Mexican/Californian eateries are springing up everywhere. Two near Angel and one in Berwick Street, Soho, where I went yesterday with my friend J. He said it was his new regular place for lunch. The food wasn’t the bland Mexican stodge we have become inured to, he said, but light and bursting with flavours.

The place looked OK, essentially a take-away but with an area of tables, done up in that artfully down-at-heel way which is fashionable. Walls of dirty magnolia, like a room where many people have smoked a great deal over decades.

The food itself was good, though we did need the chilli sauce and wedges of lemon to lift our bean and guacamole burritos. My only real gripe was that we had to collect our food from the counters in take-away plastic containers and eat it with wooden knives and forks. I suppose it saves on the washing-up, but it can’t be good for the environment and it certainly doesn’t encourage you to linger.

Musing later on the Mexican theme – chillies and lime and sun-soaked peppers and so on – I came up with this…

Mexican Peppers (for 2 as a starter, or with salad as a light lunch)
2 long pointy peppers
70g soft goat’s cheese, chopped roughly
bunch chopped coriander
1 small tin sweetcorn, drained
2 spring onions, sliced
Juice 1 lime
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 egg

Under a hot grill, blister the peppers all over, giving them a couple of minutes on each side. Wrap them in tin foil and leave for 2 minutes, after which the skin should peel away easily. Slice down the side of each pepper and scoop out the seeds.

In a small bowl combine all the other ingredients and season well. Pile the filling into the peppers, place them on a lightly greased baking tray and roast for 20-30 minutes.

Tahini Sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped (optional)
2 tbs olive oil
3 tbs light tahini
Juice 1 lime
500ml water (or more if you like)

Lightly fry the garlic and chilli. Blend with all the other ingredients. Season well.

This makes a thick sauce which goes extremely well with the stuffed peppers, and can also be used as a dressing for salad (though you may want to thin it down for this).

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