Put-on-anything, back up, corny, feel good salsa

This (or some kind of slightly bastardised, red headed step child of a version of this) is the salsa you will now use to impress people when you don’t actually have the brain capacity and/or motor skill to impress people.

This is the thesaurus of the intellectually incapacitated… it is the bath for the homeless man… it is the Google of the modern child… it is the facelift for the elderly whore… it is… time to move on.

The thing is, it will make you seem like a heaps cleverer person than you actually are.

The scenario may be something as simple as you impressing the heck out of yourself with a hangover dinner of shit-in-a-tin nachos topped with this little ray of sun shine of a salsa, or maybe you just want to mix it with a little chopped lettuce for “your own version” (wink, wink) of a chopped salad, or maybe you invite a heap of pretty girls over and impress the knickers off of them with some tasty assed tacos topped with this look-like-a-champion salsa, or maybe even your boss comes for dinner and you serve this with a beautifully roasted piece of chicken (you can find that a few posts back), sautéed spinach or kale and a delicious pan gravy.

Seriously, I am even starting to impress myself a little right now, and believe me – I’m pretty tough to win over.

Grill that corn or flash it in a pan if that’s all you got

Really close to the corn salsa

Really far away from the corn salsa


2 sweet corn, grilled, kernels stripped
2 medium tomatoes, dice (I really can’t be too fucked to remove the seeds)
1 lebanese cucumber, deseeded and diced (Yes. I fucking deseed the cucumber. It’s heaps easier and more efficient than deseeding tomatoes though)
½ red onion, diced
50-100g feta, crumbled
½ bunch coriander and/or oregano, roughly chopped
A splash (or 10) of your favourite hot sauce
Juice of 1-2 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Get it all into a large mixing bowl.
Mix gently to combine.
Put on something and eat it in your face.

Charred tomato salsa

Lime is pretty good too. Hot sauce and jalapeños - both good on the Mexican dinner table
Lime is pretty good too. Hot sauce and jalapeños – both good on the Mexican dinner table

I like Mexican food.

Stuff like tacos.

I am a huge fan of any culture that is going to serve me a meal with a heap of condiments on the table so I get to adjust the flavours and the seasonings to my own personal taste as I go. That is a culture that is putting my feelings first.

I really do appreciate the things the Mexican people do for my taste buds.

That and their can-do attitude.

Straight up. Did they say they were a Mexi-can’t? No. Mexi-can all the way. I give not one single shit for the words of bigoted white billionaire businessmen who have just recently become president of the USA, and their words of fences and things of the sort. Mexico for president as far as I’m concerned.

Thank you once again to my nice-food-making, good-attitude-having, Mexican brothers and sisters.

Tomatoes, onion and garlic straight on the flame
Tomatoes, onion and garlic straight on the flame

Starting to get all charry
Starting to get all charry

That's the salsa
That’s the salsa


4 ripe tomatoes, charred over a flame until they start to blacken and blister
1 eshallot or half an onion, also charred over that flame
2 cloves garlic, fuck it – char them too
1 pickled jalapeño chilli, chopped
1 tablespoon of the jalapeño vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
A small handful of coriander, chopped (use the stalky bits for the salsa and the pretty leaves for garnish)
Salt and pepper

• Peel the blackened skin from the tomatoes, onions and garlic and then roughly chop.
• Put everything into a food processor and pulse into a chunky salsa type thing.
• Put it on tacos and nachos and other Mexican-y things.

The Third Annual Stockdale vs Cootes Cook-off

As promised here are the details of the third annual Stockdale vs Cootes cook-off.

By Jennee aka. The wiffy

The win was sweet.

For those of you who follow this titillating tale of culinary genius regularly you would be aware that Grazza McFilthy Mouth has married into one of the finest Queensland families that have ever existed.  Steeped in bush tradition and with a penchant for laughing in the face of misfortune and tackling the world’s problems head on… or at least heading to the pub to discuss such problems… or at least heading to the pub.  You would also be aware that we are competitive. REALLY competitive.  My brother (Queenie, “the number one”) was so competitive as a kid, I would get him to fetch me stuff while I sat on the couch, as I timed him (well, pretended to), on the premise that he should try to beat his previous time.  This worked until he was like 13 years old and the general malaise and discontent of teenage life kicked in and he realised that I was really the only one gaining anything out of this “competition”.  But anyways, since the uniting of my two families, old and new, we have created a cooking competition between said families that if aired on prime time commercial television in Asia would pretty much knock this Masterchef bullshit off its ratings arse!!!

The annual cook off between “the Coates’” (my maiden name, for a fair maiden) and “the intruders” was set and menus were deliberated over in secrecy and hushed tones.  The judging panel was invited and the gauntlet was set. Usually “the intruders” are called “the Stockdales” but this time with the addition of my sister in law (a Polish Jamaican throwback with lily white skin and a steely stare) the name just didn’t fit.

The pitch was wet the night of the event and injury was rife in the Coates team, Queenie was recovering from a nasty case of the man flu and I was nursing an horrific toenail clipping disaster.  But we soldiered on.   The judging panel arrived and witty banter and fine wine soon ensued, or at least a cracking round of piss taking and homemade scotch was engulfed.

It was decided on the night that the winning team would write the blog post, so here it is. Yes the Coates’ won, like a well-oiled machine we fried our way to glory and the winners circle welcomed us back with open arms, like the family of a junkie after a long stint in rehab.

The menu was as follows:


Chorizo and mozzarella croquettes, preserved lemon mayo, pickled tomato and onion salad (Coates)


“Late night lamb sandwich”, slow roasted lamb, handmade flat bread, eggplant puree, pickled zucchini & radish, herb yoghurt (Intruders)


Two photos for the winning dish
Two photos for the winning dish

Pulled pork, soft tacos, savoury popcorn, Mexican condiments,  garlic and herb brown rice (Coates)

We were pretty damn inebriated by this stage so this was the best I could do sorry folks
We were pretty damn inebriated by this stage so this was about the best I could do, sorry folks

Chocolate molten pudding, raspberry puree, homemade macadamia ice cream (Stockdales)

I am pretty sure the dish that won the night for us was the pulled pork dish, Queenies idea so kudos goes to him. Here is the recipe.


Grab a pork shoulder with the bone in, about 3kg

Rub it with 3 tablespoons each of ground cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, 1 tablespoon chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper.

Put it in some kind of baking dish skin side up and add 1L of orange juice, then put it into the oven at 90 degrees for 12 hours.   You could then get up every four or so hours to check it, or in my case you could marry a boy who is totally in love with food and actually can’t sleep with the aroma of pork slow cooking so has to “check” it for you!!!! He is a sweet heart!!

We served our pulled pork with avo salsa, chimmi churri and home made creamed corn!!!! Arriba!! Viva la Cootes! Viva la Cootes!

Miss Margaritas Cantina, Byron Bay

Aaah, back to ol’ Byron town for dinner. A town that has disappointed me so much of late with it over priced and under quality food service providers. There should be a department to police the service of shit food at exuberant prices, but I guess they would end up corrupted and in the back pocket of outlaw motorcycle clubs everywhere. Then there would be a coronial inquest… houses would be bombed… cats tortured… and for what. So a crooked food cop could get off scott-free and move to Tasmania to marry his long time gay lover and live off all of his ill-gotten gains as a dodgy food Policeman?

Surely the customer would do it I hear you say. Through their absence these food crime instigators would go out of business, swiftly dealt with through food industry karma. This theory is applicable to a lot of places, but ol’ Byron town just doesn’t seem to be one of them. With it’s transient population of back packing Euros and fruit picking hippies it laughs in the face of the common mans logic. “Ha ha ha”, says ol’ Byron town.

I thought all was but lost and had conceded that maybe it was time for me to pack up my carnies and move this show elsewhere. But maybe I should give it one more chance? I did. And that was when I found Orgasmic Foods Falafel Joint. Another try? Go for two in a row? Aces high and all that? Maybe… and that was when I came across a post from a fellow blogger, who may or may not reside in these thar hills, stating she had a cracking meal at Miss Margaritas Mexican Cantina.

“Fuck it”, I said to myself. “Fuck you”, self replied. “Fuck me?” I rebutted. “Fuck you fuck me”…

And then I remembered I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, and people were looking at me kind of strangely…

The view past the side of my head
The view past the side of my head
Ol' Byron town offered up another cracking sunset
Ol’ Byron town offered up another cracking sunset
Straight to the taco bar
Straight to the taco bar
My taco plate and the offending nacos chips in the back ground
My taco plate and the offending nacho chips in the back ground

The food… I had the 3 taco tasting plate. 3 6” tacos for $19.50… surely I couldn’t go wrong… and I didn’t. I chose Chipotle Chicken, Mexican pulled Pork and Jalapeno Shredded beef. All were good but the beef was definitely the highlight. Maybe I expected a bit of extra heat in there too, but I guess they dull it down a bit for the general public. One of my kids had nachos and those corn chips are awesome. I had a bit of dinner envy for a second there but a couple of sneaky goes at his and I was good!

The menu is inviting and beckons you back like the siren calling to the passing sailor. That and the 5-6pm happy hour… I’ll be back for the chimmichanga for sure.