Mexican Tomato Sauces: Caldillo

courgette flowers on tomato sauce

The world knows salsa ranchera. That spicy tomato-jalapeño classic turning plain old eggs into huevos rancheros. Usually eaten at breakfast I’m equally happy to start, sustain or finish my day with this light but satisfying dish.

Ubiquitous in Mexico, caldillo is conspicouly absent in Europe. We introduce it here as a topping for pizza tamalera, subject of our next post.

Caldo means broth, soup or stock. Caldillo is a tomato sauce incrporating a big pot of of your favourite broth which has been slowly added and simmered off. Caldillo is typically served with stuffed poblano chillies but is heavenly with just about any dish using tomato sauce. Continue reading “Mexican Tomato Sauces: Caldillo”

Air Fried Artichokes With Black Alioli

air-fried artichokes with black garlic alioli mayonnaise

Get yourself an air-frier now, please – they’re amazing: it’s like frying with oil – but without oil!

Ok, don’t want to fork out the best part of a couple of hundred quid just now, stick with conventional oil frying.

We have a group due in a few days for a retreat. Our people seem to love Spanish food. And the Spanish absolutely LOVE  artichokes. This is a simply prepared dish, perfect for tapas or on its own as a starter. Crisp outside, tender to al-dente inside, nothing adulterates the purity of the artichoke bar gentle notes of olive, a hint of lemon and the dark, sweet, velvety richness of its saucy companion.

Black garlic has been heated for many weeks to shed it’s pungent heat in favour of a deep, rounded sweetness with hints of balsamic and licorice (apparently it doesn’t make your breath smell). For this dish I like to mix four cloves of black with one clove of raw for that extra woomph. And making mayonnaise is easy as pie, and you control  not just the quality of the oil but how much – or little- goes in. Continue reading “Air Fried Artichokes With Black Alioli”

Mango Salsa

mexican mango salsa

I first tasted this in Guanajuato in central Mexico. It came with soft, crisp flour  tortillas filled with Brie and caramelized onions. I don’t recall the main course. I’d just arrived and was so intoxicated by the colour all around me that only the this sharp, sweet, piquant salsa managed to get through the sensory overload. Continue reading “Mango Salsa”

Classic Chinese Dipping Sauce

This is a classic oriental dipping sauce always served with Dim Sum (coming later) and  our Korean Mung Bean Fritters – see our previous post

Soy Sauce And Rice Vinegar Dipping Sauce


  • 1 quantity soy sauce - Tamari is great here
  • 1/2 quantity rice (or other) vinegar
  • sugar or other sweetener to taste - optional
  • 1 tsp sesame oil - optional
  • 1 finely chopped scallion or a small bunch of Asian chives


  • simply mix all the ingredients