Martha Doyle, chef at Thyme of Errichel restaurant, shares her recipe for a nutritious and tasty Tikin Xic.
We are busy in the kitchens squirreling away all the jams and preserves we made with all the seasonal Scottish fruit, we are also out foraging for mushrooms and cutting and drying all our herbs to keep over winter.
We are well and truly in autumn and with the changes in the weather come the usual perennial colds and coughs and we need to boost our immune system with nutritious meals.
Comfort food doesn’t have to be heavy or stodgy to be warming, so the recipe I will share with you today is what I consider to be great comfort food and I hope you will enjoy it too.
At Thyme we have a wonderful work-family who have come together from all around the world, from Ireland to Mexico, France, Germany and the UK, with a common passion for sharing our love for great soulful food which comes from our hearts and homes.
So here is a recipe which comes from my home; Tikin Xic a local delicacy throughout the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
- 2 thick fish fillets of your choice (I prefer red snapper. Bear in mind that different fish will require different cooking times so you may need to adjust)
- 2 banana leaves
For the marinade:
- 100ml orange juice or 35ml of freshly squeezed orange juice with 65ml freshly squeezed lime juice
- 25g achiote paste (available at good online food specialist stores)
- 1 guajillo chilli (optional)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the pickled onion:
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 250ml boiling water
- 250g cooked white rice
- 200g cooked black turtle beans
- 1 each of yellow, green and red peppers, halved, cored and roasted for a few minutes in a hot oven
To make the pickled onion:
- Heat the water in a small pan on the stove, then add the lime juice. Once the liquid is boiling, turn off the heat and add in the sliced red onion.
- Leave to soak for three minutes, drain through a sieve and leave to drip dry for five minutes or so.
To make the fish marinade:
- Dissolve the achiote paste in the fruit juice.
- Toast the cumin and oregano in a hot pan for a few minutes to enhance their aroma and flavour.
- Next, using a pestle and mortar, grind the cumin and oregano together.
- If using a chilli, toast it under a grill until the skin blisters and chars and then grind it with the cumin and oregano.
- Add the oil and achiote/fruit juice and mix well.
- Rub the marinade into the fillets of fish on both sides and leave to rest for an hour.
To make the parcels:
- Lightly roast the banana leaf by putting it directly over a gas hob flame, carefully passing slowly from top to bottom. This makes the leaf more supple for wrapping.
- In the centre of a banana leaf put a fillet of fish and wrap it up to make a closed parcel.
- Place the parcel on a hot griddle for 20 minutes or in the oven at 200C fan/220C/425F/gas mark 7 for 10 minutes.
- Open the parcels, take the fish out with care and keep warm.
- Trim the banana leaves so that they fit your plate and place on your serving plate.
- Next make a bed of hot steamed white rice, then add the fillets of fish then roasted pepper, pickled onions and serve with turtle beans.
- To add a bit of crunch to the meal you can top with very finely sliced white cabbage with lime and a pinch of sea salt.
- Enjoy, knowing that this is good food and nutritious for you as well.