Strike up the Mariachi band!

Strike up the Mariachi band!

Hello and welcome to all about food. Cue the Mariachi music! It’s time for a little spice and a lot of flavours… Enjoy!

Ask Gingergirl

Hello Gingergirl,

Our family are lovers of Mexican food but we are getting tired of the old reliables – namely enchiladas and fajitas. Do you have any recipes we could try?

Many thanks,

Irene, Newcastle West

Hi Irene,

We’re very fond of Mexican food in the Gingergirl home too! What’s not to love? Like many countries, Mexican food varies by region and, of the six regions, some areas are known for the sweet flavours of the food, some for the spiciness, others have been influenced by the Caribbean and some regions are influenced by its Spanish past.

Ingredients synonymous with Mexican cuisine include chilli peppers, corn (used to make tortillas), beans, avocado, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cocoa. The dishes we often refer to as Mexican food however have been influenced by America (mainly Texas) and is referred to as Tex-Mex cuisine. Tex-Mex cuisine developed popular dishes such as Nachos for example - rarely eaten in Mexico and the Chimichanga, (deep-fried burrito).

This Mexican inspired stew is a firm favourite of mine and one I often make in batches and freeze in anticipation of those lazy days where cooking seems like such an effort!

Spicy Mexican Chicken

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 large onion, halved and sliced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 (or 2 depending on your love for chilli) medium chilli, deseeded and sliced

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 x 400g cans peeled plum tomatoes

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

200g piece of chorizo, skinned and diced

8-10 chicken thighs, skinned

2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks

2 x 300g cans cannellini beans, drained

A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic until softened, add the chorizo and peppers and fry for two minutes. Stir in the spices and cook for a further two minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and ½ can of water, then crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil and add the chicken thighs. Push the chicken under the liquid, cover and simmer for 40-60 mins.

Tip in the cannellini beans and warm through to heat the beans. Sprinkle with fresh coriander before serving.

I like to serve this dish with a few side dishes, usually rice, some tortilla chips, avocado salsa (see below), lime wedges and soured cream.

Avocado Salsa

In a bowl mix two tomatoes (deseeded and diced), one avocado (stoned and diced), half a red onion (finely diced), one chilli (deseeded and finely chopped), the juice of one lime, a tablespoon of fresh coriander (roughly chopped) and one tablespoon of olive oil.

Contact Gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

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