Mexican Rice and Beans

Generally I make up a pot of chili con carne and serve it over rice… but one night, I decided to rather incorporate everything into one pot and which lead to my version of a “Mexican Rice and Beans“.

An easy(ish) mid-week meal that tastes great!

And of course, Mommy’s little helper got in on the action as well 😉

Mexican Rice and Beans

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1Tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves – crushed
tin of tomato paste
500ml Passata
425g tin of red kidney beans (I like to use the variant that is already in chilli sauce)
1 green pepper – diced
200g tin of sweetcorn
500ml stock (I prefer to use chicken stock – which means that this isn’t vegetarian)
1teaspoon brown sugar
1 and half cups long grain rice

  • Heat frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add cumin, allspice, chilli flakes and paprika and *dry fry* for about a minute to release the flavours
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and spices and cook for 2-3minutes
  • Add garlic and rice and cook for a further minute
  • Add the tomato paste, passata, sugar and stock
  • Bring to the boil
  • Reduce the heat and add beans, green pepper & sweetcorn.
  • Simmer, covered for 15-20minutes, stirring occasionally until rice is cooked

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CHEZWaWa (Brussels)

A new kid on the block has opened….

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CHEZWaWa has moved into the Chatelain neighbourhood…offering locals a new style of farm-to-counter California-style Mexican dining called *Roll your own Way*. What they describe as Fresh, Fast, Flavorful & made-to-order… just as you like/want it.

chez wawa 1

HIM took me there for lunch one Saturday… we arrived early (just after 12) to avoid having to fight for space at a table (especially as we were sporting our little miss in her stroller).

Space wise – you walk into a ground area for seating with 2 bar style seating tables on one side, some window facing counter seats and a long table on a *stage*. Then up a few steps (impossible with a stroller) to more table type seating and at the back is the order/counter section. Not the most practical of set ups – but as it was quiet – we had no issues as you need to start on the left hand side (where the entrance to the toilets is) and then move right along the counter while they make up your meal to where the cashier is. Meaning that if there is queue… you are 2 queues of people deep in a somewhat constrained environment.

The ceiling décor is awesome!

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The concept sounds pretty simple –

  1. Choose your base: Burrito (flour tortilla) or Naked Burrito (no tortilla but served in a bowl) or Taco (3 corn or flour) or Salad
  2. Choose your protein: This determines the price you pay: Poultry or shredded Pork or Beef or Spiced Tofu or grilled vegetables
  3. Choose your rice and beans (and/or): white rice or brown rice or/and pinto beans or black beans
  4. Choose your salsa: fresh or mild or medium or extra hot
  5. Add the extra’s: sour cream, shredded lettuce, grated cheese (free) or pay extra for guacamole, extra salsa/meat, grilled vegetables, chillies….

Sounds simple, eh? But the combinations are just too much and I struggled to decide… even when I had it right in my head – carrying out the order at the counter while they made it up for me while I stood there had me unsure… *Do you want rice in your taco’s?” he asked…. *Am I supposed to?* I responded… *Roll your own way… it is up to you* he said… and bam.. I was confused! 🙂

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HIM went for a Shredded Pork Burrito with bacon rice, pinto beans, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, roasted peppers… but no sour cream (9€)

chez wawa 4

I opted for the Taco’s… with poultry (chicken), black beans, sour cream, shredded lettuce, grated cheese (9.25€) and guacamole (extra 1.25€) – not the most lady-like food item to eat with your hands – but OH MY WORD… delicious!

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We washed it down with a Mexican Beer (they range in price from 3.95-4.50€)

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Our total meal was about 28€ and we were both STUFFED (aka very full)… so this is a really great deal and is sure to do well with anyone wanting a fast, delicious and cheap meal!

Would we return? Absolutely… plus I see that they are on Deliveroo… so I can even get my fix delivered!!

CHEZWaWa

address: Rue Americaine 91, 1050, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 534 6330

website: http://www.chezwawa.com

Opening hours: Mon-Tues & Thurs: 12h00-22h00; Wed & Fri-Sat: 12h00-23h00 and Sun: 17h00-22h00

MexiGo for the Authentic Taste of Mexico

The other day, I was sitting in the canteen at work when one of my Mexican colleagues walked in with some Chicken Tamales (a traditional dish made of starchy dough (usually corn-based) which is steam or boiled using a leaf wrapper and can be filled with a multitude of different items (chicken, corn, cheese, chillies, etc)).

I asked him if he had made it, and he said that he had found a local Mexican store called MexiGo that sold them… and for a Mexican to be this happy with the Mexican products made in another country (on another continent), I knew that it was going to be something good.

And the stars were definitely on my side – because the next day, I found out that Mr Draper’s birthday party was going to be serving Mexican food… from MexiGO!! what were the chances!

Mr Draper ordered a whole range of goodies! (Keeping in mind that orders need to be in by a Wednesday for a free Friday/Saturday delivery).

Guacamole and Torilla chips... YUM

Guacamole and Torilla chips… YUM

Fiesta Tacos Fried – Chicken (small fried 10cm corn tortilla tacos filled with delicious pieces of chicken breast 6€). Each portion comes with 8 Fiesta Tacos and a portion of green tomatillo sauce.

Tringas (their own unique blend of chicken breast marinated in a special sauce and then placed inside a flour tortilla with cheese 6€). Each portion comes with 3 Tringas and one portion of chipotle sauce.

Tringas and Fiesta Tacos

Tringas and Fiesta Tacos

Tortilla Chips (450g of delicious corn tortilla chips 3€) perfect for pairing with Jalapeño Cheddar Dip (4€), Green Tomatillo Sauce (5€ for 0.5litres), Pico de Gallo Sauce (5€ for 0.5litres) and the ever famous Gaucamole (15€ for 1litre).

Salsa in the back and Tomatillo in the front

Pico in the back and Tomatillo in the front

the array of sauces...

the array of sauces…

for those who are not aware… Tomatillo Sauce  is a traditional Mexican recipe whereby green tomatillo (related to the cape gooseberry) is mixed with peppers and spices and Pico De Gallo sauce is a fresh uncooked mixture made from tomato, white onion and chilli and normally has a bit of lime juice and fresh coriander added as well (what we would call a salsa)

MexiGo

address: 47 Francois Dons, 1050, Ixelles, Brussels BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 649 2383 or +32 479 309858

Deadline to place orders: Wednesday 14h00 and free delivery to home/office on Fridays & Saturdays. Permanent menu with dishes available every week as well as 2 different dishes in their weekly menu. Food is delivered ready to be heated (i.e. food is not hot at the moment of delivery)

www.mexigo.be

Bookalokal (part 3): Mexican feast with Tamara

Yes… I am talking about bookalokal AGAIN… but trust me… if you haven’t tried it, then you don’t know what you are missing!

An opportunity to meet people in a relaxed and comfortable environment (aka someone’s home) – with tasty food and lots of drink for a reasonable price! Um – what’s not to love???

This was my third bookalokal visit (not counting my own hosting experience of a Murder Mystery dinner party) and you can read about my previous visits here and here, both of which have been great fun with great people, and hence my reason for going back again!

M had seen the details about Tamara’s Mexican Taco Feast on the bookalokal website and signed Mr Draper and myself (along with herself) up for it and boy did we feast!!

bookalokal mexican table

Tamara also hosts a blog (have I mentioned how much I love fellow bloggers???) where she talks about everything… food, life and Brussels….

Anyway – back to the menu for the evening…  We enjoyed individual boats of guacamole with more than sufficient amounts of nachos… Mmmm

sail to my tummy....

sail to my tummy….

When it came to making your own taco’s… we were warned to put a little bit of everything in (keeping in mind that the salsa’s were above average on heat – well, for most of us, that is, but still on the YUM side)… but not too much that you couldn’t roll your taco! There was chicken in a tomato and onion sauce, black beans and mash with chorizo…. delish

mash with chorizo

mash with chorizo

chicken...

chicken…

beans - beautiful beans...

beans – beautiful beans…

and my fabulous taco (with a good splash of the spicy salsa sauce… mmm)

isn't my taco looking awesome?

isn’t my taco looking awesome?

And to round it all up – we were served little bowls of rice pudding

bookalokal mexican rice pudding

Would I go back again? Hell yes… Tamara was a fantastic host, the wine was flowing, the food was tasty and the people we met were fun and full of life.

And Tamara was sweet enough to provide a little doggy bag for me to take home to HIM….