With a non fish eater in my house it means that when I do cook fish I need to cook an alternative substitute. I used to try cooking something vegetarian with fish as an extra but my non fish eater felt hard done by so now I just cook meat. Fortunately this recipe is sufficiently quick to not make you feel like you need to give up on eating fish because it takes so long to cook the meat. The fish is comparison is very light and if the thought of eating meat after a fastingjust puts you off this is the dish for you as it both flavoursome and light.
The meat is meaty and the smokiness from the chipotle really infuses in to the meat. I would recommend putting the meat to marinade for at least 5 hours before you intend to cook it. In addition you need approximately 20 mins to cook it to well done and about 5-10 minutes to rest the meat. Despite the fact it is very tempting not to rest the meat it makes the difference.
Finally if you are in the UK, I used sirloin steak from Haloodies simply because I am very fed up of butchers claiming that a cut of beef is a specific cut and then it turns out not to be.
210g sirloin steak per person
1 tablespoon ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
Sunflower spray oil
Place all the ingredients in a bag, mix around, seal, and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 5 hours. Turn the bag over from time to time.
60 mins before iftari put your oven on at 220 degrees centigrade and put your cast iron griddle pan in the oven. You need the pan to be extremely hot.
30 mins before iftari turn the heat down o 180 degrees centigrade then take the griddle pan out of the oven and put on to the cooker on a high heat. Remove the steak from the bag and place the meat firmly on to the griddle. Cook on each side for 3 mins then put the butter on the steak snd place back in the oven for approximately 10 – 14 mins. Check the steak from time to see if it has not dried. If it does look slightly dry just spray some spray oil on. When the steak is cooked take the pan out of the oven and wrap the foil in aluminium foil. Then cover in oven gloves/towels to keep warm. Leave the meat to rest for approximately 10 mins before serving. Slice thinly to serve.
These sardines are very light and require very little effort. While I baked the fish in the oven (more because the oven was on) you could easily cook them in a frying pan.
Allow 2 sardine fillets per person
corsely ground black pepper
Lay the fish on to the foil and sprinkle on the black pepper, followed by a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. Then bring the foil together to create a pouch. 20 minutes before ifatri place in the oven at 180 degrees and leave to bake for 10 – 15 minutes.
Vera Cruz Dip
In Mexico there is a place called Vera Cruz and they are known for serving a Vera Cruz sauce along with their fish dishes. Feeling not very inclined to do anything labour intensive I decided against making the sauce proper and instead turned it into a dip using the same ingredients. The end result is fantastic and is almost addictive. It worked very well with both the fish and the steak so in my mind this is a must make item!
2 teaspoon black olive paste
1 head of garlic peeled
2 chillis chopped
1 large spring onion
2 medium tomatoes
1 pinch of salt
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. This can be made ahead of time. Just cover and place in the fridge until you are ready for it.
Ok so these Swedish potatoes aren’t strictly Mexcian but seeing as potatoes orginated in South America I think they deserve a place.
Sunflower spray oil
Simply start at one side of the potato and cut but not all the way down. Cut about 2/3 down. Then continue to make cuts at regular intervals all the way across the potatoes. Spray with spray oil and place on to an oven try for about an hour. The potatoes are ready when the cooked through and crispy on the top.
Along with all of the above I served our meal with:
Although it sounds like a lot of sides they all help ‘pad’ out the meal so that it is not meat heavy for the people that didn’t want to eat meat.
Alhamdulilah we all enjoyed our meal and best of all if we had had some unexpected guests it would have been quite easy for the meal to stretch out and feed a few more. Alhamdulilah we are so lucky to have the choice of what to have for iftari especially when there are so many people in the world who are hungry, who have probably had nothing to eat for sehri and very little for ifarti. Inshallah make dua for those people that Allah (swt) provides them with food and makes things easier for them. In the mean time do not forget to give generously this month. Inshallah there are so many blessings to be had through the act of charity.