Mexican food seems to be getting ever more popular in London but, with more of a focus on authenticity and a modern twist, it seems the days of gaudy restaurants and sombreros might be on their way out.
Thomasina Miers' Wahaca chain is brilliant but the restaurants are a victim of their own success - queues are usually enormous (I've walked away more than once, I cannot stand queuing).
One of my Mexican 'specialities' is butternut squash, beans and feta burritos. Apparently squash is an uber authentic ingredient - used by the Aztecs themselves (thanks Wikipedia). I'm guessing Greek cheese wasn't really their thing - but hey, that can be my modern twist, soo 'on-trend' darling!
(sorry, the photos are a bit rubbish. it was dark. i was hungry)
Ingredients (makes four substantial burritos):
1 x large butternut squash
1 x onion (red or white)
2 x cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 x 400g tin beans (I used kidney beans but black beans would work too)
100g feta cheese (more if you fancy it), crumbled
1 x fresh red chili, finely chopped
4 ready-made fajitas
100g cheddar cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven to 190c
Peel butternut squash using an ordinary veg peeler. Chop in half longways. Scoop the seeds out using a dessert spoon. Chop into small chunks (see pic).
Heat some olive oil in a baking tray. Add the butternut squash and cook for about 30 mins, until soft.
In the meantime, chop your onion and then gently fry it. Add the chili and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the (drained) beans. Cook over a very low heat for ten minutes. If the beans start to stick, add a couple of spoonfuls of water or stock.
Add the cooked butternut squash to the beans and onions. Add the feta and stir.
Now you're ready to put together your burritos. Lay a tortilla out flat. Spoon a quarter of the mixture into the middle. Fold in the short edges first, then the long. Lay on a baking tray with the folds on the bottom (This is difficult to explain, I should've taken pictures - this video demonstrates the technique http://www.ehow.co.uk/video_2298342_roll-beef-burrito.html )
Repeat with the other three tortillas, placing them side-by-side on the tray. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and return to the oven for ten mins or so, until the cheese is melted. (alternatively, grill for same results).
Serve with sour cream and tomato salsa.
Quick tomato salsa recipe:
3 average tomatoes
Half a red onion
Half a red chili
Small handful of fresh coriander
Juice of half a lime
Roughly chop the tomatoes, how small is up to you.
Finely chop the onion and chili
Chop or tear the coriander.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the lime over.