FreshMex at home | AD

The phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” couldn’t be more accurate to describe my craving for FreshMex since it closed at the start of lockdown but the launch of its new seasoning rubs means my craving can be cured.

Like a beam of tex mex tinted sunshine breaking through what feels like a decade long break, FreshMex has packaged up two blend of spices which feature heavily in its menu giving fans like me the opportunity to create FreshMex inspired dishes at home. The sweet and mild Mex Rub and sweet and smoky Tex Rub offer home cooks an easy option to eject a mass of flavour into dishes without having to spend hours slaving in the kitchen.

I was sent a package of its rubs and very own Lime Lager (made by North-east Brewery BrewToon) earlier this week and headed straight to the kitchen to work up some tex mex inspired recipes for you to try at home.

AD FYI: The rubs and beer were gifted by FreshMex as part of this collaboration in return for this recipe blog post and social content.

A bit about FreshMex and the rubs:

First things first, these rubs inject a hell of a lot of flavour into your dishes and using only a small measure goes a long way. Normally when I cook I use a mix off spices to get different tastes but I only had to use each of the rubs as my base seasoning for all the flavour I needed – mind blown!

The phenomenal scent of each pack transports you to the busy street food markets of Mexico with the deep and rich aromas of paprika, cumin and herbs which is transitioned into epic taste when cooked. “Fresh is best” is the FreshMex motto and this is definitely carried through the rubs using no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

My spice collection now dominates a whole shelf in my kitchen cupboard and with a mass spice selection to choose from, you can image the rummage I have to go through to find my desired spice. The FreshMex rubs come in resealable pouches allowing easy storage and means I can quickly spot them in my trove of herbs and spices.

You can buy the rubs, lime larger, merchandise and gift vouchers over on the online shop. Check out the list of stockists too and you can bag some FreshMex supplies when out getting your essentials.

FreshMex inspired recipes:

My flat smells like a Mexican haven right now with all the cooking I’ve done this week. I’ve created four super easy recipes for you to try out and have added a navigation menu below so you can easily hop from recipe to recipe.

Shredded tex chicken

Grab an oven dish, two forks and you’re all set to create some shredded tex chicken. This recipe will leave you with a good stock of chicken which can be used in the other recipes I’ve included in this post.

What you need:

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 25g FreshMex Tex Rub (half packet)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c fan / gas mark 7.
  2. Place the two chicken legs into a roasting tin (skin side up) and pour over the oil and dust over half of your measurement of the Tex Rub. Massage in the oil and rub until the chicken is evenly coated on both sides. I recommend pulling back the chicken skin and getting the rub under there as well as on top of the skin to ensure max flavour.
  3. Once the oven is preheated, place the tin on the top shelf and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20mins, remove the chicken form the oven and there should be a mix of chicken juice and rub at the base of the dish. Using tongs, move the chicken around the dish to take some of the liquid and flip the chicken so it’s skin side down to repeat the same action.
  5. Place tin back in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
  6. After the full 40 minutes of cooking time the chicken should be juicy and tender. Using two forks, pull apart the chicken removing all the meat from the bones. Once the bones are removed, continue to shred the chicken and after 5 minutes of shredding you should be left with a textured pile of chicken meat.
  7. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime followed by a tablespoon of BBQ sauce, the rest of the Tex Rub and mix well. Return the chicken to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes just to reheat the chicken.

FreshMex potatoes

Acting as a smashing side dish, I created this tex mex inspired tapas option to marry perfectly with any Mexican feast.

What you need:

  • 3 baking potatoes
  • 25g of FreshMex Mex Rub (half packet)
  • 50ml water
  • 1 beef tomato (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 gloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 5 basil leafs (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp red wine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp paprika

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c fan / gas mark 7.
  2. Peel the potatoes, chop into cubes and par boil over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Once cooked, drain and spread onto a baking tray.
  3. Drizzle over olive oil and the Mex Rub and mix together to coat the potatoes. Add to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.
  4. While the potatoes cook, place a spot of oil to a pan over medium heat and add the onion. Once the onion has softened, add the minced garlic.
  5. After 2 minutes, add the chopped beef tomato and cook until the juices start to run out. Add 50ml water, cook together for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the half tin of chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, wine, basil, paprika and simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid reduces to create a thickened sauce. Add salt to taste if needed.
  7. Once the potatoes are golden, remove form the oven and add to the sauce to combine. Place all into a roasting dish and place back in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, serve up and top with some zingy tex mayo (simply adding 1 tsp of tex rub to 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and mix together).

Lime Lager chicken burger

If dirty burgers are your thing, you my friend are in for a treat indeed. This recipe uses the shredded tex chicken to create a burger oozing with cheesy tex mex goodness and a balsamic zing.

What you need:

  • 1 brioche burger bun
  • A handful of rocket
  • 2 slice rounds of red cabbage roughly chopped
  • 2 hearty tbsp of shedded tex chicken
  • 2 tbsp FreshMex Lime Lager
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Tex rub
  • 1 quarter of red onion (thinly chopped)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Handful of grated cheddar cheese

How to make:

  1. In a small bowl, add the pre-made tex chicken and add two tbsp of the lime larger. Mix well, cover and place in the fridge to marinade for 4 hours.
  2. Once the chicken has marinated it’s now time to make the rest of the ingredients. For the balsamic red cabbage, add the cabbage to a saucepan and add water to just cover the contents and add the balsamic vinegar. Boil over a high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid has dissolved and cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and pour out onto a plate.
  3. In another pan add a tsp of oil and add the onion to lightly fry. Once fried, remove from the pan onto the same plate as the cabbage.
  4. In the same pan add in the marinated chicken and add a squirt of lime juice (optional) and cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Once the consistency has thickened, add to the plate with your other burger ingredients (keep this pan to one side)
  5. Place the brioche bun (inside facing up) under the grill for 3 or so minutes until is appears golden and place the burger ingredients into the microwave for 1 minute to heat up.
  6. While the burger ingredients heat up add the cheese to the pan which cooked the chicken and melt over a low heat. Mix the cheese around the pan to soak up the charred liquid from the chicken and create an epic smoked cheese.
  7. Create your tex mayo by simply adding 1 tsp of Tex Rub to 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and mix together to create a zingy sauce.
  8. Now it’s construction time. Spread the tex mayo on the base of the brioche bun, spoon on the balsamic cabbage followed by the chicken. Place on the onions, pour over the cheese, add handful of rocket and drizzle of BBQ sauce all before sandwiching down the brioche lid.

Recreating the FreshMex Cali Burrito

My go to when I dine in at FreshMex is the Cali Burrito which is a loaded wrap of rice, beans, meat and fries. I had to wing it with this one (as I forgot about the rice and beans) creating a burrito that wasn’t a scratch on the FreshMex Cali Burrito but still created an droolsome feast.

What you need:

  • 2 hearty spoonfuls of shredded tex chicken
  • 1 potato cut into thick chips
  • A wrap
  • An avocado
  • 1 quarter of red onion (thinly chopped)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of FreshMex Mex Rub
  • 1 tbsp of yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tsp tex rub
  • A drizzle of BBQ sauce
  • Juice of half a lime

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c fan / gas mark 7.
  2. Par boil the potato chips for 10 mins over a medium heat. Once boiled, drain, place on baking tray and drizzle over some olive oil with a tbsp of Mex Rub and mix to coat the potatoes. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until the chips appear golden.
  3. While the chips are cooking, make some guacamole by mashing an avocado in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the red onion followed by the sour cream / yogurt and mix until combined.
  4. Create your tex mayo by simply adding 1 tsp of tex rub to 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and mix together to create a zingy sauce.
  5. Heat the wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds and spread on the tex mayo. Place the shredded chicken on top of the mayo in a long strip (this will make rolling a lot easier) followed by the guacamole spreading over the chicken and wrap.
  6. Take a handful of chips and place on top of the pile in a strip similar to the chicken, drizzle over some BBQ sauce and wrap into burrito form.

As you can tell I had a blast in the kitchen working up these recipes and if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the FreshMex recipe page for more dishes to try at home. And remember, you can buy your rub pouches here.

Stay safe and eat well!

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