> The Beesley Buzz: Flavours of Together Challenge

Flavours of Together Challenge

Mexican Street Food inspired Sweetcorn fritters
I love challenges like this one to do with food, flavours and fun memories. Schwartz (and their parent company McCormick) are celebrating a 125th anniversary. As part of the celebrations they are encouraging people to share their 'flavour stories' you can do this either on their website here  or on their facebook page.

So far over 65,000 flavour of together stories have been shared. They would love you to pop along and add yours as they are making a donation to the charity Focus on Food for every flavour story shared.

It got me thinking about my own flavour memories and it seems I have a few flavour stories to tell... I had a giggle thinking about the time D told head chef at the Kent Cook Off finals that his favourite herb was...CHOCOLATE! He was just 6 years old at the time, but he actually adores using herbs and spices in his cooking and often uses things like basil, oregano, thyme and parsley so it was so funny that he picks out chocolate as a 'herb'.

Seeing 'Modern Masala' as one of the trends in the Schwartz 2014 flavour forecast reminded me of one of our friends who called naan bread 'banana' bread. So whenever we asked him what he had for school dinner, he would tell us 'curry and banana bread'. That also gave us a giggle.

Another trend in the 2014 forecast is 'Mexican World Tour' and with sweetcorn being popular in Mexican cuisine (and sweetcorn being what popcorn is made from), it reminded me of my son who told daddy 'I've got popcorn' when he had chicken pox at 2 years old. Not quite sure why he got muddled with popcorn and chicken pox but it was very cute.

And it is Mexican food that inspired my recipe today. But let me tell you first about my 'story' that has led me to it.

A few years ago you would not often catch me in the kitchen cooking. Cooking terrified me. My repertoire of meals consisted of frozen fish fingers and frozen peas, beans on toast or for really special occasions I'd rustle up a Spaghetti bolognaise. I was not a cook in any way, shape or form!

Then 8 years ago, along came my son D. He loved his food from the moment he started weaning. He tried everything. Never refused a food. He even wanted to try things like vinegar and he loved the sour taste of lemons and limes.

As a toddler he started to discern flavours; "Mummy has this got lemon in it?" and 'sniff out' different foods; "Mummy, have you been secretly eating chocolate? - I can smell it!".

He was also very keen to help. Not just with baking cookies and cakes like most children like to do but also helping to make proper meals. "Can I chop the vegetables?" he would ask and "Can I peel the carrots?" He was keen to help with anything and everything.

In the supermarket, his favourite aisles were not the toys or comics like his brother, but instead he loved looking at all the herbs and spices. He also got very excited at the prospect of buying a new wooden spoon or saucepan.

And so it continued. He borrowed cookery books from the library and even experimented with making his own recipes. He took an interest in world cuisine and wanted to learn about foods, flavours and cultures from around the globe.

He told us his dreams of being a chef and having his own restaurant. He had even planned the name of his restaurant...'The Brilliant Chef'.

So for his Christmas present when he was 6 years old, we bought him a rather unusual present...His own domain name. It was www.TheBrilliantChef.co.uk and he began to blog about his culinary adventures.

I watched him in awe as nothing would concern him about cooking or hinder him in the kitchen. During our busy years of home-school, whenever mummy panicked that there was nothing for ready for dinner, D kept his cool, looked through the cupboards and came up with an idea, then went on to cook it.

So it is with inspiration from this story of my little kitchen hero - my own 'brilliant chef' that I wanted to show how far I had come when it comes to cooking. Now I will 'have a go' at new recipes and have put aside my fear of 'getting it wrong'.

So here is my own recipe that I have invented resulting from my own flavour stories. I wanted to make something quick, tasty and inspired by combining two trends that are taking the food world by storm; The 'Mexican World Tour' forecast combined with a street food style which is gaining in popularity all around the world. So we have invented our own recipe and it uses the flavour of the 'Schwartz Mexican Fajitas Flavour Shots' to give the flavour and aroma that will transport your mind and memories to the streets of Mexico.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is a really cost effective meal, uses primarily store cupboard ingredients, and is so quick to cook so can be rustled up quickly as a mid-week meal for a hungry family after a long day. It is also a great way of using any left over meat like chicken or leftover sausages.

Mexican Street Food Inspired Sweetcorn Fritters

Ingredients: (makes enough for a large family) 
200g plain flour
150ml milk
Schwartz Mexican Fajitas Flavour shot
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
400g (approx) sweetcorn (either tinned or cooked from frozen)
1 small tin of Spam (or you can use hot dogs, ham, bacon, leftover sausages or chicken or even a tin of tuna)
One third of each of a red pepper, yellow pepper and green pepper
Corn tortillas
Salad to serve (optional)
A tiny bit of rapeseed oil or fry-light spray (for cooking the tortilla)

1. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Lightly spray a corn tortilla with fry-light oil and cook on a baking tray in the oven for 6 minutes until crisp and golden. (For the kids portions we also cut some up into triangles, sprayed with oil and cook for 5-6 minutes).

2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, eggs and milk. Add in one tablespoon of the Schwartz Mexican Fajita flavour shots to make your fritters really flavoursome.

3. Add in chopped spam (or ham or whatever you are using). Spam tends to get a bad press but actually has a high meat content and used in a meal with lots of flavours added can taste fantastic as it acts as a blank canvass and takes on those flavours really well.

4. Add in the sweetcorn and peppers and mix it all together.

5. In a frying pan add in a couple of tablespoons of the Schwartz flavour shots. Heat up and then add in a spoonful of your mixture to make a fritter. Cook each one for just a minute or two on each side and then it is ready. The fritters will take on the tasty Mexican flavours as they cook.

6. Serve on top of your crispy corn tortilla, and with some salad to add some vibrant colours.

Here we have added some green lettuce, grated carrot, tomatoes and cress.

We made big fritters for the grown-ups and mini-ones for the kids so they could eat them as finger food in true 'street food' style.
Mini fritters as finger food for the kids

And they loved it!

“This post is an entry into the Foodies100/Schwartz Flavour of Together challenge.”  You can find out more about it here


  1. It sound like you have a future Raymond Blanc in the making! Great idea for kids as they seem to love anything small you can pick up and eat (especially in a picnic)!

    1. thanks Sarah - yes my kids always love any excuse for finger food! x


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