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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mexican Hangover Cures

The Mexican culture is a culture that knows how to party. Tequila, beers, cocktails… A great night mixing them all together can only spell one inevitable truth in the morning: La Cruda. Or, as we better know it, The Hangover.

However, as adept as Mexico is at partying, it is also adept at dealing with the carnage next day – this is a country that has learned from centuries of experience. Therefore, if you are going to search for a hangover cure, you’ve come to the right place. And most of them, if not all of them, involve food. There are worse medicines.

A tall glass of Clamato

Clamato is tomato juice with a touch of clam served in a tall, chilled glass with chilli powder and salt around the rim. Mixed with a beer, it’s even better.

Swordfish

A big, juicy, meaty swordfish steak will be the answer to your prayers on a hangover. We have a tasty grilled fish ensalada on the menu, which will be a welcome treat to your poor nutrition-deprived body.

Huevos with Nopales

Breakfast and a hangover cure all in one, this dish is basically scrambled eggs with nopales – Prickly Pear Cactus pads. Don’t worry, they are completely prickle-free and kind of look and taste a bit like green beans.

Torta Ahogada

This sandwich with carnitas (pork), refried beans and a spicy sauce is one of Mexico’s most famous hangover cures. Drop in for lunch and we can prepare our version for you: our pork carnitas wet burrito. This dish is also great when you are getting ready to party all over again.

Horchata

If you can’t face food and want to climb safely back onto the wagon, what you need is horchata – sweet rice water with a hint of cinnamon, which will be heaven to your fire-pit of a stomach. Similarly, get us to whip up a Piña Colada for you sans alcohol – it does the same thing.

Aquachile

A very traditional and excellent hangover cure, this dish is a raw mix of shrimps, scallops, onions, cucumbers, chillies tossed in plenty of lemon or lime juice. Its in-your-face freshness will be just what the doctor ordered.

Chilaquiles

Tortilla chips, salsa, eggs, beans, cheese and cream all thrown together in a single dish is one of Mexico’s easiest and most popular hangover cures. If you don’t have the energy to make it yourself, our black bean and jalapeño nachos with plenty of salsa and cheese will do the same thing for you and taste amazing.

Michelada

Finally, many believe that continuing to drink alcohol in the morning will help smooth things out. A small glass of beer with lime and salt could be the very thing to cure your ailments. And this kind of logic is why we dig Mexico so much. ¡Que viva Mexico!

 

The Health Benefits of Avocado

Continuing our theme of how Mexican food is actually one of the best types of food you can put past your lips BAR NONE (kind of), we move away from looking at chillies and on to that Superfood that is the Avocado Pear.

Do you know when Sainsburys first introduced the avocado in 1962, it had to come with instructions – people just didn’t know how to approach this exotic and mystical elliptical green object. And back then they were also not aware that, beneath the rough, scaly skin, not only was there a smooth and buttery green taste-sensation but also a fruit that was packed full of nutrients.

In fact, it’s claimed by some that you can live off of avocado alone – there are that many vitamins and healthy fats crammed in there.

avocado-recipes

 

In fact, it’s claimed by some that you can live off of avocado alone – there are that many vitamins and healthy fats crammed in there.

So, in homage to this most super of foods, here are the top 5 health benefits of avocados:

1.) Avocados are high-fibre foods that provide nearly 20 essential nutrients. Vitamins include A, C, D, E, K and B.

2) Avocados are sodium and cholesterol free – in fact, numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors

3) They have more potassium than bananas – and a high potassium intake is linked to lowering blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure

4) Studies have shown that an extract from avocado can significantly reduce symptoms of arthritis.

5) Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of cataracts.

 

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So why not come in and make the most of this Superman of the fresh fruit aisle by chowing down on some of our guacamole? Not only is it lip-smackingly tasty but, because we only use fresh produce, it’s wickedly good for you too. Because of the perishability of avocados, most store-bought guac is bulked out with chemicals and preservatives, whereas we only use nature’s bounty. Yet another reason to come chow-down at El Camion and feel good about yourself.

El Camion’s Top Cocktails

Not only do we make the best Mexican fare in town, but we’re a dab hand at mixing cocktails too, with some of London’s most talented bartenders at the shaker. When you’re out for dinner, enjoy scanning your eye over our cocktail menu, where we use premium spirits with inventive ingredients to bring something fresh and innovative to the palate.

Take a peek at some of the most popular cocktails here at El Camion.

Tommy’s Margarita

One of BarChick’s faves, we mix Altos tequila with agave syrup, bringing a sweet agave kick to your classic margarita. Shaken with fresh lime juice and served on the rocks, this is a zesty taste of the Mexican party spirit.

Margarita

 

Pink Chihuahua

So good we named our members bar after it. Or did we name it after our members bar? What came first – the chicken or the egg? Altos tequila shaken with lime juice and almond syrup is delicious enough, creating a fruity, tart concoction. The addition of fresh pomegranate juice mellows the flavour and gives it its beautiful rose hue and, with a topping of shaken egg white, the texture is smooth, silky and completely moreish.

Pink chihuahua

Espresso Martini

The world-famous Espresso Martini was invented by none other than our cocktail aficionado, Dick. Wyborowa Vodka with fresh espresso, Tia Maria, Kahlua, and a dash of sugar is the answer to your prayers when you’re feeling a little less than party. Served straight up in a martini glass, it tastes like strong coffee with notes of chocolate and the texture is smooth and frothy.

Espresso martini

 

Also give these two a try:

Chilli-pina-rita

Another one of Dick’s creations, the Chilli-pina-rita is as exotic as it sounds. Altos Blanco Tequila is given a tropical hit with fresh pineapple spears, pineapple syrup and lime juice. Fresh red chillies bring a fiery dimension to it, awaking those tastebuds and delivering a helpful swift boot to your metabolism. Fresh, vibrant and spicy, it’s a great pre-dinner choice.

El Diablo

A favourite with those who like their cocktails how they like their dancing: fresh and fruity. Altos tequila mixed with lime juice and ginger ale, then topped with crème de cassis. Served long over ice, it is the taste of summer, whatever season we’re in.

Sangrita, You Say?!

As a house policy we don’t serve tequila with salt and lime. Instead we serve a homemade red sangrita, made with fresh pomegranate juice and hot sauces. All our tequilas are made from 100% agave and are some of the finest tequilas coming out of Mexico – we don’t want to sully them with salt!

 

Sangrita

 

Don’t confuse sangrita with sangria, though. Sangrita, meaning ‘little blood’, is a customary companion to a shot of straight tequila and is traditionally made from leftover juices (like orange and lime), pomegranate, fine pepper powder and spices. Its peppery, citrus taste compliments the tequila, also peppery and citrusy in taste, and highlights the tequila’s crisp acidity.

 

Tequila and sangrita

 

Traditionally, sangrita and tequila are poured into separate shot glasses and sipped alternatively, so that the sangrita cleanses the palate between each sip. We won’t judge you, however, if you decide to chase your shot of tequila with the sangrita. It’s more fun that way. It’s also used in a drink known as ‘The Mexican Flag’, where three separate double shot glasses are filled with lime juice, tequila and sangrita.

 

Mexican flag

 

Make your own sangrita!

A basic traditional recipe:

1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 to 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. real pomegranate-based grenadine
1/4 tsp. ancho chile powder or 3 dashes hot sauce
1-2 slices jalapeño

OR… just pour the juices left over from a fruit salad into a cup, along with some hot sauce, chilli powder, pepper and pomegranate juice, mix it altogether and there you have it – a traditional slap-dash sangrita, the way it was meant to be. Now onto choosing the tequila…

An introduction to mezcal – Del Maguey

Mezcal – have you given it a go yet? If you’re a staunch fan of tequila then it’s high time you expanded your horizons and embraced the other Mexican spirit that we love.

We’ve already gone into the difference between mezcal and tequila here, and now let us introduce you to one of our house pours – Mezcal Del Maguey1056744x.

 

There is a delicious smokey earthiness to Del Maguey – this is in part due to the way it is produced. With tequila, the agaves are baked or roasted in autoclaves. However, in traditional mezcal, they are smoked in earth pits called “huecos.”

 

Del Maguey is a great introduction to the spirit, as it has lovely citrus notes, layered with the pepper and smoke that good mezcal imparts. It is hand crafted and twice distilled, very slowly in small wood-fired, riverside copper stills.

 

When trying, expect to find a nose of fruit aromatics, with a hint of sweet honey, vanilla and then the delicious roast agave. The taste merges ginger, cinnamon and burnt sandlewood, along with fruits from banana to tangerine. The finish is long and soft, making it not only make it a delicious drink to sip, but it has huge versatility in cocktails.

Spice up your life – and lose pounds!

Well, it’s January. Bleak, cold, decoration-less January. For many of you this may mean the Health Kick – joining the gym, cutting back on the pork scratchings, and generally drinking most of your meals rather than eating them, courtesy of that new juicer you bought in the sales.

 

But wait! There’s hope on the horizon for all of you staring glumly at your dinner of lettuce leaves and hot lemon water. Because there’s one super food that should not be ignored, and it’s where we excel.

Hot red chili or chilli pepper

That’s right – chillies! Adding these heat-missiles to your food can help burn fat and give your weight loss a boost. Not only that, but they curb appetite, meaning if you munch something spicy there’s a chance you won’t eat as much. So, coming into El Camion and having a dollop of some of our spicy sauce on the side might help you fit into those skinny jeans.

 

Here’s the science bit. Capsaicin is the chemical that gives chillies their pungency, and it also stimulates a natural process of converting food into heat. This process is known as ‘diet-induced thermogenesis’, and helps burn up calories rather than have them hanging around on unwelcome bits like, say, the hips.

 

And how about starting the day with a Bloody Maria? Not only is tomato juice one of your five a day and low calorie, but having spice in the morning can help you opt for a lighter lunch. Good thing we’re starting a Sunday brunch menu soon – the perfect excuse to add a bit of heat early on!

 

So there we go. All of our food is freshly made, and we use quality ingredients, so whether you’re adding chilli sauce to a grilled chicken taco or having extra chilli slices in your grilled fish ensalada, then up the heat and burn some calories. You’ll have ditched the December paunch in no time!

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Spotlight On: Olmeca Tezón Tequila

  1. Olmeca Tezón is one of our premium tequilas, made from 100% Agave. A product of the Olmeca family, who produce their tequila in the highlands of Jalisco in Mexico, Olmeca Tezón takes its name from the indigenous volcanic mineral, known locally as Tezontle, which the traditional Tahona wheel press is made from.
  2. Olmeca Tezón tequila 
  3. The Tahona milling method dates back over 500 years and involves an enormous two tonne millstone crushing the Agave piñas into a pulp. Only a few other producers of Tequila currently use this method of milling – it is three times more time consuming than modern methods and produces around 6% more wastage. So, a lot of time and love goes into each bottle! The sweet juice extracted from the Tahona is called Tahona Liquid, of which a percentage is integrated into the fermentation and distillation process of all Olmeca Tequilas. Olmeca Tezón is the only one, however, that contains 100% of the Tahona Liquid.There are three types of Olmeca Tezón on our Tequila menu – Blanco, Reposado and Añejo.

    Blanco (Silver)

    Unaged and bottled after distillation, this clear, crystalline tequila has a light and clean herbal scent and tastes of citrus fruits with hints of honey, vanilla and spice with a pleasant, lingering finish. This is one sexy, sophisticated tequila!

  4. Olmeca Tezón blanco
  5. Reposado (Aged)

    Its brilliant gold colour is obtained from the American white oak casks, that were formally used to age Wild Turkey Bourbon. Aged and for 8-10 months, it has mandarin and lime notes, with a woody finish. The taste is spicy with a vanilla richness, mixed with grapefruit and orange flavours, leaving a sweet, smoky trace.

  6. Tezón Reposado
  7. Añejo (Extra Aged)

    For the connoisseurs among us, Tezón Añejo has been aged slowly for between 18 and 20 months and is ripe, full-bodied with a robust smoky bouquet that stirs the senses. It has a rich butterscotch and vanilla palate, with notes of orange peel, sea salt and oak, thanks to those ex-Wild Turkey Bourbon casks, and a long finish

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  9. Tezón Añejo

If you’re interested in trying something different, we have a full tequila menu with tasting notes and our bar staff will happily chat with you about the unique tequilas we have in stock. Better get exploring!