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Mexican for Chilli Lovers

Mexican Ingredients

Last weekend was our Mexican for Chilli Lovers class, one of our favourite seasonal courses bursting with hot, complex flavours. And last Saturday, thanks to good friends and suppliers (more on them in a second), we were especially fortunate to have such a wide range of chillies - including the hottest chilli in the world! - and in all sorts of guises: fresh, dried, smoked and even infused in oil. And from these chillies came a very crowd pleasing menu of main dishes, salsas and even a chilli-based dessert:

Large eats

Dips and salsas

Sweet Eats

  • Melting Middle Chocolate, Chilli and Tequila Puddings

It's not exactly easy finding great quality Mexican ingredients here in the UK, but we did pretty well by drawing on our wonderful range of friends and food suppliers to stock our Mexican Larder. Amongst them are Dan Reed (@ChilliOTV), an "alumni" of our Mexican cooking class and grower of chillies. He brought along the "hottest chilli in the world", the Moruga Scorpion, measuring up to 2,000,000 Scoville units, the same as US police grade pepper spray!

Hottest Chilli in the world?

Dan knows his chillies and kindly left us with a handy fact sheet on chillies that explains the various types and how their heat is measured. For example, did you know that the seeds are not the hottest part of the chilli, it is in fact the membrane to which they are attached (the white bit). Here's a picture of Dan Reed with his creative tamale:

Dan Read with his creative tamales

We also had poblano chillies and tomatillos grown by the Michauds in Dorset (Peppers by Post)...

Poblano Peppers

Tomatillos

...habaneros grown by the Upton Cheyney Chilli Company...

Habanero Chillies

...the "Holy Trinity" of dried chillies - Anchos, Mulatos, Pasillas & Chipotles - from Cool Chile Co...

Dried Chillies from Cool Chili Co

...and some fabulous Oak Smoked Chipotle Rapeseed Oil from local company Bath Harvest.

Bath Harvest Smoked Chilli Oil

And from all these great ingredients came wonderful things, for example, Tamales Rellenos de Calabacin (Tamales filled with squash):

Tamales

Filling tamales

Big thanks to everyone involved - suppliers and students - for making Mexican day so fun and so delicious. The class was such a success we're putting on another one on 19th October. Visit the Vegetarian Cookery School website for more details: Mexican for Chilli Lovers.

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