to review in honour of this celebration.

So, Mini and I set together working out what we could make with the products we received - a Fajita cooking kit, Cajun Season and Serve Sauce, and the new Garlic and Herb soured cream. I'm vegetarian, and so the whole family eats meat-free most of the time. I was pleased to see that everything we were sent is vegetarian friendly and so totally suitable for us. We hit the supermarket together to choose vegetables for our meal, and Mini can be a bit fussy about veg which is why they're a bit eclectic! We decided to use the medium spiced Cajun Season and Serve Sauce to make a spicy, saucy dish to have with plan boiled long grain rice, accompanied by the Garlic and Herb soured cream.
As a confident (in the kitchen at least) 6 year old, Mini is capable of care with a knife. He has his own little chopping board and knife, and I'm happy for him to use them with my careful supervision. He is also wary and safe around the hob and hot saucepans, so again with supervision and assistance, we do the hob-jobs together. Use your own judgement with your own children.
So here's our recipe...

Cinco de Mayo spicy Cajun veggies with rice
To feed four adults.

1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
1 large tin of sweetcorn, drained
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
4/5 runnerbeans, chopped into diamonds
Cooking oil (we use light and mild olive oil)
Discovery Cajun Season and Serve sauce

To serve:
Cooked long grain rice
Discovery Garlic and Herb Soured Cream

Put the carrots and green beans into a bowl with about 1 tbsp of oil, and stir to coat. Add the contents of the plastic pot that comes on top of the Season and Serve Sauce. Stir again to ensure everything is coated. (Mini loved doing this bit.)

Heat a large pan, add a little oil. When hot, add the onions and stir for a minute. Add the carrots and beans, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the Season and Serve Sauce to the pan, and leave on a medium heat for 15minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't let the sauce boil.

When the vegetables have started to soften a little, add the sweetcorn and chickpeas. And give it another 5 minutes or so for them to warm through. (We like our vegetables quite fresh and crunchy, if you prefer them softer, cook for longer).

That's it! Simples. Serve with boiled rice and a generous dollop of Discovery Garlic and Herb Soured Cream.

It went down brilliantly with the whole family. Mini was chuffed to have helped too. It was slightly spicier than I expected, but wasn't hot, and I was grateful for the cool creaminess of the soured cream.
To be honest, I've never bought soured cream from anywhere other than in a pot from the chilled cream section of the supermarket, so I was a bit wary of trying this - you'll find it with all the other Discovery Products. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. Although it says you can keep it in the cupboard til you need it (then in the fridge once open), I popped it in the fridge for an hour before using it, to chill it off. It has a really nice flavour, with the garlic and herb being just enough - not at all overpowering. Mini doesn't go for creamy, mayonnaisey type sauces but he enjoyed this too and asked for more. It comes in a handy squirty bottle, which meant Mini got it in the bowl, and not blobbed down his clothes, or all over the table!
I always keep Fajita seasoning in the cupboard and flour tortillas in the freezer ready for an unplanned fajita night, but I find that fresh soured cream goes off before we've used it and I really dislike throwing food away. Now I'll be able to keep a bottle in the cupboard for those unexpected requests from Mini for his new favourite fajitas!

Talking of which, there is still that Fajita kit in the kitchen, and half a bottle of soured cream left...guess what we'll be having tomorrow!

Disclaimer: I have not received payment for this review/recipe, but have received the products free of charge.

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