Category Archives: Pickles and Condiments

Mexican Flavor Cubes


For lack of a beter name, Mexican flavor cubes is what I have named these little cubes. Concentrated Mexican “mole-like” flavor packed into little cubes to be added to any sauce or dish that needs a little “oomph”. These little cubes are full of Mexican flavor and really pack a punch. Lots of flavor in minutes without all the hassle.
I have these as part of my standard frozen staples. I’m a true believer in a well-stocked kitchen pantry/freezer as this will ensure you’re prepared, even if you don’t have time for a last minute shopping trip , so that you can make your favourite recipes and always have the basics at hand.
There are a ton of standard items in my freezer, that I make again and again as soon as they, or almost, run out. Such items are home made chicken stock, Napolitana sauce, and a roast pepper Napolitana version for myself, Pizza bases, Bread, Bagels etc… and of course these Mexican flavor cubes.
Let me explain how and why. We eat a lot of Mexican inspired dishes at home and I say inspired because I don’t want to offend anyone, I’m sure they are far from authentic, but they’re very tasty and that’s what it all about, for us. So basically what I do is, I soak some Mexican peppers that I buy online, add spices, cooked onion, garlic and some other flavourings, then blend it all up and freeze it in an ice cube tray. I happen to have a very large ice cube tray, that makes ¼ cup cubes, perfect for us but you can freeze it how it would work best for you. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list, you’ll have most of the spices in your cupboard already, and it actually comes together very quickly.

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 dried Ancho peppers ( aka dried Poblano peppers) Scoville scale: 1,000 to 2,000 shu
• 3 Chipotles peppers (smoke-dried Jalapeño peppers) Scoville scale: 2,500 to 8,000 shu
• 3 Guajillo peppers (aka dried Mirasol peppers) Scoville scale : 2,500–5,000 shu
• 2 tbsp. neutral oil
• 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or crushed
• 2 roast peppers from a jar
• 2 chicken or beef stock cube
• 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. ground cloves
• ½ tsp. all spice
• 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. sugar or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put a large frying pan on medium high heat, place your peppers in the dry pan and toast gently all over until they begin to soften and change color. Remove from heat.
Add the oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic, cook gently while you clean the peppers.
Cut the peppers open with scissors and remove stems and seeds, place in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of very hot water (not boiling) and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Once the onion is soft and golden add the smoked paprika, oregano, the ground cumin, cinnamon, ground cloves, all spice, salt and freshly ground pepper, just a few twists. Stir and let it become fragrant, turn of the heat after one or two minutes.
Once everything has cooled, place the hydrated peppers with liquid in the blender, with the onion-spice mixture, add the peppers from a jar, add the stock cubes, cocoa powder and sugar. Blend everything until you have a dark smooth puree, taste and season if necessary.
Pour into ice cube tray or other small containers and freeze.
I use these cubes to make fajitas, chili, enchiladas and all sorts of Mexican dishes. It gives everything a really authentic flavor without hours of cooking. Just make your regular recipes, and then add one of these cubes for a flavor explosion.
Enjoy.

Pickled Red Cabbage

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Makes: 2  18 oz./500 ml.  jars
The color of this pickle is just incredible, especially after it has pickled for a few days, the color gets intensified and deeper. So pretty, but the flavor is even more amazing.
I could eat it on its own it so good. It’s very healthy too and great for digestion.
It really doesn’t take long to make and its very easy too.
It is the perfect addition to any Sandwich or Salad. Also as a side for grilled Meats or Fish.
Ingredients
    • 1 red cabbage
    • 4 tbsp.  sea salt
    • 1 1/2 C.Cider vinegar
    • 1/2 C.  Balsamic vinegar
    • 2 C.  Red Wine
    • 1 C.  Sugar
    • 1 tsp. Schezuan Pepper
    • 2 Bay leafs
    • 1 thumb sliced Ginger
    • 1/2 tsp ground All Spice
    • 1/2 tsp. ground Cloves
    • ½ teaspoon Coriander seeds
    • 2 Star Anise
    • 1 whole dried red chilli
    • 1 Orange, washed and sliced
    • 10 Cardamom pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into three pieces
    • ground Black Pepper
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Method;

Remove outer leaves of cabbage and cut into quarters. Remove the inner core. Finely shred the cabbage. Layer shredded cabbage in a bowl, sprinkle with salt in between layers and leave to sit on the counter for about 4 hours.

Rinse and drain the cabbage, dry with a clean tea towel.

In a small sauce pan heat vinegar, wine, spices and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil until liquid has reduced by half.

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Meanwhile, turn on oven to 425° F and wash 2  18oz./500 ml. canning jars and lids with hot soapy water. To sterilize, place clean and dry jars into the hot oven for at least 20 minutes before packing.

Pack the cabbage into sterilized jars and pour over the vinegar. Seal and let cool. Keep refrigerated. Will keep for about 3 months.

Enjoy!

Myra Xo

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