Thursday, January 30, 2014


Although cooking for yourself is good if you want to experiment or try a recipe you're not so sure about, it is definitely more fun cooking with friends.  The other day I got together with a couple of people to cook dinner and as one of them is a vegetarian I decided to try a recipe I've had my eye on for a couple of weeks now in my GoodFood Magazine; mushroom fajitas with avocado houmous.  Although not a vegetarian myself this doesn't stop me from enjoying a good veggie meal from time to time and I love houmous so this recipe seemed perfect.

Mushroom fajitas with avocado houmous
Mushroom fajitas with houmous
As there were 5 of us we had to scale up the recipe but I think the quantities were about right in the end, although we did have some of the houmous left over (no worries, I had it for lunch the following day!)

For the houmous:
3 avocados
1kg chickpeas (weight of chickpeas before draining - drain and rinse)
1 large garlic clove (use 2 if the cloves are small - crushed)
the zest and juice of two lemons (if you're not as keen on lemon just use 1)
5 tomatoes (deseeded and diced)

It has to be said that making houmous without a food processor is tricky and probably not worth the effort.  I tried it last year in Germany and with only a garlic press to crush the chickpeas it took me a while!  Fortunately, at the beginning of the year I invested in a mini 250ml food processor (the Kenwood mini chopper).  As it is quite small I had to add the ingredients in stages and mix them together in a large bowl afterwards.  I did the chickpeas first, then the avocado and once I had processed them I mixed them together with the crushed garlic, lemon zest and juice and the diced tomatoes.

While I was busy doing that one of my friends was making the fajita spice mix.  You can buy this pre-made but as I had all the necessary spices I decided to make my own.  We used:
2tsp chilli powder
1tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp cumin
2tsp ground coriander
1tsp salt
1tsp white caster sugar
1tbsp corn starch (if you don't want to buy/use this then use more of the other spices but be aware that you won't need as much spice mix as what you have will be spicier)
(you could also add 1/2 tsp onion powder but as we were using fresh onions anyway we decided not to)
To make the fajita spice just mix all these things together in a bowl.

The rest of the ingredients
2 onions
5 large flat mushrooms
olive oil (for coating and frying)
tortillas (at least 1 each)
lettuce (little gem works well - shredded)
Tabasco sauce (optional)

My lovely friends sliced the onions and mushrooms for me nice and thickly.  I then drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled over the spice mix and used my hands to toss them to make sure they were nicely coated in the mix.  Heat some olive oil in a pan, make sure it is really hot, then fry the onions and mushrooms for about 5 mins until they are nicely browned.  For an even better effect you can use a griddle pan but a frying pan works just as well.

spiced mushrooms and onions
Toss the mushrooms and onion in the spices
Once cooked you're ready to make and serve your fajitas, we just put everything in bowls on the table and helped ourselves but if you want to present them nicely then spread some of the houmous down the middle of each wrap and top with the mushrooms and onions.  Then sprinkle over some shredded lettuce (little gem lettuce works well for fajitas) and if you fancy you can add a dash of tabasco sauce.

The fajitas were really tasty and went well with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

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