Flautas are filled and rolled tortillas which are deep-fried and served with a variety of toppings. They’re a great way to use up left-over chicken, beef, lamb or veggies, but the most popular filling is always barbacoa. Make a double batch of the lamb described in the tacos de barbacoa recipe and use the leftovers to make these delicious fried tacos.
Recipe Category: Issue 202
Tacos de barbacoa is an ancestral dish that uses an earth oven to slow-cook a whole lamb wrapped in agave leaves. Traditionally served with a consommé, there would always be enough food to feed the whole neighbourhood. In the cities, barbacoa stalls are particularly busy on weekend mornings when Mexicans are looking for a good hangover cure! It’s pretty hard to find agave leaves outside of Mexico, so I’ve used banana leaves here instead and even though the flavour is not quite the same, you won’t be disappointed with the result.
It’s hard for me to describe a pambazo without gushing as it’s my favourite garnacha (little bite) of all time! There is something so special about the crusty bolillos (bread rolls) soaked in guajillo sauce and filled with chorizo. I used to eat pambazos at least once a week while hanging out with friends in Mexico City. It was the first garnacha I learned to make and I’ll never forget burning my fingertips trying to flip it over and watching the sizzling lard splattering over my hands in red guajillo dots. You might need a couple of napkins as this dish is super messy!
This recipe comes from my mother’s family. I remember visiting my relatives in a town called Agua Fria and my aunt Luz making molotes for all of us. During my last visit to Mexico I finally learned how to make them, and now I get to share the recipe in this book. I recommend using white or yellow masa flour as the contact with the hot oil brings out the flavour of the masa.
My current obsession with ‘nduja – the spicy and spreadable Calabrian salami – knows no bounds. I find I’m spreading it on crackers, tossing a tablespoon or two through pasta sauces or even in a toastie. Given the rate at which we demolished these mussels after photographing them for this feature, these may well become your obsession too. ‘Nduja can be found in good speciality food stores and butchers, but if you are struggling to find it try using a soft and spicy chorizo instead. It can be very hot so do use it sparingly.
The crumb is also delicious over oysters or try pressing it over pieces of thick-fleshed fish such as hāpuka or monkfish before baking. If you prefer, you can shuck the mussels rather than steam them open.
There was a time when you couldn’t go to a party or function and not be served Vietnamese rice rolls. We shouldn’t forget how great they are as finger food, as they are a lovely, fresh-tasting offering and will sit well if made ahead of time (put them on a tray and cover each layer well with plastic wrap). I have served these with a dipping sauce made from the duck juices and bones, which is full of flavour and delicious if you have the time, but if not, use nuoc cham, chilli sauce or similar for dipping.