Some of you may know me from @HolaSus on Instagram which is the outlet I first used to start creating and sharing my recipes. Now this site, Life Limon y Sal, is a new phase for HolaSus where I want to share more detailed recipes and other projects that I have in mind for you.
The style of my food is very much inspired by my Mexican roots but when I first started living abroad I realised that I should adapt to use the things that I can find locally in order to get the best results. In fact it has been very exciting to be able to create new things using beautiful local produce, whilst always having in mind the food that I grew up with. I’ve found that this style has happened very organically and hope that you too feel the authenticity that I want to convey in my recipes.
Living in London I have sought out and found places where I can source Mexican ingredients but, while it is not easy to get a hold of some of the fresh ingredients (like certain chilies and tomatillos), it is possible to find many spices, corn flour and most of the dried chilies.
In my kitchen I like to use whole dried Mexican chilies such as pasilla, guajillo, ancho and mulato to make less spicy but rich sauces (or adobos). I also use ground chilies of the same varieties on a regular basis as it’s a quick and simple way to add spice or extra flavour to my everyday cooking. I thoroughly recommend having ground pasilla and guajillo always in your spice cupboard - you will keep on using them.
I also recommend using morita and dried chipotle chillies to give a smoky and more spicy touch to your cooking; these varieties often have more heat but they are also packed with flavour.
I enjoy making my own tortillas and different masa varieties such as sopes and gorditas and for all of these I use corn flour that is quite easy to find from suppliers on Amazon. Tortillas are, of course, such a big part of Mexican food that I cannot imagine living without them! I hope I can inspire some of you to make your own, they are so much easier to make than you might think.
For Mexican cheeses, Wholefoods has a good selection and I have sourced from there quest Oaxaca (stringy texture like cheese very good for melting and making quesadillas), Chihuahua (semi soft made of cow’s milk with a lovely mild flavour) or fresco (soft creamy cheese used a lot crumbled over a variety of Mexican dishes). I also like to use English cheeses such as Red Leicester, Mature Cheddar and Wensleydale. Greek feta is another favourite in my recipes, of course, and a good substitute for queso fresco.
I cook mainly with organic ingredients or meat and fish sourced from ethically farmed places but its also very important to me to support local business.
Here I share some of my favourite places to buy local ingredients; hope is helpful for you too.
Borough Market: for spices and chillies my go to place is Spice Mountain.
Kingston Market: everyday market where I can buy a good variety of fruit and veg.
Thames Ditton Farmers Market: little jewel in my community where I can get the best local produce.
Mexgrocer and Coolchile is where I can find dried chillies and Mexican pantry ingredients such as hominy and achiote paste, amongst others, and from time to time you can also get fresh tomatillos and poblano peppers.