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

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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


CORNY 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.

Easy chicken crisp shell tacos

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easy chicken taco shells
Some times when you take your children shopping with you they like to ask for things they may not normally be allowed to eat. Breakfast cereal that has more sugar than actual cereal, strange plastic looking loosely termed cheese slices, all of the confectionary section and crisp taco shells… they always want crisp taco shells.

The tacos of my childhood, these things were about as culinary adventurous as my mother would get… although she would never use any kind of Tex-Mex spice mix no no no. That was way to ethnic for her (herself the child of Polish and German immigrants). Avocado? I didn’t even know what an avocado was when I was a child. Salsa? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Nope, my mother would make a beef and gravy number with grated tasty cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, grated carrot and sliced tomato all placed on the table in bowls for us to sort ourselves out. And we damn well loved it.

But crisp taco shells do have a very fundamental design flaw of shattering like dropped glass with the first bite. That’s right, they are almost impossible to eat with out pieces of taco and filling falling and consequently adorning much of your upholstery. How could that one get through the defenses? My bet is someone at the “Edible Foods Consideration Bureau” was defo napping on the job when that application came through.

These things are superfluous to their own cause.

The inability to actually be eaten aside, crisp taco shells do own a special bit of property in my heart and every now and then the time comes around again that I will crumble to the pleading of my children (and that little voice inside me that the doctor keeps telling me will go away if I’d just take the medication she has prescribed, but it really upsets my stomach so I feed it to my cat) and put the crisp taco shells into the shopping basket, and then onto the evenings dinner menu and back into my heart… and all over the table… and a bit on the floor too.

This is one of those things your can do pretty quickly if you have some left over roast chook (chicken) from last nights dinner or you could also very easily cook up a couple of chicken breasts and use them. S-C-I-E-N-C-E.

Fry you're chopped chicken. That's pretty easy

Fry you’re chopped chicken. That’s pretty easy

My Tex-Mex spice mix is also pretty easy to make. Seba keeps it real in the back ground

My Tex-Mex spice mix is also pretty easy to make. Seba keeps it real in the back ground

Add your spice mix and a little splash of something wet. That's pretty easy too

Add your spice mix and a little splash of something wet. That’s pretty easy too

Put it on the table with some crisp taco shells and a few other bits and pieces. That's all still pretty easy

Put it on the table with some crisp taco shells and a few other bits and pieces. That’s all still pretty easy

CHOPPED CHICKEN TACOS in the crisp shells (enough for 10 or so tacos)

½ roast chicken, 2 cooked chicken breasts or similar equivalent of whatever meat you got, picked from the bone and chopped
½ onion, diced
2 tablespoons Tex-Mex spice mix (recipe follows)
A splash of chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper
10 or so crisp taco shells
Shredded iceberg lettuce, grated carrot, grated tasty cheese, tomato salsa (recipe will magically appear here very shortly) and hot sauce to serve

• Heat your tacos according to the instructions that I hope are on the packaging.
• Heat a splash of oil in a pan over medium flame. Add your chopped meat and onion sauté for a minute or two.
• Add Tex-Mex spice mix and cook out for another minute.
• Add a splash of chicken stock to moisten and make it kinda saucy, and cook out for one more minute.
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
• That is now done and you are left standing there staring at it wondering how that could have been so easy.
• Close your mouth before a passing fly makes it his new home and get that shit on the table homie!

TEX-MEX SPICE MIX

¼ cup each dried thyme, oregano and ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes (or more if you like it hotter)

• Mix it all together and store extra in an air tight container for your next Tex-Mex feast. See, pretty easy eh.

Busted ass taco shell glory. I generally end up with a big pile of taco chips, meat and salad which I savour when my tacos are done

Busted ass taco shell glory. I generally end up with a big pile of taco chips, meat and salad which I savour when my tacos are done

Beef shin chilli con carne nacho type things

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beef shin chilli con carne
Chilli is pretty simple. Fried tortillas are pretty simple. I am pretty simple. This is going to work out just fine.

The thing about beef shin is that it scares a lot of people. Not like Jay Leno or carnival folk scary, but scary like changing a nappy for your best friends kid; it doesn’t conjure up images of fun times and you know the results are something that could be terrible at best. But the one thing about the beef shin is it is so damn good if you give it a bit of “low and slow” loving. Cooking a beef shin like this is a pretty sure fire way to end up with a cracking beefy meal, and granddad being able to ditch the Viagra for ever. The gelatinousness texture and meatiness of the beef shin can only be described as luxurious, with a possible secondary reference to it being unctuous… and those of you who know me know for a fact that those are words that I’m only going to use when all other avenues have been exhausted. Beef shin, when cooked properly, is a damn fine experience for all. Or possibly just the person eating it…

So this is what I am giving to the human race to make the world a happier, safer and just gosh-darn nicer place to be. Unless you are vegetarian. If you are vegetarian you will probably not enjoy this so much. I dare say it would actually be quite unusual of you to cook this recipe. This oh-so-beefy, gelantinous-y, unctuous (I know. I used it again), cheesy and still oh-so-beefy chilli

Start by cooking some chilli. Heck, just eat that with a bowl of rice if that's what you're feeling...

Start by cooking some chilli. Heck, just eat that with a bowl of rice if that’s what you’re feeling…

Fry or oven bake some tortilla crisps

Fry or oven bake some tortilla crisps

Make a little avocado and tomato salad dressed with some lime juice. That's the sort of shit that tastes good and is super healthy for you too

Make a little avocado and tomato salad dressed with some lime juice. That’s the sort of shit that tastes good and is super healthy for you too

Aw yeah she's ready

Aw yeah she’s ready

Get in my face right now

Get in my face right now


BEEF SHIN CHILLI CON CARNE NACHO TYPE THINGS (enough for a few cowboys)

1 big ol’ beef shin, 1.2kg or so. Get your butcher to cut it in half or thirds if big lumps of meat scare you
2 brown onions, diced
1 capsicum (pepper), diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons Tex-Mex spice mix (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon smoked chilli powder (or not if you’re feeding the younglings)
1 cinnamon stick
750ml beer (whatever you drink will work fine. Even if you wanna be a smart ass and use root beer, I reckon that could work too)
3x 400g tins crushed tomatoes or tomato passata
2x 400g tin black beans (or kidney beans or a beany mix if that’s how you roll)
2 pieces good dark chocolate
Seasoning
2 cups grated cheese. One type or a mix of your faves
Fried tortilla crisps, avocado salad and sour cream to serve

• Get a nice big pot out for this one
• Season beef shin and sauté in a little oil until it starts to get some colour
• Add onions, capsicum, garlic, Tex-Mex spice, chilli powder and cinnamon. Cook out for a few minutes until vegetables are soft
• Add beer, tomatoes and beans, and simmer on really low heat for 3 hours, stirring regularly. This could also be a slow cooker moment if that’s how you roll
• Check if beef is tender by pushing a bit from the bone (no rocket science or molecular gastronomy involved in that one), if not simmer for another half an hour
• Once beef is tender remove from pot, allow to cool a little and then shred
• Get the chocolate into the pot
• Return beef to pot, check seasoning and serve how ever you feel is going to do it for you on this day; with rice and a tortilla or two, over nacho chips with grated cheese followed by a short trip to the oven, or possibly what I have done today… cover the chilli with a couple of handfuls of cheese and whack it under the grill (broiler) or into the oven for 5-10 minutes to get all roof-of-your-mouth-melty.
• Serve that shit up with fried tortilla crisps, a simple avocado and tomato salad and some sour cream or natural yoghurt

TEX MEX SPICE MIX

¼ cup each dried thyme, oregano and ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
• Mix it all together and store extra in an air tight container for your next Tex Mex feast

I really liked that avocado number

I really liked that avocado number

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Ham Leftovers)… Breakfast Quesadilla

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christmas ham quesadilla
The Twelve Days of Christmas (Ham Leftovers)

In our humble abode, post Christmas lunches, dinners and breakfasts are ofttimes (always) dictated by Christmas leftovers. There is always a tonne of cooked meats to get through as each year we seem to cook for ourselves plus a traveling troupe of carnie sex slaves… but the carnies never come… next year maybe.

Christmassy looking salad/salsa is the way to go

Christmassy looking salad/salsa is the way to go

Do not cry for us though, as Christmas leftovers are not a cruel and harsh dictator like say, Josef Stalin, Saddam Hussein or Tony Abbot. No. Christmas leftovers are a kisser of small children and a friend to the elderly. They are joyous and compassionate in dictatorship, feeding us ham and other goodies galore, and kind enough to give my tastebuds a friendly reach-around, lubing them up for the ménage-au-trois that would take place in my mouth.

As an ode to these tasty, leftover inspired meals I will do a little series of posts of what I do with my ham and hopefully help you to do something different with yours too. And with a title as clever as this one I don’t think I can go wrong (although I do need to credit Jennee with the smart title. As much as I did want to claim it as my own I think we all know has both the beauty and the smart brains in this relationship).

Now that is just about ready to get the hell into my belly

Now that is just about ready to get the hell into my belly

So without further adieu I will let my fingers take over for now, gently caressing the keys of my laptop as they make consensual love to produce the magical baby that is these words.

Bahahahaha…

At least I gave you something to read, eh?

Now that may not be the prettiest looking thing in the world, but it was damn tasty

Now that may not be the prettiest looking thing in the world, but it was damn tasty

CHRISTMAS QUESADILLA (serves 4)

8 tortillas
A large handful of ham, chopped
A normal sized handful of chopped tomato, red onion and herbs from the garden. The red and green motif keeps it looking nice and Christmassy too
A handful whatever cheese you have lying around
Fried eggs and jalapeño relish to serve

• Divide the ham between four tortillas. Top with a little of the salad/salsa mix, then cheese and then another tortilla
• Fry in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side. Be careful when you flip these puppies as they do have a tendency to spew out into the pan. In hindsight, it may be a better idea to just have ham and cheese in the quesadilla and then put the tomato salsa thing on top when they’re done. You choose…
• When quesadilla is done top with a fried egg and jalapeño relish if you’re keen

Mango & Cactus Salsa… sure to improve your life

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Mango & cactus salsa goes phenomenally well with seafood tacos

Mango & cactus salsa goes phenomenally well with seafood tacos


Salsa is a child of the summer.

The moment I have made salsas three times in the same week is the exact same moment I swap my ensemble of a Darrel Summers’ jumper, sensible trousers and discount shoe mart runners for boardies, a singlet and thongs. When the salsas come out it means the weather is hot, the living is easy and I don’t look so much like I belong on the set of late 80s-early 90s Australian sitcom, “Hey Dad”.

Salsa also refers to a particularly raunchy form of Latin American dancing. It is said that salsa dancing may have been named so because it was somewhat hot and/or saucy. Nice. I really like what they did there…

You were just the recipient of a random snippet of knowledge courtesy of your friends here at foodisthebestshitever.

I am a firm believer that your life can be improved by
1. The power of a good salsa. Applying salsa with relish (heheh) at your next summer barbecue (sorry northern hemisphere peeps… you can put that on hold until next year) or your Christmas lunch shall raise you to the pedestal that you damn well deserve.
2. Plenty of booze… get some cocktail action going and you won’t even care that you can’t cook for shit and the Christmas ham is now blacker than an emo kid in a black hole.
3. A good bowel movement on a regular basis will make good life really good and on the flipside, not having a good bowel movement on a regular basis can make life very bad. Not like the call girl with the long boots and red lipstick bad, but more like the out of order toilet at the music festival bad (if you are a bit too mature to be frolicking around with thousands of sweaty hipsters insert some kind of large gathering of your kind in there).
4. An arm that was just slightly longer so you could scratch that spot in between your shoulder blades when it gets itchy. That’s got to be a god joke right there. Upstairs, laughing their heads off at us idiots down below trying to scratch ourselves. Really funny guys…

So I find it only fitting that I should offer a salsa recipe for you to create in your home kitchen today. Also, in the lead-up to this coca-cola themed craziness, I shall try to pump out a few more easytastygood recipes to impress your peeps with this Christmas.

This salsa would be great to dress a prawn salad, it would find a happy home along side roast chicken or pork and, of course it would kick-ass on tacos… any tacos as long as they are heading directly for your face.

That's the salsa down the front

That’s the salsa down the front

If you really want to impress people make a pile of fish and prawn tacos with some avocado, pickled cabbage and this salsa and hand them out to all of your friends. Popularity guaranteed

If you really want to impress people make a pile of fish and prawn tacos with some avocado, pickled cabbage and this salsa and hand them out to all of your friends. Popularity guaranteed

MANGO & CACTUS SALSA (makes approx. 3 cups)

3 medium mangoes, flesh only, diced
½ cup cactus strips*, diced
½ red (salad) onion, fine dice
1 handful coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon hot sauce**
1 lime… maybe

• Mix all ingredients together to combine
• Adjust to your taste with a squeeze of lime juice if necessary

*Available from a purveyor of Mexican goodies… or probably at every large super market chain by the time you read this as the whole Mexican food thing is trending fairly heavily

**I am using the Byron Bay Chilli Co Cayenne Hot Chilli Sauce at the moment for no other reason than it tastes damn fine

A Tex-Mex feast starring my old friends, the Chicken Mole and Slow Cooked Briskett

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The guys... hanging out... warming up for the party

The guys… hanging out… warming up for the party


It’s has been said that there are two things that are certain in this life we live;
1. Death
2. Taxes
3. A Tex-Mex feast of large proportions if you stay at our house for more than a day or two
4. And my lack of appropriate shills needed to do math

My Uncle Rob and Aunty Lizzie were fortunate enough to stay with us recently and, as they hit the “few day stay” bracket, a Tex-Mex feast did indeed eventuate.

We got our finest crockery out, and by finest crockery I mean it may have been vogue in 1978 but we’re still using it now because we think it makes us look pretty cool and shit. Whether there is any truth in the concept that old plates may us look cool I know not. But we were cooking a Tex-Mex feast, no doubt about it.

That’s really nice, isn’t it? We’re nice people, you know…

With out further adieu, and with no beating around the proverbial bush – a task I feel is best left up to Ron Jeremy and his band of merry 80’s porn stars, here is a recipe for my shredded chicken Mole, a must for any table that is supporting a Tex-Mex feast…

That brisket spent quite a number of hours hanging out with little wisps of smoke from the coals of the old hardwood that burns beneath

That brisket spent quite a number of hours hanging out with little wisps of smoke from the coals of the old hardwood that burns beneath

It is safe to say I am well and truly addicted to cooking on this puppy

It is safe to say I am well and truly addicted to cooking on this puppy

Some friends for the chicken, brisket and beans

Some friends for the chicken, brisket and beans

Everyone getting amongst it

Everyone getting amongst it

Time to get in my belly

Time to get in my belly

CHICKEN MOLE POBLANO (for 10-12 as part of a banquette)

2kg chicken breast
4 cloves
2 cinnamon quills
80g Mexican chocolate (if you can’t get hold of it use 1 tablespoon cocoa powder)
2x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock or water

the almond paste

2 corn tortillas, grilled or roasted with a little oil until brown
80g raisins or sultanas
80g almonds, roasted
¼ cup pepitas, roasted
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted
1 tablespoon coriander seed, roasted and ground
4 cloves garlic
4 dried long red chillis, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
1 cup water

• Blitz ingredients for almond paste until it nice and pasty like your chefs’ tan
• Fry paste off in a little oil until you are starting to detect delicious aromas with your nose. Yep. I’m afraid your nose is in charge of this one
• Add all other ingredients, except chicken, and chuck some salt and pepper in there too. Simmer over low heat, stirring often, for 30 minutes
• While sauce is cooking roast chicken breast in 180C oven for 15 or so minutes, until just cooked. Once cooked, shred chicken apart using two forks
• Add chicken to the sauce and check seasoning
• Serve it up with a heap of other shit such as slow cooked brisket, chilli beans, pickled jalapeno slaw, brown rice salad, guacamole, feta, charred salsa picante, jalapeno relish, natural yoghurt or sour cream and home made or shop bought tortillas

The Pork Taco Challenge

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pork taco
Recently my friend Dana at I’ve Got Cake challenged me to a cook-off of an old school classic with a bit of new school flair. A bit of the old “take a dish everyone knows and loves and make it a little bit our own”. Well, at least that’s what I think we’re doing. I didn’t really understand (or even fully read) the brief… was there even a brief? I do recall the phrase “there are no rules” being in there somewhere… or maybe I just dreamt that one too. We are posting this at the same time, yes, that was definitely in the brief!

Dana had thrown the gauntlet. And by that I mean I goaded her into it like a little brother, running down the street and taunting her every second of the way until she finally submitted and said I could play with her Barbie dolls and Californian Vacation doll house. Pulling her hair and, in later pre-pubescencey, the strap of her trainer bra.

I seriously would’ve made a great younger brother. Seriously.

Sometimes I think Dana likes conversing with me because I am like a weird red-bearded, skinny assed, white boy, interweb version of the younger brother she never had… or maybe she does have a younger brother, I don’t know. She does swear at me and says she hates me a fair bit though…

So what could I do to the humble pork taco to make it my own? Make the special kind of love to it down by the fire? Marry it in a Las Vegas cathedral ceremony conducted by a fat gay man in sunglasses (or maybe it was Elvis?)? Or force a Street Fighter-esque three hit combo of my favourite pork products into my face via this little rolled corn edible plate?

I’m going for the three hit combo, don’t be doubting. And I shall cook it on the fire, eat myself fat enough to be the next Elvis and be very gay about the whole situation, with out so much as a fashionable jacket (or something else a girl would wear) on my person, but just damn happy (Happy is what gay used to mean, you know?). See what I did there?… I didn’t think so…

These things were good. Really good. I was caught a little off guard by my family’s sudden embracing of the blood sausage and their forth with consumption of a good percentage of it, as normally I get to eat the blood sausage around here and no, that is not code for anything – just a comment about a grown mans’ love for the black pud.

I would also recommend giving the home made tortillas a try. They’re well worth the effort!

PS if you want to have a look at what Dana came up with (you should because it’s going to be funny and delicious, I don’t mind telling you) you will be able you see that right here.

This is called fore-play around here. Pork belly, morcilla and chorizo, and tomato and onion charring up for the salsa

This is called fore-play around here. Pork belly, morcilla and chorizo, and tomato and onion charring up for the salsa

Damn sexy

Damn sexy

This was sooooo damn good

This was sooooo damn good

When you make you own tacos aint nobody going to deny you're the boss

When you make you own tacos aint nobody going to deny you’re the boss

I really wish I could take better photos. I really do

I really wish I could take better photos. I really do

Pretty grass

Pretty grass. I gaurentee Dana’s photos will be a heap better than this

PLENTY OF PORK TACOS (for 4)

400g pork belly, sliced into 3cm thick pieces
2 morcilla, black pudding or other kind of ethnic blood sausage
2 smoked chorizo sausage
1 chipotle chilli, if you like it hot, very finely chopped
tacos, salsa picante, cabbage & apple ‘slaw dressed with a little vinegar, radish, sheeps feta, coriander and lime wedges, to serve

• Cook the meats just as you would normally cook those meats. Just remember the pork belly is going to take a lot longer than the sausages are they are already cooked. That’s some quality free advice right there
• Once cooked to your liking chop it all up. Get two knives out and do it like a crazy Asian chef if that makes you feel good about yourself. Chuck the chipotle in there too
• That’s it
• Get it on the table and make sure you get yourself a good heap of the morcilla before your kids get to it!

SOFT TACOS (you best believe I made my own)

3 cups masa harina flour
400(ish) ml hot water

• In a medium bowl, mix together masa harina and hot water until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is dry add more hot water
• Cover dough tightly with cling wrap (plastic film) and allow to stand for 30 minutes. If it dries out while resting, sprinkle with more water
• Preheat a frying pan to medium-high.
• Divide dough into 20 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press, a rolling pin, or your hands, press each ball of dough flat between two sheets of baking paper
• Place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more and then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Wrap tortillas with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.