Old Habits Die Hard
Am I the only one who has cravings for Mexican food? One that has you itching for a florescent margarita in slushie form. An extra salty rim and then bottomless basket of tortilla chips and salsa to accommodate. Throw in a bit of guacamole and you’re speaking my love language. In college, every Thursday was margarita night at the local Mexican establishment called El Burrito Loco. I think a weekly visits inevitably instilled a touch of hot salsa in my blood flow and thus a desire for Mexican often happens when I’m nearing the end of the week.
Since moving to London it seems like my penchant for quality Mexican food is never satisfied. There’s always something too sweet, too mild, just not right, or the worst is when there’s a use of faux avocado. Can you believe that since moving here a little over a year now I have not sought out a quality Mexican establishment I like to frequent. Instead I’ve attempted my own recipes. El Burrito Loco had this one dish on the menu that seemed to not be much of a crowd favorite. It combined ingredients that seemed lean and obscure. This wasn’t a first choice for a bunch of college kids who were just “carb loading” to make room to drink more. I found myself ordering the sweet potato, corn, and prawn concoction one day just to see what it was all about. It was indeed light and lovely. It had the comfort that you get from the side order of rice and beans, but the freshness that hit right when you dig into a sizzling fajita platter. I couldn’t recreate it, but I used the same melody in flavors and textures to see if I could bring it to life in some capacity.
I’ll admit that this prawn and sweet potato burrito recipe was more of a pantry meal. One that incorporated bits and pieces from my pantry that needed using up. It just so happened that the prawn and sweet potato combination with the sweet corn was not something I was foreign to. Does a prawn and sweet potato burrito sound foreign to you, it won’t after this recipe.
- 25-30 prawn, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 tbs ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tbs smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tbs dried oregano
- 1/2 tbs garlic powder
- sea salt to taste
- 4 tbs avocado oil, divided
- 1 cup sweetcorn kernels
- 1/2 jalapeño, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 425F and prepare a baking pan.
Slice the sweet potato in 1/2 inch discs. I prefer rounds as they stay put in a burrito and pieces don’t fall out. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil. Mix the spices with the olive oil thoroughly. Then slather about 3/4 of it on the sweet potatoes and use the rest to marinade the prawns in a separate bowl. Bake the sweet potatoes for 35 minutes, flipping them after 15 minutes.
On a pan over high heat, add the remaining avocado oil. Add the jalapeño, red onion, and some sea salt. Stir for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the sweetcorn and leave in the pan stirring every two minutes. Don’t worry if you see charred pieces. Remove from the heat, place the sweetcorn mixture into a bowl and stir in sea salt, cilantro, and half of the lime juice.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and stir to release the flavor and prevent burning. Add the prawns and cook for about 7 minutes or until completely pink and not opaque. Remove from heat and add the remaining lime juice to the prawns.
For the assembly, warm up tortillas and place some sweet potato in the middle of the tortilla. Mash the sweet potato down a bit with your fork. Add the sweet corn salsa then the prawns on top. I also added some greens and chopped black olives, but that’s your own preference. Then fold the top and bottom of the tortilla in half-way. Turn the tortilla where the unfolded part is towards you and roll. There’s your prawn and sweet potato burrito with a warm sweetcorn salsa.