Caribbean & Mexican

Vegetable Budin Azteca





For the red chilli sauce  
10-12 mild Mexican chillies, such as guajillo, mulatto or new Mexico  
3-4 tomatoes  
1 large red or orange pepper, seeds removed  
4 tbsp vegetable oil  
1 large onion, sliced  
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped  
1½ tsp sugar, or to taste  
1½ tsp ground cumin  
For the budin Azteca  
500g mixed mushrooms  
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped  
1 large courgette, thinly sliced on the diagonal  
10 spears of asparagus, trimmed, cut into 5cm/2in spears and blanched  
1 small red pepper, seeds removed, cut into strips  
8 flour tortillas  
200ml soured cream  
150 g soft goats' cheese  
150 g cheddar cheese, grated, plus an extra handful to serve  
5-6 tbsp olive oil  
To serve  
½ red onion, chopped  
  soured cream  
  coriander, chopped  


For the red chilli sauce: place the chillies in a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to soak for 30-40 minutes, or until softened.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until smoking and add the tomatoes and red pepper. Cook, turning the vegetables over every so often, until the skins are charred all over.

Place the pepper in a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside for five minutes. Meanwhile, peel the skins away from the tomatoes and place the flesh into a food processor.

Peel the pepper and discard the skins. Discard the seeds, then add the flesh to the food processor with the tomatoes.

Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry for onion for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until starting to colour. Remove from the heat and add to the food processor.

Once the chillies have softened, drain, remove the stalks and seeds and add to the food processor. Blend until smooth, then pass the mixture through a sieve into a clean saucepan.

Add the sugar and ground cumin and season with salt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until the mixture has reduced and comes away from the base of the pan. Add a few splashes of water to loosen the mixture into a thick and creamy sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

For the budin Azteca: heat 1½ tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick pan and add a third of the mushrooms. Cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat and season the mushrooms with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a further minute, then cover with a lid and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.

Push the mushrooms to one side of the pan, then add the remaining olive oil to the other side, tilting the pan slightly. Add a third of the chopped garlic to the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until starting to colour, then mix into the mushrooms. Transfer to a bowl, then repeat the process with the remaining mushrooms and garlic.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Brush the courgettes with a teaspoon of olive oil, then add to the griddle pan to cook for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until charred and tender. Place into a bowl. Cook the blanched asparagus and peppers in the same way, adding to the bowl with the courgettes.

To assemble, place one layer of tortilla over a large rectangular baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Spread over 3-4 tablespoons of the red chilli sauce, then scatter over a third of the chargrilled vegetables and a third of the mushrooms. Spoon over 3-4 tablespoons of the soured cream. Crumble over a third of the goat’s cheese, followed by a third of the cheddar. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a final layer of tortilla spread with the red chilli sauce.

Scatter over another handful of cheddar, then cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

To serve, cut the budin into squares and serve with little bowls of chopped red onion, soured cream and chopped coriander.

Source: Anjum Anand on Good Food

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