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Mexican Tostadas

A delicious nutritious meal which may be assembled in no time if the components have been made in advance.

1 x recipe cooked Mexican tortillas
1 x recipe Mexican-style meat sauce
1 x recipe Mexican Re-fried beans (optional)
1 x recipe Mexican Mixed Salad
100 g/250 ml well-flavoured cheese, e.g. Cheddar, grated
+/-125  ml sour cream

To assemble the tostada, place a cooked tortilla onto the plate for serving, spread with refried beans, spoon over piping hot meat sauce, then salad and cheese and pass a bowl of sour cream.  Serve immediately after assembling.

6 – 10 servings, depending on size.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 455.

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Mexican Tortillas

The traditional flat, round bread of Mexico is known as a tortilla.  It may be made with variable quantities of wheat flour, conrflour or white or yellow maize meal.  If used as a ‘plate’ on which to pile various toppings, it becomes a tostada.  Filled and rolled, it turns into an enchilada, when fried in oil a crispy taco is created. In Mexico tortillas are freshly made at the start of the day and served for breakfast.  Later in the day they will often be served as tostadas or enchiladas and when evening comes, fried and served as filled tacos.

210g/375 ml cake flour
50 ml maize meal
60g/125 ml corn flour
2,5 ml salt
5 ml baking powder
50g / 50 ml butter
± 150 ml water

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Mexican Tacos

Tacos are fried in advance but filled just before serving.  To prepare the taco shells the large cooked tortillas are folded in half and kept partly open with a perforated spoon while fried in oil until crisp.  If preferred or if smaller tortillas are made, small round tacos or taco chips may be fried flat without folding.  Serve the tacos in the same way as tostadas.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 455.

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Mexican Refried Beans

The mashed potatoes of Mexican cuisine, refried beans are a versatile, addictive, and delicious side dish.  It is a relatively simple dish where you can choose exactly how you want to make them, whether chunky or smooth, the type of oil and beans used, etc.  Pinto beans are the most common choice for refried beans although other bean varieties such as black beans are also used.  At its essence, refried beans are just a really flavorful bean purée, and while pintos and black beans are the most common choices, there’s no reason this basic method couldn’t work with any bean. Other beans, like chickpeas and cannellini, may not make a particularly authentic-tasting plate of refried beans, but they’d still be totally delicious.  This delicious dish can be used as one of the components of Mexican Tostadas.  Also see the recipe for Home-made Baked Beans contributed by Carolié de Koster.

1 x 410 g tin baked beans in tomato sauce or pinto or black beans
30 g/ml butter or bacon drippings
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic crushed or 2,5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
pinch chilli powder or cayenne pepper (to taste)

  1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan and cook while mashing with a potato masher until a thick paste is obtained. 
  2. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until the paste becomes fairly dry.


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This versatile dish can be served as the starch component of a meal when having a braai, as part of breakfast, in lunch boxes, etc.

45 g butter, room temperature
30 ml sugar
125 ml cake flour
2.5 ml baking powder
pinch salt
2 large eggs
1 x 400 g tin corn kernels, drained
1 x 400 g tin creamed sweet corn
30 ml chives, finely chopped or 60 ml spring onion, thinly sliced
60 ml red sweet pepper, finely diced (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease a round (20 cm) or square ovenproof dish (20 cm x 20 cm) with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the batter into the dish and level the top.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes or until set. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the dish should come out clean. If it is not clean, bake for a few minutes longer. Set a timer so that you do not forget about it!
  6. Serve from the dish as the starch of the meal, i.e. instead of rice or potatoes.

6 servings.


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Mini Mexican Meatballs

Spicy well-flavoured mini meatballs make great everyday family food – even when in a hurry – and which will be enjoyed by all!

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) cooked brown or white rice
500 g lean minced beef
1 large egg
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped parsley
½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground coriander
¼ tsp (1 ml) Tabasco sauce, chilli powder or cayenne pepper
½ tsp (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) brown gravy powder (Bisto)

1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp (10 ml) brown sugar
1 small red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small green chilli (optional but typical for Mexican food)
1 tsp (5 ml) paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) beef stock powder
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 tsp (5 ml) white vinegar
2 tsp (10 ml) cornflour

To serve
± 2 cups (500 ml) cooked brown or white rice

  1. Place the onion and garlic for the meatballs into a suitable dish, cover with cling wrap and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients, mix well and roll into neat walnut size balls.
  2. Place the meatballs slightly apart into a large round pie dish (± 28 cm), cover with cling wrap, leave a small air vent and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes or until the meatballs become firm and change colour. Remove from the oven.
  3. Combine the onion, garlic, sugar, red and green pepper in a suitable bowl. Using a knife and fork and without touching the chilli, halve the chilli, remove seeds and chop finely. Add to the bowl, mix and cover with cling wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika, stock powder, water, vinegar and cornflour, stir and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir well and microwave 2 minutes more.
  5. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, stir to allow sauce to coat the meatballs.
  6. Cover with cling wrap, leaving an air vent and microwave on MEDIUM for 5 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
  7. Serve on a bed of hot cooked rice.

6 to 8 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 885.

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Mexican Mince In Tortillas

Another version of Mexican Enchilada‘s to try!  This recipe is from Heleen Meyer’s Make five/Maak vyf recipe book. Heleen writes: “Mexican food typically contains red peppers, paprika and corn. Bake this in filled tortillas for a delicious weekend meal and serve with coriander leaves and avocado. A spoonful of yoghurt or sour cream rounds it off beautifully.”

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Fried Mexican Cakes

Flattish and irregularly shaped fired cakes brushed with a honey glaze are typical in Mexico and known as bunuelos.  Serve as a sweet treat at any time of the day with coffee or Mexican Hot Chocolate.

280 g/500 ml cake flour
30 ml sugar
2.5 ml baking powder
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml aniseed (optional)
5 ml grated lemon rind (optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
50 g butter, melted
60 ml milk (more or less)

For frying
2 liter sunflower or canola oil

200 ml honey
75 g butter

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, aniseed and lemon rind in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Stir in the egg and butter and just enough of the milk to form a soft dough which can be kneaded comfortably.
  3. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and slightly elastic. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into walnut-sized portions and roll each portion thinly on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin to a circle of about 100 mm in diameter.
  5. Cover with a cloth until all the dough has been rolled out.
  6. Pour sufficient oil in a wide, shallow heavy-based saucepan to fill it to a depth of about 50 mm and heat to moderately hot.
  7. Fry a few rounds at a time, about 30 seconds on each side, until puffed and golden.
  8. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and arrange in a single layer on cooling racks.
  9. Heat the honey and butter until the mixture bubbles.
  10. Cool and brush over both sides of each cake.

25 to 30 cakes, depending on size.

Sprinkle lightly toasted flaked almonds over the glazed cakes.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 752.

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Roasted Pitas With Tomato & Avocado

This delicious-looking vegetarian and kid friendly recipe is from Heleen Meyer’s Make five/ Maak vyf recipe book and will be ready in 45 minutes.  Heleen writes: “One evening my kids were in the mood for pizza, but there was just not enough time to make dough. We cut open pitas to use as the pizza base and they were very impressed with this quick fix. Just don’t use too many toppings as it will become too heavy for the pita bases. The sauce comes with a bit of a bite, but you can substitute the spices with mixed herbs if preferred.”

1 x 410 g tin chopped tomatoes
10 ml (2 tsp) red wine vinegar
2,5 ml (½ tsp) cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
5 ml (1 tsp) mild curry powder
salt and pepper
4 plain or wholewheat pitas, cut open
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
250-375 ml (1-1½ cups) grated mozzarella or white Cheddar cheese
2 spring onions, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
handful fresh coriander leaves
1 avocado, sliced

  1. Place tomatoes, vinegar, cayenne pepper and curry powder in a small saucepan. Season to taste and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Place pitas on two baking trays and brush lightly with oil. Bake for a few minutes or until just golden brown. If your oven is small, do this in two batches. Cut open each pita.
  3. Divide the sauce between the pitas. Sprinkle over the cheese and spring onions and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  4. Place fresh tomatoes and avocado on top and garnish with coriander.

Serves 4.


  • Other veggies, such as spinach and peppers will also be delicious. Or add a cooked protein to the pitas, like bacon, chicken or spoonfuls of mince.
  • Serve as a starter with teaspoonfuls of sour cream and a homemade tomato.

Recipe by Heleen Meyer from Make five/Maak vyf.
Photo by Neville Lockhart.

Roasted pitas MakeFive March2016

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Churro’s With Chocolate Sauce

This popular Mexican dessert reminds of the French choux pastry. The main difference is that it can be made without eggs and that it is deep-fried and not baked. It is served with a chocolate dipping sauce.  You could also serve it with Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Churro’s Pastry
100 g butter
350 ml boiling water
pinch salt
45 ml sugar
250 g cake flour

Chocolate Sauce
250 g good quality milk or dark chocolate
30 g butter
30 ml golden syrup or honey
100 ml cream
pinch chilli powder (optional)

  1. To make the churro pastry combine the butter, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour.
  4. Beat the flour into the butter mixture until a ball forms in the middle of the saucepan.
  5. Set the dough aside for 15 minutes.
  6. To make the chocolate sauce, prepare a double boiler and melt the chocolate.
  7. Add the butter, syrup, cream and chilli powder, if used to the melted chocolate and stir to combine.
  8. Set the chocolate sauce aside.
  9. To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and set it aside..
  10. Fit a piping bag with a star nozzle with a 15 mm opening.
  11. Transfer the pastry to the piping bag and twist the wide side of the piping bag to enclose the pastry.
  12. Pour enough oil into a deep saucepan to come at least 5 cm up the side. Place the saucepan on the stove and heat the oil to moderately hot.
  13. Line a large plate with double layer of absorbent kitchen towel and set it next to the stove.
  14. Carefully pipe the batter into the oil. Use kitchen scissors to cut the pastry when you have piped the desired length – they can be 4 to 10 cm.
  15. Fry the churro’s until light golden brown on all sides.
  16. Lift the churro’s out of the oil with a perforated spoon and transfer to the plate.
  17. Continue in this manner until you have used up all the pastry.
  18. Transfer the churro’s to the plate and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  19. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with the sauce.

About 20 churro’s.


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Mexican Flan

Flan, also known as Crème Caramel, is a traditional Mexican dessert. It is creamy custard topped with caramel sauce, dates back to the Roman empire and was often made to use up extra milk and eggs. Flan can be made in individual serving dishes, or in one large dish and then sliced it into the desired portions sizes.  

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Mexican Margarita

This popular Mexican drink is usually served in a salted rim glass and is the most common tequila-based cocktail.  A Margarita consists of tequila, triple sec and lime.  A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice.  Margarita’s can be made with lemons if you prefer it less acidic.

kosher salt
ice cubes
60 ml Tequila (silver or blanco)
45 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15 ml Triple Sec
15 ml simple syrup * or agave nectar (optional)

To serve
lime slices

  1. Rim a high ball glass with salt.
  2. Put two big handfuls of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake for a good 10 seconds.
  4. Fill the high ball glass half full of ice cubes.
  5. Pour contents of shaker over top and garnish with lime slices.


  • Use fresh limes. Prepare the limes 4 to 10 hours before you make your margaritas.
  • Use a good-quality tequila and orange liqueur. Look for 100% agave tequila and brand name Triple Sec or Cointreau for the orange.
  • Substitute the Triple Sec with Cointreau.
  • Chill the margarita glasses for 30 minutes before serving. It makes rimming the glasses much easier. And keeps your drink very cool.
  • Add fresh fruit instead of lime or lemon slices for a new twist.
  • Add simple syrup or agave nectar for some sweet.
  • Shake your margaritas, don’t stir.

Simple Syrup is useful for sweetening iced tea, fresh fruit drinks, and flavored cocktails. Combine 750 ml water and 750 ml sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 3 minutes. Transfer the syrup to bowl and chill thoroughly. Makes about 1 liter.  Syrup can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.


Margarita in a glass

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is perfect for rainy or cold weather.  Read more about the movie Tortilla Soup (2001), starring Hector Elizondo and Raquel Welch) here.

Tortilla Strips
5 corn tortillas, cut into 0.5 cm wide strips
30 ml olive oil
5 ml salt, or to taste

30 ml olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 liter chicken broth
2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes and juice
1 x 400 g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
500 ml shredded cooked chicken
500 ml corn (I used frozen straight from the freezer, fresh may be substituted)
15 ml lime juice
1 to 5 ml chili powder
10 ml ground cumin
5 ml salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
5 ml smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
15 g fresh coriander leaves, stalks removed

To serve
diced avocado
grated cheese
sour cream

  1. To make the tortilla strips, preheat the oven to 190°C, line a tray with a Wizbake baking sheet.
  2. Scatter the tortilla strips loosely onto the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with olive oil, evenly sprinkle with kosher salt, toss with hands to coat evenly, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. While strips bake, begin making the soup.
  3. To make the soup, add 30 ml olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  4. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, black beans, chicken, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil.
  7. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. If at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
  8. Add the coriander and season to taste. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately.

Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Extra tortilla strips will keep in airtight at room temp for up to 5 days.

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