I was having one of those 'get to know you' conversations with a new friend the other day, you know the ones that go "what's your favourite [insert object/place/food/song/animal/side of bed]". That great insightful game that never ends, where a few hours later you find yourself exhausted but feel like you've achieved something and have even surprised yourself with your responses. See, I didn't even realise my favourite colour was yellow until someone asked me...
Actually these sorts of discussions aren't just restricted to those with new friends - one night in India, Zannie and I spent the entire evening over dinner playing the "this or that" game. One of the killers was violet crumble or crunchie.... Or favourite vegetable (toss up between eggplant/zucchini/sweet potato... shit don't make me choose!)
Anyway, eventually the topic of favourite cuisine came up and I automatically went the Asian route - nothing beats a good chilli stir fry for me, but then my companion threw a curveball and mentioned Mexican and I was stumped. Yeah he's right, I thought! Mexican is good! Who doesn't love a beany, rice filled burrito or a late night cheesy quesadilla made whilst drunk with your equally as intoxicated brother and sister on christmas eve?
So then I started thinking about Mexican food cos that's just what I do. And then I started thinking about how great guacamole is cos that's just what I do. Seriously guacamole should be used in peace keeping missions and international diplomatic meetings - it brings people together. How many relationships have formed over the guac bowl at a party, I would love to know.
And then when I found myself wanting to make something other than a boring omelette for dinner the other night, I decided to unleash my inner mehican and made this for dinner. It's kind of an amalgamation of my favourite things - corn, coriander, chickpea and avocado salsa with crispy skinned, paprika spiced ocean trout. Arriba indeed!
4 x small ocean trout fillets, skin on, bones removed
1 can chickpeas or red kidney beans, drained
1/2 a spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
2 corn corbs
Punnet of cherry tomatoes
Handful of coriander
Salt and pepper
Remove husks from corn cobs and slice downwards to remove kernels. Place in a dry pan over a high heat and cook for about 5 minutes to get some nice blackening going. Once cooked, place in a bowl with the chickpeas or beans, the diced avocado, cherry tomatoes halved, the sliced red onion and a nice big handful of whole coriander leaves. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, lots of lime juice and plenty of salt. Set aside.
Now onto the fish - the best way to achieve a crispy skin is to place the fillet skin side down in a pan while it is still cold and hasn't even been on a flame yet. Place on stovetop and then turn flame onto a medium high heat. No oil, nothing. Loosely cover with a lid and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy and crunchy. Remove from pan and season with salt, pepper and a few shakes of good paprika - the smokey kind from Spain is best!