Culinary adventures from Mexico

Recipes by Claire Aldous and photography by Sarah Tuck.

Grilled corn with whipped ricotta and smoky chilli butter

p36 Good living - Mexican Delights - Grilled Corn

Whipped ricotta is now my go-to topping and I make a simple smoky butter to pour over the top. You can also serve the ricotta and smoky butter in separate bowls.


  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 250 grams ricotta, well drained
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra to serve
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Parmesan for grating, to serve
  • Smoky chilli butter
  • 100 grams butter
  • 1 teaspoon each smoked paprika, chilli flakes and sea salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chilli powder, plus extra to serve


  1. Cook the corn in plenty of salted boiling water until just tender. Drain well and break each cob in half.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add the corn and cook until lightly charred in places.
  3. Beat the ricotta and salt with enough milk until light in texture.
  4. To make the smokey chilli butter, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t catch on the base of the pan, until the butter is lightly browned and has a gorgeous nutty aroma. Tip into a bowl.

To serve

Pile the corn up on a platter and top with a generous grating of parmesan and a pinch of chilli powder and sea salt. Spoon the ricotta into a mound and make a hollow in the centre then pour in the butter. Serve immediately.

Chipotle prawns with lime and jalapeño mayo

p36 Good living - Mexican Delights - Chipotle Prawns


  • 20 large peeled raw prawns, tail on
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • Chipotle paste
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each ground paprika, cumin and sea salt
  • 2 limes, halved


  1. To make the chipotle paste, place all the ingredients in
    a small food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Put the prawns in a large bowl and toss with the chipotle paste, turning to coat well.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-low heat and cook the prawns until golden. Do this in two batches if needed, wiping out the pan and adding fresh oil in between.

To serve

Pile the prawns up in a dish and serve with lime wedges and lime and jalapeño mayo.

Lime and jalapeño mayo 

Makes about 1 cup


  • ½ cup each sour cream and mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sliced jalapeños, finely chopped plus extra for garnish
  • finely grated zest 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Whisk all the ingredients together and top with extra sliced jalapeños to serve.

TIP: You can also thread the prawns onto skewers and grill on the barbecue. Make sure the heat isn’t too hot or the chipotle paste will catch and burn.


p36 Good living - Mexican Delights -Michelada

Bloody Mary meets a chilled beer! Who knew this combo would work so well? I love mine heavily spiced with hot sauce, and don’t skimp on coating the rim of the glass – it’s part of the drinking experience.


Coat the rim of a tall glass in chilli and celery salt (see recipe on right). Fill the glass with ice cubes. One-third fill with tomato juice, then add 1 tablespoon tequila, 2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce and 2–3 splashes of hot sauce, or more to taste (I used a chipotle hot sauce). Top up with chilled beer (we used a Mexican beer, Sol), squeeze over a lime wedge, give it a stir and serve immediately.

Chilli and celery salt coating

Makes enough for several glasses


  • 1 tablespoon ground chilli
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, roughly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten until frothy


Combine the chilli and both salts in a saucer. Dip the rim of a glass in egg white then in the salt mix. Store leftover mix in an airtight jar.

Veracruz-style baked fish

p36 Good living - Mexican Delights - Veracruz style fish


  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 5 medium vine tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 700 grams fish fillets
  • 3 tablespoons purchased Mexican spice blend
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 12 large green olives, crushed open and pitted
  • ½ cup sliced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ½ cup white wine
  • sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
  2. Use a shallow ovenproof baking dish large enough to place the fish in one layer. Drizzle the base of the dish with a little olive oil and top with the sliced vine tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with
    2 tablespoons of the spice blend and arrange the fish over the tomatoes. Add the cherry tomatoes, olives, jalapeño peppers and capers then pour the wine around the fish. Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and sprinkle over the remaining spice blend.
  4. Bake for about 15–20 minutes or
    until the fish is just cooked. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish.

A simple one-pot meal that’s an easy, light and super-flavourful dish perfect for a weeknight or casual weekend entertaining. Serve with warm crusty bread for mopping up all the juices.

Steak tacos with charred pineapple salsa

p36 Good living - Mexican Delights - Steak tacos


  • 600 grams sirloin steak
  • 2 tablespoons purchased
    Mexican spice blend
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Charred pineapple salsa (Makes about 2 cups)

  • ½ fresh pineapple, skin sliced off, cut into 2cm thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 long green chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced


  1. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with the spice blend.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. When hot, cook the steaks for 2–3 minutes each side for medium rare. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steak. Transfer to
    a plate to rest for a few minutes.
  3. To assemble, slice the steak thinly against the grain. Spread the tortillas with mayo, if using, then top with salad leaves, steak, avocado, salsa, crumbled feta and coriander. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the top.
  4. To make the charred pineapple salsa, heat a sauté pan over a high heat and cook the pineapple for a few minutes each side until lightly charred in places. Cool then
    cut into 1cm pieces, discarding
    the core.
  5. Combine the lime juice, salt and red onion in a large bowl and leave for 5 minutes. Stir in the oil, chillies, spring onions and pineapple.

To assemble

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • mayo (optional)
  • big handful salad leaves
  • 1–2 avocados, sliced
  • charred pineapple salsa
  • 100 grams feta
  • fresh coriander
  • lime wedges

Taco Tuesday – or any other day! Sure, they’re a bit messy to eat but oh so delicious, and just serve with lots of big napkins.