¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! (spelling courtesy of wikipedia)
There was a certain look of surprise on a housemate’s face as he walked in on me cooking something that didn’t come entirely from a packet. Something that actually involved actual vegetables.
Also, apparently it’s something he likes a lot. Well that’s nice to hear from someone who I consider to eat a lot healthier than me.
Coincidentally, my first major cookery mistake since the start of the blog, happened tonight. Details below.
I chose these in Tescos the other day because you have chicken with them, and I like the overly-Mexican adverts on tv with the dancing cacti.
Also, I thought it was a simple dish – pour in, fry, done.
But when I turned the pack over in the supermarket, I saw you had to cook fresh red pepper, green pepper, and onion with it.
Normally I’d shy away from anything involving such a detailed list of vegetables, but I was near the fresh vegetables anyway, so thought I might give it a try after all.
So ingredients used tonight:
Half a green pepper
Half a red pepper
Half an onion
About 250g of chicken breast
Old El Pasto Roasted Tomato and Pepper Fajita mix (consisting of 8 fajitas, 1 sachet of spice mix, and 1 packet of tomato and pepper salsa).
The recipe says to use 500g, and whole vegetables, but the packet says it serves 4. Two person’s share is enough for me I think.
So onto the cooking. Cut the chicken into strips and place in a pan with a little bit of oil. I chose a wok as it holds more and I didn’t get burnt with fat the last time I used it.
Started that cooking away, and went to chop the onion, and peppers. I’ve no idea how to cook peppers and having never eaten one before – was surprised to find them hollow.
Onto the onion, and I peeled the outer skin, then started chopping. Half way through chopping (which seemed a little hard going), I realised I hadn’t removed the whole of the outer skin.
That done, it was a lot easier to chop.
Are you meant to cry when you chop onions? I didn’t seem to.
When the chicken was cooked, I added the onion and peppers.
Next complex step here. My housemate mentioned earlier showed me how to move things around the pan so they all cook and nothing burns. It might be useful, that.
Next I needed to add the “roasted tomato and pepper fajita spice mix” – a small packet contained within the fajita kit. It has a “helpful hints” section on the back of the box all this comes in, that tells you to make it less spicy – use less spice mix.
This makes sense, and as I haven’t eaten anything spicy ever, I decided to put about 1/3rd of the sachet in. Remember – I’m using half the ingredients.
I did a quick turn of the chicken, and make sure everything was coated in the spice mix.
As I don’t like vegetables cold, I left them in a long time. I added more oil when it went dry because I was determined to get some properly cooked vegetables.
I microwaved half of the supplied tortillas so they were warm, eventually thought the vegetables must be cooked and killed the heat.
Now, onto the serving, where the accident happened.
You are supposed to add “2 tablespoons of the chicken and vegetable mixture” into the tortillas, then pour on some of the included salsa, and roll to make a fajita. It includes pictures of before and after rolling, for the truly stupid (me).
I’ve never eaten tortillas before either by the way – so this was interesting. Looks like pancakes, tastes of not a lot. Saves putting hot food directly in your hands though.
I added the chicken, tried to add more peppers than chicken, to up my extremely poor vegetable intake.
Then onto the salsa sauce. I poured some of this on in a line, then rolled.
Started eating…unusual…bizarre – different mouthfuls taste different to last depending on if there was more pepper or more chicken in it. It’s almost like a weird healthy version of Revels.
Seemed quite hot though, even though I’d only put 1/3rd of the spice mix in.
I drink some water.
Still hungry, I finished that fajita and started on a second – chicken, vegetables, salsa.
I really am feeling quite hot in here. Maybe the heating is up too high, or it’s just because I’ve been cooking. I ignore the sweaty sensation on my face and get myself another glass of water.
These fajitas are quite filling but I don’t want them to go to waste so I get a third started – chicken, vegetables, salsa.
I can now feel the sweat on my face quite badly. I give in and get some kitchen roll to mop my brow. I get another glass of water.
My housemate comes in and draws attention to the fact that I seem to be sweating quite a lot. I near the end of the third fajita, but can’t finish it. I stop eating.
I can’t understand why I’m sweating – I put less than half of the spicy bit in, and the rest is just chicken and some vegetables. I read the ingredients for the first time tonight, check what I’ve cooked, and what I’ve eaten.
Ahhhh. Now it all makes sense!
Turns out that I’d slightly miscalculated one part of the meal. Onions, peppers, spice mix – all fine.
BUT I’d been smearing the salsa on in plentiful supply. In fact I’d eaten over 3/4 of the packet on 3 fajitas….when it was designed to be enough for 8.
The spice mix – that they warn you off using too much of – seems to contain mostly tomato, pepper, onion, and lemon.
Oddly enough, the ingredients of the salsa are almost the same. tomato, pepper, onion, lemon, chili…….I think that explains it.
Overall though – an unusual meal, which was quite interesting.
Not sure if I liked it or not, but I didn’t hate it. I could eat it again I think.
Also, when I looked in the wok at what was left – there was more chicken left than vegetables. This means either I ate more vegetables than chicken, or I had more chicken to start with. As I can’t really remember, I’m going with the former.